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JPS Swim Team Making Strides at Regional & State Championships

November 7, 2023

David Carter

Edward Hall

Joshua Paul Johnson

David Carter
Murrah

Edward Hall
Bailey APAC

Joshua Paul Johnson
J-TECHS

Alayla Powell

Kendarius Robinson

Nicholas Sivak

Alayla Powell
Jim Hill

Kendarius Robinson
Provine

Nicholas Sivak
J-TECHS

Although swimming is a relatively new sport for Ӱ Public Schools, the JPS swim team has experienced some victories worth celebrating in 2023 with one athlete earning two third-place medals at the MHSAA Swimming & Diving State Championships and several members qualifying for both Regional and State competitions. Additionally, at least two swimmers made school history as the first to qualify for these next-level spots. Here are the highlights of the team's momentous season:

Nicholas Sivak on winners stand

Nicholas Sivak wins 3rd-place medal in 200-yard and 500-yard freestyle.

Nicholas Sivak Finishes Third Place in State in Two Events

Nicholas Sivak finished in 3rd place at the 2023 Swimming & Diving State Championships in both the 200-yard freestyle and 500-yard freestyle individual events. This was Sivak’s third year qualifying for both regional and state contests. Swimming for Murrah, Sivak is a 10th grade scholar enrolled in the JPS-Tougaloo Early College High School (J-TECHS) program.

Two Simmers Make School History

Alayla Powell, a 9th grader at Jim Hill High School, and Kendarius Robinson, an 11th grader at Provine, were first-time qualifiers from their schools.

Powell made history as the first regional qualifier from Jim Hill. With hard work and dedication, Powell developed rapidly in her first year on the swim team. She shaved 34.56 seconds from her initial time of 1:09.10 in the 50-yard freestyle. Her future in swimming is promising should she choose to continue in the sport.

Robinson, a three-time regional qualifier, qualified for the MHSAA State Championship for the first time this season, making him the first state swim qualifier from Provine High School. He qualified in both the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle events.

Relay Team Members Qualify in Four Events Each

The four swimmers making up the relay team qualified for four events each. In addition to their two individual events, they qualified for the 200-yard and 200-yard medley relay events. The youngest member is Edward Hall, an 8th grade scholar attending Bailey APAC Middle School.

David Carter, a 12th grade scholar at Murrah, achieved his fifth regionals appearance and made it to the state for the first time in his high school swimming career. In addition to the two relay events, he qualified in the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle individual events.

Joshua Paul Johnson, also in 12th grade and enrolled in the J-TECHS program, made the team. This was his second time qualifying for both regionals and state championships. In addition to the same two relay events, he qualified for the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard breaststroke events.

Sivak rounded out the team after qualifying for the two team relay events in addition to the two previously mentioned individual events in which he won third place. All four members of the relay team swam for Murrah High School.

Five Members 2023 Swimming & Diving State Finalists

Five JPS swimmers were 2023 Swimming & Diving State Finalists:

  • Edward Hall, Bailey APAC, 8th Grade
  • Nicholas Sivak, J-TECHS, 10th Grade
  • Kendarius Robinson, Provine, 11th Grade
  • David Carter, Murrah, 12th Grade
  • Joshua Paul Johnson, J-TECHS, 12th Grade

The season started in August for the 30-member team and ended with the State Championships held Ӱ 20-21. Regionals were held the week before. Members train as the JPS Sharks but during meets they represent their schools. Micha'el Sheriff is the team's coach.  

Photo Gallery: 2023 JPS Swim Team Highlights