Malden High School Dives into New Swim Season

Senior Captain Abby Tang kicking in streamline position. Photo by Hadjar Yousfi.

For the past two years, the Malden High Swim Team has worked hard to overcome the difficulties that came with the pandemic. This year, the sport has almost returned to its pre-pandemic state, and the team dived in on an eager note. 

Coach John Parcellini, who has been coaching swimming on and off for the past 20 years, is “looking forward to a great year.” It seems that the rest of the team shares his excitement, including Head Coach Jessica Bisson, who “feels awesome, [and loves] being back.”

With many seniors having graduated last year, the team was left bare. However, after successful tryouts, Bisson is confident they will be able “to build the team and get a good connection going.” This year, they do have a handful of new swimmers who are not as accustomed to swimming on a team, so many of them feel it is quite the adjustment. 

As practices return to the usual five days a week, as opposed to last year when it was only three, swimmers are trying hard to get used to it. Senior Abby Tang finds it “hard readjusting to having meets in person again.” 

Some new swimmers are adjusting, like Marie Cheng, a freshman who feels that being on the team is “challenging but fun.” She also feels it is a huge struggle to try to keep up with the others, who might be more experienced than her. 

Bisson is well aware of the struggles they may face this year since all of their captains, seniors Molly Sewell, Tony Giech, Sarah Oliveira and Tang had not had a regular season since 2019. Oliveira described this drastic difference as a “little bit of an adjustment,” but something that they would work hard to improve on for the sake of the team.

For now though, the captains feel as normal as ever. They want to work with the team and to become a tightly knit community. Oliveira hopes that they will be able to branch out of their immediate friend groups and “foster a community of swimmers.”

Parcellini also is looking forward to “getting to know the athletes, talking to them about their life experiences and future goals,” because without feeling like a team, it is truly impossible to work well together. As Oliviera stated, “it's more than just swimming, I think it's about friendship and bonds.” 

As for their overall goals for the season, everyone seems to have something in mind. Sophomore Joao Victor Santos, who is new to the team,wants to “become proud of [himself] for what [he’s] doing.” Sewell has some personal records that she hopes “can get better during my senior year.” 

When it comes to team goals however, everyone seems to have their mind set on one thing. By working hard Porcellini expects “them to repeat [their] GBL champs.” They also are hoping to have a few sectionals or state qualifiers. 

Though it seems difficult now, the MHS Swim Team is incredibly excited to work together to form a great team bond over the love of swimming.

Previously, High was mispelled as HIgh, Freshman Marie Cheng was misattributed to swimming freestyle, Senior Ayman Ali was misattributed to performing a Break Stroke, and Head Coach Bisson was misidentified as Freshman Marie Cheng

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