Friday, January 6, 2023

Powerful finish lifts Windham swimmers over Bonny Eagle

By Matt Pascarella

To close out 2022, Windham’s swim team had a spectacular showing during a home meet at St. Joseph’s College on Dec. 28 against Bonny Eagle where four Windham swimmers qualified for the state meet including sophomore Morgan Farley, senior Hannah Heanssler, junior Grace Theriault and sophomore Sarah Inman.

Windham junior Riley Small swims during a meet against
Bonny Eagle on Dec. 28 at St. Joseph's College in Standish.
Small was competing in the 500-freestyle race and cut 30
seconds off her time in just a week.
The girls’ team beat Bonny Eagle, 80-65, and the boys’ team turned in a strong performance but lost to the Scots, 29-10.

Windham was coming off a home win against Cheverus on Dec. 21, so spirits were high going into this swim meet.

“I decided to think more positively instead of negatively,” said Farley who qualified for the state meet in the 100-yard backstroke, where she came in first with a time of 1:16.30 minutes and finished second in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:44.58. “Mindset has a really big part in every event you swim because if you have that mental blockage that ‘I can’t do it’ you’re not going to be able to do it.”

Farley said that maintaining a positive mindset allows you to have fun and swim the time you want to swim. She had a tech suit on for the first time and told herself she was going to swim faster. She wasn’t sure if it was the suit or the change in attitude, but something definitely helped her make this meet a good one and she thought the team did great against Bonny Eagle as Windham continues to make progress; headed for a strong finish at the end of the season.

Heanssler finished first in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 26.96 seconds. She also finished first in the 100 with a time of 1:02.34.

“I was excited, I was feeling good,” said Heanssler. “We’ve been working really hard in practices, all of our team’s just coming together. Everyone swam really well with a lot of confidence; our hard work’s been paying off.”

Windham freshman Seamus McDougall earned his first win in the 50-freestyle event with a time of 31.72. He came in second in the 100-yard freestyle with a 1:13.64 time.

“It felt pretty good [to get my first win],” said McDougal. “We improved a lot over this week ... our flip turns really improved. I think our team has done really well this year; I’m hoping to make states.”

Inman finished first in the 500-yard freestyle with a 5:44.29 time and in the 200 IM with a 2:25.26 time.

Theriault came in first in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 2:14.70 and third in the 500 with a time of 6:04.57.

Windham senior Reagan McDougall finished second with a 30.42 time in the 50-yard freestyle.

“We always try to build off the previous meet,” said Windham swim team coach Peter Small. “We’re always looking to peak in February. They have such a hard work ethic and a great mindset. If you looked at all of our swims tempo was key.”

Small said that tempo and streamline form went really well during the meet. They increased training over break and kids were tired going into the meet. However, their strokes didn’t fall apart; their stroke technique held up and if you can hold technique when you’re sluggish, when you’re rested it’s going to be very strong.

Team spirit for Windham swimmers has been great this year and the team motivates each other with a positive mindset, Small said. <

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