Marshfield’s Bailee Nunn may not be Picasso, but she tries her best.
“She writes our sets for swim practice,” said Hartville junior and Marshfield swimmer Sofia Moncada-Harris. “She always draws little drawings.”
It’s Nunn’s personal touch on the programs she designs for her swimmers. All part of her efforts to grow the sport in her hometown.
“So swimming is actually not a very predominant sport in this community, which I am hoping to grow in the future,” Bailee said.
Nunn reached the Olympic Trials during her high school years.
“It was kind of nerve-wracking to see all these Olympic athletes,” Bailee said. “I saw Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps at other meets, but to be swimming in the same meet as them was a wonderful and really cool experience.”
She swam with a club coached by Drury’s Brian Reynolds, so when it came time to choose a college…
“I did look at other schools, but I mostly wanted to stay close to home,” Bailee said.
She picked the Panthers and went on to become Division II Swimmer of the Year.
So it’s no surprise some of the swimmers she coaches now know exactly who she is
“We didn’t know each other personally, but while she was a collegiate swimmer swimming for Drury, I was swimming for their kids’ SPA team,” Sofia said. “So we would kind of see each other at practices.
For others, maybe not.
“Ahh no, I actually had never heard of Coach Nunn before,”said Marshfield sophomore Molly Henry.
But it doesn’t take long to understand that she is a natural in the water.
“Coach-wise, you can just tell she is super knowledgeable,” Molly said. “She knows what she is talking about, so it helps me find peace knowing that she knows what she is doing. But she is always there to support us mentally.“
And for Nunn, that support means finding ways to keep the sport fun.
“Swimming is definitely not the most fun sport,” Bailee said. “You stare at a black line for two hours every single day. So yeah I normally have music at practice.”
The music, like her drawings, remains part of who she is. And some things never change.
“I do miss it a little bit when it comes to big meets,” Bailee said. “I get that butterfly feeling still.”
It’s a feeling she hopes her athletes might someday feel on the same national stage where she once stood.
“I can see them continuously grow and I just still know I have so much more I can help them with,” Bailee said.
And if all goes to her plans, there may be many Bailee Nunn turning swimming into the talk of the town, one stroke at a time.