The Hyde Swim team finished off its season yesterday and Monday when Connor Champagne ’13, Jeans Jiaraksa ’15, and Margot King ’16 headed up to Orono for the State Championship. Connor Champagne and Jeans Jiaraksa both qualified for the Men’s 100 Yard Butterfly and Margot King qualified for both the 200 Yard Individual Medley and the 100 Yard Backstroke. This two-day event was the capstone to a fantastic season, one filled with numerous personal records, team camaraderie, and more than a few insistent questions about where we would all end up for dinner.
Connor finished with a time of 1:16.29 for the ‘fly and Jeans followed close behind with a time of 1:17.46. Margot finished her IM with a time of 2:50.30 and achieved a personal record in the 100 Backstroke with a time of 1:14.61. To compete at this level these swimmers had to show dedication to their sport, a personal commitment to give it their all when they got to practice and then a little more when it came time for our meets.
All of our athletes met a demanding practice schedule that involved not only practicing late at night when most of their classmates were sitting warm in the dorm, pouring over their homework, but they also had to have the mental fortitude to extend their academic day with study halls that proceeded immediately from the end of classes. Through this our team came together and grew to rely on each other’s support.
What impressed me most about our team was their eagerness to be standing at the end of the lanes, cheering each other on. We were almost always the smallest team at any meet, but seldom if ever were we the quietest. We brought Hyde’s emphasis on good sportsmanship with us wherever we went, it was not uncommon for many of our teammates to be cheering on our constant companion Waynflete for events that we had none of our own swimmers entered in.
Finally, a thank-you to all of the supporting staff and faculty who made this season possible for us: Mr. Plourde for his amazing job as our AD and for giving us two first-year coaches some much needed confidence, to Mr. Rosette for working behind the scenes to make sure we always had transportation, not to mention dinner! To the amazing kitchen staff who provided welcome alternatives to our fast-food regiment on the road, and to all of the faculty here at Hyde for your flexibility and support, especially Ms. Marchand and Ms. Bryant for helping us work around Guided and Academic Support schedules. Finally, to all of you who showed up to our meets, both home and away, cheering on our team and making our home meets possible as official timers, thank you, you let our athletes know how we are all connected to a larger Hyde community.