Dedicated Swimmers Compete at States

Sharon Lee

Throughout the season, the Malden High School swim team worked diligently to achieve victories as a team and to qualify individually for sectionals and states. This season, the team ended with a record of 6-3 and a total five swimmers qualified for both, sectionals and states.

By focusing on technique and not missing practices, many swimmers were able to decrease their times to qualify for sectionals and states. Coach Jessica Bisson states “the faster you get, the harder it is to drop that time,” however the swim team uses tapering as a strategy to help them train. Tapering is a gradual decrease in yardage but an increase in intensity and rest time that swimmers have done during the week prior to an important meet.

The 200 yard Free Relay team and the 200 yard Medley Relay team consists of sophomore Bestine Cong, junior co-captain Caitlin Cala, junior co-captains and staff members of The Blue and Gold Catherine Poirier and Amalia Quesada Nylen, and junior Elyse Valente as an alternate. Both relay teams qualified for sectionals and states, however the 200 yard Free Relay team did not qualify for states until they dropped their time at the sectionals meet on Feb. 11th, a week prior to states. Among these two relay teams, two swimmers qualified for individual events as well. Cong qualified for the 100 yard Butterfly and the 100 yard Backstroke for sectionals as well as in the 100 yard Backstroke for states. Poirier qualified for the 100 yard Breaststroke for sectionals and states.

At states, the 200 yard Medley Relay team had swam a time of 2:05.04 and the 200 yard Free Relay had swam a time of 1:52.63. In individual events, Cong swam a time of 1:05.08 in the 100 yard Backstroke and Poirier swam a time of 1:16.76 in the 100 yard Backstroke. Head Coach Paul DeVincentis commended to all the state qualifiers that “[they] did a wonderful job,” and he was “so proud of [them]” for making it all the way to states and to all their teammates who came to support them as they competed in states at Harvard University’s Blodgett Pool on Feb 19th.

Amongst all of the their achievements, these swimmers not only commit several hours a day during the winter season to swim thousands of yards, but also to give back to the community. From September to May, the swim team holds a successful swim clinic every Saturday for the whole community at no charge. In addition, they raise money through their swim-a-thon held at the end of every season where they raise money for their team and for charity. Bisson describes “the swimmers on this team [as] very dedicated to their sport and their community.”

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