“Then ye ventured a-swimming,
Where your arms outstretching the streams ye did cover,
The mere-ways measured, mixing and stirring them,
Gilded the ocean; angry the waves were,
With the weltering of winter. In the water’s possession,
Ye toiled for a seven-night; he at swimming outdid thee,
In strength excelled thee”
—Beowulf IX. 15 – 21
On Friday the Phoenix Swim Program participated in its first event of the season – a public school meet with Wiscasset against Erskine Academy. Behind on practices our swim team took to the water anyway and swam with heart and with grit.
Highlights of the meet included phenomenal first races by freshly minted swimmers Olivia Spiega and Lily Hannah in the 100 yard freestyle with times of 1:20.59 and 1:33.72, respectively. Nerves may have dominated leading up to the race but those two girls left it all on the block and showed a competitive spirit their coaches are excited to work with for the rest of the season. Lily came in third in the 50 freestyle as well with a time of 39.12.
Hyde is also fortunate to have a number of veteran swimmers, some returning from last year and others who are new to our program. Melanie Higgins did very well in both of her individual events, the 200 yard freestyle and the 100 yard breaststroke with times of 2:38.26 and 1:34.41 to finish second in the freestyle and first in the breaststroke. Sophomore Merrill Truluck, a swimming veteran but new to the program at Hyde, finished second in the 100 yard backstroke with a time of 1:24.60 and third in the 200 IM with a time of 3:03.22.
For the boys team returning swimmer Caleb Lowrie continued his dominance in the breaststroke, placing first with a time of 1:12.51, a full 8 seconds faster than his nearest competitor. Veteran to the program Parker Ward continued to battle through his injuries to finish second in the 200 freestyle with a time of 2:16.16 and swam a tough 100 butterfly alongside teammate Brenden Lutes who finished first in that race with a time of 1:11.78.
The coaches and athletes agree that this was a good start for our season and leaves a lot to build upon. Our next meet is this Tuesday at St. Dominic’s and following hot on that meets heels comes our first prep league meet at Exeter on Wednesday.