The Musser family is likely the top swimming family in Johnson County.
How many families can number among its siblings five that have been state champions at Blue Valley Northwest and very successful swimmers for the Kansas City Blazers? And the sixth isn’t of high school age yet.
It’s a common question, but neither parent was a competitive swimmer and it was purely by accident that the children got into swimming.
“Isn’t it amazing how things happen sometimes?” says proud father, Philip Musser. “My wife and I knew nothing about competitive swimming.
“Years ago, my wife Cathy drove by our neighborhood pool in Lee’s Summit and saw a swim meet going on. She thought maybe our little daughter (Rachel, now 27) would like the sport. Twenty years and seven kids later, we’re still going with five collegiate swimmers so far and two more to go.”
Rachel is the only child who opted not to swim in high school, while Caleb, 12, has just finished the sixth grade.
“Rachel did well with the summer rec swimming her first year,” Phillips says. “We put her on a United States Swimming year-round club. She continued to improve and we got hooked on the sport.”
All of the Musser children swam for the Kansas City Blazers, a US Swim Club.
“We moved back to Kansas City in 2000 and have been swimming for the KC Blazers since that time,” says Philip. “The Blazers are the biggest swim program in KC and is well established with a long history of success.”
All of the children have been home schooled.
“They have been home schooled because we wanted to have more direct involvement in their mental, social and spiritual education during the elementary and middle school years,” says Phillip.
Five of the children have been part of the swim team at BV Northwest at various times in their high school days.
“We did a blend of private schooling, public schooling (at BVNW) and quick start college classes at Johnson County Community College,” says Phillip. “The Kansas State High School Activities Association requires that athletes be enrolled in five classes to compete in athletics. Each child took a combination of classes at BVNW and JCCC.”
Luke and Seth swam for the Huskies their senior year; Jesse for his sophomore and senior years; Hannah for her junior and senior year; and PJ will be a senior this fall. He also swam for the Huskies his junior year.
A total of five of the children have enjoyed swimming at the collegiate level.
Rachel is a pharmacist in the Kansas City area and Luke is an electrical engineer in Kansas City.
The other three have either completed their collegiate swimming careers or are still in college.
What do the swimmers think about their swimming careers?
“Swimming has been a chore, a lifestyle, a goal and the best thing that ever happened to me,” says PJ. “It’s been a part of my life and I can’t ever imagine not swimming.”
“Swimming is more than just something I do for fun, it has become a lifestyle. Almost every major decision my family and I have made has been based on swimming, whether it involves where I’m going to get my college education or what team environment would I excel in most,” says Hannah.
“I do believe God blessed them physically, but mostly it boils down to passion and effort,” says Phillip. “The focus is on training and racing with heart.”
“Knowing that I put so much time into something that we know others won’t recognize gives me a sense of character and my own mind set of accomplishments. Swimming has given me that along with other invaluable lessons,” adds Hannah.