By NICHOLAS BRAMANTE Just before the team’s first meet, things on the swim team are getting hot, or cool, rather. As always, Malden High School’s swim team is training about as hardcore as it can get, and they are determined to not only do their best, but be their best. With a large group of incoming surprisingly talented freshmen, even senior captain and Blue and Gold Member Amalia Quesada Nylen agrees that “the MHS swim team has always been talented, but it is true that this year we have a lot more younger talent coming up than in the` last couple of years.”  As a flood of “fresh faces” storms the team, returning veterans and potential talent comes together to form the frightening force of a team. While many may not believe swimming to be an intense sport, based on the training the team has undergone, such as the hours upon hours of intense practice of physically demanding techniques involving breathing, efficient stokes, diving and flip turn specifics, and more, that belief is far from the truth. “The most common misconception about swimming is definitely that people see it as a lackadaisical sport”, shares senior captain Blue and Gold member Catherine Poirier, a returning veteran to the team.

Along with Poirier and Quesada Nylen, the other two captains are senior Caitlin Cala and junior Bestine Cong. This is Poirier, Quesada Nylen, and Cala’s second year as captains of the team. As a long-time competitive swimmer, Poirier explains that “sometimes people, even athletes, do not realize how difficult and grueling this sport can be.” For the team, its not only a physical struggle, but a mental one as well. While practices might leave members out of breath and sore, it leaves them mentally exhausted as well. The constant pressure, stress, and work towards being the best, can take a toll on the team. However, whatever obstacles the team may face, they remain dedicated and determined to their training.

Stakes are high, as the team nears their first meet on Dec. 17, 2012, against their “biggest rival in the league”, Cambridge. Quesada Nylen explains that “whether we win or lose determines if we come in second place in the GBL or tie with them when we face them again in January”. As always, the coaches Paul Devincentis and Jessica Bisson are pushing the team to give that extra effort that makes such a big difference. Concerning the intensity of her training during the season, Quesada Nylen explains that “ 95% of the time I want nothing more than to glare at [the coaches] when they're pushing me to make one more set, swim that one lap faster, take one less breath... but when I do really well at a meet, that is the 5% that reminds me that they were right all along and only push me because they see the potential”. As MHS’ swim team inches closer and closer to their first eventful meet, the team continues to push themselves as far as they possibly can, giving all they can, so they can achieve their ever closer goal, of being the best.    

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