Center Grove Girl’s swimming and diving team prepares for upcoming season


S. Findley

Mallory McDonald ’23 practices freestyle during an afternoon practice.

Rachel Ingle, Staff Writer


As the Lady Trojans dive into their upcoming season, promising talent from both returning and new swimmers gives the team hope for a successful season, kicking off tomorrow with a dual meet against Franklin Community.

New Swimmer to Watch 

Tenley Wilkins – Freshman Tenley Wilkins built a reputation for herself throughout middle school, coming within tenths of a second of breaking decade-old middle school freestyle records. Entering her high school swim season, Wilkins is already among the top sprint freestylers on the team.

“When you go through a season, especially considering the last couple of years we have had, there is always that one person that could flip it. If you look at Tenley Wilkins, she has got the opportunity to be one of the best sprint freestylers we have. The season is still early, so we have got to see how she develops with high school training,” Assistant Coach Kevin Trammell said. 

New Swimmer to Watch

Izzie Ferguson – Freshman Izzie Ferguson specialized in mid-distance and distance freestyle events throughout her middle school career. Ferguson is an up-and-coming competitor and looks to challenge for a varsity spot in the 200-yard and 500-yard freestyle races.

“Izzie has been working extremely hard in practice, where she is focusing on her technique and finding her drive,” Aquatic Director and Assistant Coach Brad Smith said. “It will be exciting to see what she does this year as she gains varsity experience.”

Returning Swimmer to Watch

Lara Phipps – Sophomore Lara Phipps returns for her second high school season following an impressive freshman outing. Phipps finished with two individual sectional runner-up titles (200-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly), as well as placing 13th in the 200-yard freestyle at the state meet. After being last year’s MVP as only a freshman, Phipps has proven herself to be the Trojans’ most prominent swimmer on the girls side and will play an important role in leading Center Grove this season. 

“For my role on the team, it’s going to be really important for me to try my best to swim as fast as I can at the important meets like sectionals and state,” Phipps said. “Of course, we have the seniors who lead, but I also try to lead practices and get everybody up and going. I try to encourage everyone to finish the sets and get our intervals going on time so that our whole team is strong.”

Returning Diver to Watch 

Mia Prusiecki – Sophomore Mia Prusiecki, last year’s state runner-up, enters her sophomore diving season hot off earning a bronze medal at the Junior Pan American Championships in October. With a history of success on both the national and high school levels, Prusiecki will be a major contributor to the team’s success this season. 

“My goals for this year are to break the school records (6 one-meter dives and 11 one-meter dives) and come back and win state this year,’’ Prusiecki said. “This season I want to score the most points I can to be able to support the team as a whole and increase the overall team score at the bigger meets.”

Most Anticipated Meets

MIC Championships | Jan. 7-8 – The MIC Championship gives Center Grove the opportunity to race against Carmel, the 35-time consecutive state champions, for the only time before state in February. With Carmel and North Central, the only other conference team to finish in the Top 20 at state along with Carmel and CG, the energy and competitiveness of this meet is a good forecast of what the sectional lineup may look like for the Trojans.

Sectional Championship | Feb. 3-5 – The girl’s sectional swimming and diving championship will take place at Center Grove’s new natatorium, the first time CG has hosted since the early 2000’s. Even with the home advantage, the Trojans still face a difficult challenge. Franklin Community has won the last six sectional titles but CG will be looking to win its first title since 2015.


Center Grove will look to Phipps, Prusiecki and a group of rising underclassmen talent and a strong upperclassmen group of returning swimmers if they want a chance to challenge Franklin Community at the end of this season. 

“I think our biggest goal is to have a really successful season as a team. I think winning sectionals is not out of the question for us,” senior Kiersten Smith said. “I think it will be a pretty big goal for us but not an unreasonable one. The only way we are going to be able to do that is by pushing each other through practice as a team and being a supportive group throughout the season.”