The perfect storm was brewing for Southmont’s girls swimming and diving program heading into the 2019-20 season
Coach Jane Coudret was settling in for her second year as the coach at her alma mater, and four seniors were prepared for their best season yet.
A sectional title was in sight, and senior Emma Tyler had the determination to help her teammates, and herself accomplish it.
The Mounties edged Twin Lakes 332-328 to claim their first sectional title since 2001, led by Tyler — who won the 500 freestyle and was a part of both the 200 and 400 freestyle relay winning teams.
Tyler is the 2020 Journal Review Girls Swimmer of the Year.
“Emma is a smart swimmer,” Coudret said. “She knew what it was going to take for us to make a run at sectional.”
The end of the season success helped cap a successful career.
“In a way my whole high school career led up to this season,” Tyler said. “I’ve worked hard for years so it was really great to let all my hard work pay off and have a really successful season. I’ve been swimming competitively since I was six years old. So much hard work over the years has gone into this season. I would definitely say this was the best season or year yet not only because of my accomplishments but because of my coaches Jane Coudret and Phil Keller and my teammates.”
Tyler, who finished second in the 200 individual medley and the 500 freestyle as a junior, entered her final season with a chip on her shoulder.
“Finishing second last year was a huge motivator this year because it made me work harder and pushed me to be the best I could be this year,” she said, “I continued to work hard toward that goal all season and eventually saw results.”
Tyler swam to a win in the 500 freestyle relay with a time of 5:28.5 at the sectional. In the 200 and 400 freestyle relays she joined senior teammates Suzi Pedro and Jane Scheidler along with junior Megan Scheidler to claim titles with times of 1:42.28 and 3:46.45 respectively.
“Emma has invested a lot of time in swimming both at the club level and high school level,” Coudret said. “We knew this season would be her chance to shine. She was driven to not only qualify for state as an individual but to also help our relays get there.”
And Tyler says she has her coach to thank for getting her and her teammates to the state finals.
“My coach (Coudret) played a huge part in both mine and the team’s success this year,” she said. “I can’t say enough good things about her and her coaching style. She’s definitely the best and most influential coach I’ve had my whole life. She really helped me achieve my goals to get better throughout the season which is pretty difficult at this point in my career.”
Tyler set lifetime bests in both the 200 individual medley and 500 freestyle, and holds top 10 spots in six of the eight events in the Southmont swimming record book.
She hopes she has made a lasting impact on the program.
“I worked really hard at becoming a strong leader on my team this year and I think I did well,” she said. I’ve been apart of this program for all seven years I’ve been at Southmont so it’s been a huge part of my life as well. I hope all my hard work and dedication can influence the younger members on the team to work hard so they can win and do big things in the future.”
Coudret is confident that Tyler, along with Pedro, Scheidler, and fellow senior Aubrey Jones will never be forgotten for the success they brought to not just Southmont swimming, but the athletics program as a whole.
“The four seniors have been together since junior high swimming,” she said. “Those four girls led our team to the school’s first sectional championship since 2001. That was 19 years ago before these girls were even born. They will forever have a place in history of Southmont swimming. I feel blessed that I had the opportunity to coach this team and especially these seniors. I really enjoyed coaching Emma and watching her accomplish so much this season.”
Journal Review All-Area Team
Abby Bannon — CHS
Alyx Bannon — CHS
Tyler Bowling — FC
Sidney Campbell — NM
Maggie Michael — NM
Suzi Pedro — SM
Jane Scheidler — SM
Megan Scheidler — SM
Jordan Stanley — SM
Emma Tyler — SM