Pratt Swim Team finishes the year in top standings

Ruby Howell
Pratt Tribune
Swimmers of the Year from Pratt in 2021 include (back from left) Coach Tonja Harrison, Magdalen Haas, Kyler Barker, Arley Morrel, and
(front) Archer Deeds, Maisy Fields and Johanna Forssberg.

The summer season of swim team competition is now over, but not before a special group of Pratt athletes compiled some impressive statistics under the coaching of Pratt Swim Team leader Tonja Harrison.

The Pratt Swim Team wrapped up their season with finals at Cunningham. Along with the placings of all the strokes in all the age groups, the annual Swimmer of the Year was awarded to one swimmer from each age group. The award depends on several key factors like the placings in each stroke and meet attendance. From Pratt there were six Swimmers that won Swimmer of the Year. They are Magdalen Haas, Kyler Barker, Arley Morrel, Archer Deeds, Maisy Fields, and Johanna Forssberg. 

Head Coach Tonja Harrison has many aspects of the summer to be proud of and grateful for. Harrison said she is extremely grateful for how the older swimmers on the team stepped up to help her coach the younger swimmers. This season, Harrison did not have her usual assistant coach, and wrangling 51 children can be difficult for only one person to do. 

“I am most proud of my older kids for stepping up and helping with my little ones,” Harrison said. “I had several that stayed every practice to help out. Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to coach as many kids as I did this year, and would’ve had to let some go. I owe a lot to these kids in particular: Maggie Haas, Ryan Haas, Hayden Riffey, Sam Brant, and T’Lane Tobin.” 

Swim meets went faster than normal this year, due to the teams not having as many swimmers out. Pratt hosted two swim meets this year, differing from the usual one. Harrison is proud of how the swimmers did their assigned home-meet tasks very well, without complaining. 

“I run a pretty tight ship when I coach and expect a lot from my kids,” Harrison said. “They all did amazing this year with meets.” 

As for next season, Harrison says that she is working with several swimmers in private lessons getting them ready to join the team next summer. Also, several families from the St. John area joined the swim team this year, and Harrison hopes that kids from that area continue to join and participate. Hopefully with the assistant coach, Tonya Younie, back next season, the huge workload of coaching 50+ swimmers will be more spread out. Harrison’s goal next year is to have a little more patience with the swimmers, who seemed to get a little more distracted during practices than normal.