The student-run news site of The Masters School


The student-run news site of The Masters School


The student-run news site of The Masters School


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Middle school swimmers make a splash on Varsity

Jack Parsons
The Masters varsity swim team has two unique new swimmers: middle schoolers Emma Casey and Jisella Jorsling, off to a school record-breaking start.

The dynamic duo of Jisella Jorsling and Emma Casey dove into a record-breaking season with the Masters Varsity Swim Team — in only their eighth-grade year.

Jorsling and Casey, who competed on the Middle School team last year, both voiced their excitement to join a new team environment. Outside of Masters, both athletes swim competitively, and compete throughout the year at various meets across the country.

As a middle schooler, making the Masters varsity team is a thorough process, with various requirements to hit along the way. 

“For varsity, I had to prove I was mature and strong enough to be with the team, and had to go certain times to prove I was one of the top swimmers on the team,” Jorsling said. “I had to do a time trial, get doctors appointments, and at some point I was allowed to join the team.”

“[Our coach] Rachel held a time trial for us,” Casey added. “We’d essentially swim a 200, and she’d see what our times were. Later on, we also did a physical test which was required by the state.”


Jisella Jorsling ’28

14-year-old Jisella Jorsling has already been swimming for over a decade. “I started swimming when I was three, and then began competitive swimming when I was five years old,” Jorsling said. “I switched teams when I was seven to move to a higher-level team called Badger.”

Joining Masters’ varsity team has been a new type of environment according to Jorsling. “It’s been really fun so far,” she commented. “The workouts are almost the same as my club practices, so there’s not much of a difference there, but this time it feels more like a team sport.”

Right now, Jorsling mostly competes in shorter freestyle races — her favorite events include the 50, 100, and 200 M freestyle. However, she is looking forward to diversifying while on varsity. “I just want to try out races I don’t usually do, so that I can improve on that event and do it more often,” Jorsling explained.

Jorsling is already a decorated swimmer outside of school. She discussed memorable competitions and awards that she won in years past. “There was a metropolitan championship [I competed in]. When I was twelve, I got first overall for high points, and I got second this summer for 13-14 year olds,” she said. “I also went to Germany and won the 400 IM for 13-14, and placed third overall.”

It’s cool to be an eighth-grader on the team, too, because I get to talk to different high schoolers, and middle schoolers and high schoolers are usually separated

— Jisella Jorsling '28

Jorsling views the Masters team as a new type of competitive environment, emphasizing positivity and bonding with one another throughout practice. “I’m very excited to be on this team,” she said. “It seems like everyone just supports each other throughout their races and just helps each other.”

“It’s cool to be an eighth-grader on the team, too, because I get to talk to different high schoolers, and middle schoolers and high schoolers are usually separated,” Jorsling concluded.

Masters junior and swim team co-captain, Gretta Hong, emphasized the importance of creating this environment. “It’s definitely very welcoming and open on our team,” she said. “Very beginner friendly.”

The team has ensured a seamless transition for Jorsling and Casey into this new environment by ensuring they’re involved in all team activities. “We’ve incorporated them throughout by always including them,” Hong added. “In all the team bonding activities we treat them like they’re any other person on the team.”

“We trust the middle schoolers, so it’s easy to treat them like a varsity swimmer. Age doesn’t matter during practices and meets,” she concluded.


Emma Casey ’28

13-year-old Emma Casey has been a member of the Empire Swimming team since the 2017-2018 season, where she practices most evenings after school and on weekends. She expressed her enthusiasm for the chance to compete on Masters’ varsity team, hoping it would provide her a new challenge.

“During seventh grade, we all heard about the opportunity to move up to varsity once we were in eighth grade,” Casey said. “I guess I wanted to go because I felt that the middle school team was not challenging enough at the time.”

Once she qualified and joined the varsity team, Casey commented on the team environment and the difficulty of practice. She said, “I thought it was a lot harder than middle school practice, because we had more sets to finish.”

“The environment was pretty nice though — nobody seemed to judge me because I was a middle-schooler,” Casey said.

She is a little crazy during sets. You kind of wonder how she keeps going without getting tired.

— Viviana Rolston '28

Fellow Empire teammate and Class of 2028 member Viviana Rolston has been swimming with Casey over the past five years. “We met before we both came to Masters, in fourth grade,” Rolston said.

Rolston described Casey as “an energetic swimmer who really cares about the people she spends time with, and really wants to succeed.”According to Rolston, Casey is a fiercely competitive and strategic swimmer. She joked, “She is a little crazy during sets. You kind of wonder how she keeps going without getting tired.”

“Her swimming style, well, she’s fast. But, she really likes to pick it up towards the end, especially if she can catch anybody ahead of her,” Rolston said. “She has really good endurance, and she really knows how to keep a good pace and pick it up when she needs to, so she’s a great distance swimmer.”

Casey is equally passionate on the sidelines, cheering for her fellow teammates. Rolston explained, “She’s always supportive of her other teammates—always cheering for people, yelling, and making sure they’re checking their pace.”

Casey expressed interest in seeking new event opportunities that weren’t available to her last year. She said, “I’m really excited that there are more events that opened up to me. I can focus on more events that I actually do well in, and I can get better at those events as I go.”

“I want to focus the most on my backstroke, fly, and maybe work on breaststroke as well,” Casey said.


This season

Already this season, Jorsling and Casey have made their presence known on the team. Jorsling recently placed first in the 200 freestyle and set a new team record with a time of 1:57.47, as well as first in the 100 fly, setting a record with a time of 1:00.86. Casey placed first in the 500 free with 5:46.70, milliseconds away from the team record.

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About the Contributors
Xavier Rolston
Xavier Rolston, Director of Multimedia
Senior Xavier Rolston is Tower's Director of Multimedia for the 2023-2024 school year. Rolston joined Tower staff last year, where he served as the Web Editor and began to pursue web design. He is passionate about creating engaging online content, including video segments, podcasts, and photojournalism projects to tell community stories. Rolston has won several scholastic journalism awards, including international portfolio awards from Quill & Scroll and PSJA, awards for website design and editorial leadership from NSPA, SNO awards, and more. He plans to continue pursuing journalism throughout college and beyond. Outside of the Tower lab, Xavier can be seen around campus participating in Model UN conferences, coaching student debaters, and acting in three seasons of theatre.
Ella Black
Ella Black, Sports Editor & Social Media Manager
Ella Black has been on the Tower staff for one year. Her position of sports editor was founded by her love of interviewing athletes and reporting on sports games.  Black is also a multi-talented individual, with her position of social media manager derived from a passion for curating info-graphics and goal to expand Tower’s social network. Black’s start in her journalism career was originally founded by a desire to improve her writing, and resulted in a love for analysis and understanding different perspectives. She’s especially proud of her award-winning article in which she interviews Alumni Maddy Israel on her experience in the Palestine-Israel conflict and her return from Israel . 

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