Temara’s Time

By Kevin Wilson
Updated: January 23, 2008

MARYLAND — Paul Sweet swam for Northwestern High and Morgan State University in Baltimore. He won a swimming title every year at his college alma mater.

Those impressive facts on his resume captured the attention of Dr. Carolyn Blue, then principal at Fairmont Heights High, in Capitol Heights, Maryland. In 1995, Sweet was hired, not realizing what was in store for him.

The following year, Dr. Blue mentioned in private that she wanted a swim team. After 45 years existing in Prince George’s County, the saga of Fairmont Heights High swim team originated, with seven participants.

Throughout Sweet’s 13 year coaching tenure, the 2A Hornets were champions in 2003, and he was nominated Coach of the Year by the Gazette, a subsidiary of the Washington Post.

Many years, his boys were runner up champs, but, no swimmer has been comparable to senior, Temara Jordan. During school hours, Coach Sweet stopped at the trophy case adjacent to the gym and the Star Achievers case near the entrance of the school, pointing gleefully at the facts about Temara, a three time M.V.P. honoree, who will most likely be the first swimmer at Fairmont Heights to acquire an academic or athletic scholarship.

Rarely do the Gazette selection committee pick a freshman as All County First Team. Temara was an exception to the rule. “She gets excited when competing against the boys, and she’ll have an impact in college, because she swims year round, ” said Sweet, a Junior ROTC Senior Army instructor.

Owning eight individual records and one of her times is better than the boys record on the 2003 champion team. Last year, the Hornets swam against Eleanor Roosevelt once, as Temara competed against the chosen 2007 Gazette Female Swimmer of the Year recipient — Roosevelt’s Emily Morse.

Jordan beat Emily during the regular season. ” Emily received the top honor due to her results against 4A schools,” clarified Sweet. Regardless, of the school’s population, countless swim fans agree that Temara should’ve been the chosen one, overall, and called it racism.

The 2007 defending county champion in the 100 freestyle and backstroke came to Fairmont Heights as a prominent star. Jordan earned second place in the 50 freestyle at the inaugural state championship at Maryland University.

Sweet seriously wanted to retire in 2003. Ironically, once he observed Temara in the water that same year, he rapidly changed his mind. “I couldn’t leave an athlete like her without a coach or team, she’s a coach’s dream and far advance than everyone else,” he says.

Comments have surfaced by the white attendees, that by not seeing a black swimmer, who excels in the water, like Temara, they believe she’s using steroids.

“That hurts Temara when she hears these negative comments. She practices, she’s good and she’s a hard worker,” the coach uttered. Temara is in pursuit of many goals.

One, is to obtain a 4.0 average. She hopes to win the M.V.P. for the fourth consecutive year. This trendsetter would like to be remembered as one who broke down the barriers, a person who attends a school, not in the best neighborhood, wanting the world to know that Fairmont Heights is a good school.

Thus far, the slender built, standout is undefeated in four meets. On January 12, at Prince George’s Community College, the Hornets challenged Eleanor Roosevelt and Surrattsville.

The Hornets finished second, as Temara won the 50 freestyle (25.83) beating Roosevelt’s Laura Morris( 29.97). In the 100 backstroke, Temara recorded a first place time of( 1:05.00) defeating Emma Varner( 1:10.31) and Kendall Irish (1:11.32), two 4A swimmers.

Dubbed as ” The Quiet Storm,” Temara holds all current individual swim event records and represents three relay teams that hold records at Fairmont Heights. “Temara is a phenomenal swimmer and a great competitor,” says Anne Korkonay, Roosevelt’s head swim coach.

Peggy Nicholson , a third year principal at Fairmont Heights, praises Temara all the time. ” My relationship with Temara is greeting her at the honor roll assembly, and the Alain Locke Chapter National Honor Society induction,” the top administrator voiced by phone.

Taking a rigorous course of study, Jordan is doing exceptionally well in Biotechnology, Forsenic Science, Advance English Literature, a college level course, and Junior ROTC.

A natural in the water, Temara is charming and comfortable around adults. Mario Williams, a Word Processing educator, and graduate of Fairmont Heights agrees, wholeheartedly. “Temara is shy, but intelligent, and by far, she’s the best swimmer we’ve ever had, we’re fortunate to have her and I’m happy she stayed.”

A mentor for Temara, who likes to sing, comes from home. Her mother, Michelle. ” She’s a strong accomplished female, who shows no lack of strength or courage,” says the 2012 Olympian hopeful.

Danielle Jackson, a ninth grader, is the next Temara, many envision. Temara informed Coach Sweet about Danielle. “We’re good friends, I look up to Temara, but I want to be better than the legend,” says Danielle, who loves the breaststroke.

Career day at Fairmont Heights, Temara eloquently demonstrated what she will be in the future- a journalist. “I’d be most happy to assist her,” says James Brown, CBS’ NFL Today host.

As a hypothetical keynote speaker, she says, her topic would be : Follow Your Dreams. Obviously, at Fairmont Heights she’s living hers.