Glacier Swim Club’s Emma Fellman answers a question from Coach Robby Jarvill at the Dimond Park Aquatic Center on Saturday, April 20, 2019. A panel of swimmers were grilled on a variety of topics before taking off to the Junior Olympic Championships later this week. Mikayla Neal and Sven Rasmussen sit to Fellman’s left. (Nolin Ainsworth | Juneau Empire)

Glacier Swim Club’s Emma Fellman answers a question from Coach Robby Jarvill at the Dimond Park Aquatic Center on Saturday, April 20, 2019. A panel of swimmers were grilled on a variety of topics before taking off to the Junior Olympic Championships later this week. Mikayla Neal and Sven Rasmussen sit to Fellman’s left. (Nolin Ainsworth | Juneau Empire)

Meeting the press: Glacier Swim Club’s interview skills taken to task

Mock press conference used as team-building exercise

Pool breakfasts are a staple for the Glacier Swim Club.

Every Saturday, after getting done with their workout at the Dimond Park Aquatic Center, scores of teammates exit to the locker room to the meal prepared for them. The breakfasts help reinforce one of the club’s essential values of inclusivity, which the team seems to have wholeheartedly embraced.

“They’re swimming as a unit, which is nice,” GSC coach Robby Jarvill said. “With age group swimming, you have kids that are 9 years old to 18 years old. It’s a family. They take care of each other and the older ones give back to the younger ones.”

As an added team-building exercise during Saturday’s feast — the final one before the team takes off for the Alaska Junior Olympic Championship meet — seven swimmers fielded questions from Jarvill, dishing on everything including their pre-race routines, inspiration and diet. Each panelist represented a different age group within the club and they were judged on the quality of their responses.

[Juneau grandfather turned to swimming for better health. He got back much more]

The youth panel was made up of Valerie Peimann, 10; Andrew Sanders, 9; Emma Fellman, 12; Mikayla Neal, 14; Sven Rasmussen, 13; Chris Ray, 18; and Selma Matiashowski, 18.

Several of the swimmers were asked what their biggest achievement in swimming looks like.

“I think it’s helping GSC become a better team,” Rasmussen said. “It has been our goal for a long time now to win Junior Olympics, and we’re really close this year and I think we can do it.”

Neal talked about her biggest challenge in training.

“My biggest challenge in training is probably swimming as I would in a race,” she said. “Sometimes it’s easy to think of practice as your way to just practice, not swim your hardest. I overcome this challenge visualizing being (in) the race itself and trying my hardest.”

Ray shared about the inspiration his mother gives.

“She’s probably the strongest woman I’ve ever met,” Ray said. “She’s strong-willed. I strive to be like her. There’s no one I respect more in the world.”

Sanders talked about some of his favorite foods.

“If it’s a special night, my mom will get me McDonald’s, but I eat pizza sometimes,” Sanders said. “Sometimes I eat my dad’s moose burgers that he makes and on the weekends I eat a lot of ice cream.”

Peimann admitted that swimming is a big commitment that can wear her out.

“When it comes to swimming practice, I think, ‘Oh man, another day,’” she said. “I think, ‘I don’t want to be here,’ but when I’m done with practice I think, ‘It’s over, I’m excited, I get to go home and eat dinner.’ I know that working at practice in the long run, it really helps you, and it makes me swim faster when I’m actually racing.”

The Junior Olympics begin Thursday at the Bartlett High School Pool. The event features just over 125 races total, with preliminaries and finals of events taking place on the same day. GSC came in second at the meet last year, and Jarvill said he expects another top-three finish this year. Northern Lights Swim Club, of Anchorage, won the championship over GSC by just a few hundred points last year.


• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or nainsworth@juneauempire.com. Follow Empire Sports on Twitter at @akempiresports.


Glacier Swim Club’s Andrew Sanders and Valerie Peimann take questions from Coach Robby Jarvill at the Dimond Park Aquatic Center on Saturday, April 20, 2019. A panel of swimmers were grilled on a variety of topics before taking off to the Junior Olympic Championships later this week. (Nolin Ainsworth | Juneau Empire)

Glacier Swim Club’s Andrew Sanders and Valerie Peimann take questions from Coach Robby Jarvill at the Dimond Park Aquatic Center on Saturday, April 20, 2019. A panel of swimmers were grilled on a variety of topics before taking off to the Junior Olympic Championships later this week. (Nolin Ainsworth | Juneau Empire)

More in Sports

This combination photo shows all five division-winning teams from the recent 3v3 Pre-Season Tournament at Thunder Mountain High School. (Upper left) Team 7, (upper right) Hoopsters, (lower left) 3 Amigos; (lower center) Lucky Ladies and (lower right) 3 of a Kind. (Courtesy Photos)
3v3 Tournament crowns division winners

Thunder Mountain High School boys basketball and Hooprats recently hosted the 13th… Continue reading

Bree Lee Lo, June Enele, Lemoe Eneliko and Moira Anemia pose for a photo taken by Alexandra and Barron Anemia. All were on hand to celebrate Samoa's Rugby League World Cup run. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Local rugby fans celebrate Samoa’s World Cup run

“Win our lose, we’re still proud.”

Matthew Wendel, Mike Kreis, Kasey Watts, Courtney Kreis, Tami Wahto and Todd Schur wore costumes during the 2021 Turkey Trot. Why’d they wear costumes? “Why not?” asked Schur. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Strut your speed at upcoming annual Turkey Trot

Stuff the starting line Thanksgiving morning

Glacier Swim Club finds success in Petersburg

Twenty Juneau students competed in the November swim meet hosted in Petersburg over the weekend.

The 2022-23 Thunder Mountain girls varsity volleyball team poses for a group photo during 2022 3A/4A Volleyball State Championships in Anchorage on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 10 and 11. (Courtesy Photo / Julie Herman)
TMHS volleyball wraps up stellar season

Falcons fall short of finals at State tournament

TMHS stands for team photo after state tournament at Bartlett High School in Anchorage on Saturday, Nov. 5. (Courtesy Photo / Josiah Loseby)
Juneau swim teams make a splash at state championship

“We all performed well and we all had a good time.”

Juneau Skating Club Forget-Me-Not team featured in last year’s spring event. The team is traveling to Irvine, California to compete in the Glacier Falls Classic on Saturday, Nov. 12. (Courtesy Photo / Kim Hort)
Forget-Me-Not skaters return to California

Juneau Skating Club team competes in Glacier Fall Classic.

Thunder Mountain girls varsity volleyball team celebrating their championship victory against JDHS on Saturday, Nov. 5. TMHS now heads to the state tournament in Anchorage to face Colony in the first round on Thursday, Nov. 10. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)
TMHS volleyball team advances to state tournament

Falcons will take on Colony in Anchorage Nov. 11

Large crowds turned out to support high school swimmers through Alaska at the Region V meet on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 28, 29 at in Juneau at Dimond Park Aquatic Center. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)
Prep swim teams score big at Region V meet

TMHS and JDHS swim teams score big at Region V meet

JDHS junior Mila Hargrave winds up to spike the ball while TMHS junior Ashlyn Gates attempts to deflect it. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Volleyball wraps up regular season

Region tournament set for Nov. 4 and Nov. 5

A volleyball makes its way through the air. TMHS and JDHS are set for a pair of cross-town contests on Friday and Saturday. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Volleyball senior nights set for cross-town matches

Will there be a bump in attendance or a spike?