Record breaking team looks to match success in 2017

Published in the September 8, 2017 edition


MELROSE—The Melrose High girl’s swim team anxiously returns to the water this week with a home opener against Arlington. Expectations are once again high for these record-breaking swimmers.

SENIOR CAPT. Virginia Guanci is among the top swimmers for the Melrose High girl's swim team, who open this week against Arlington. (file photo) 

SENIOR CAPT. Virginia Guanci is among the top swimmers for the Melrose High girl’s swim team, who open this week against Arlington. (file photo)

Last season was one of Melrose’s strongest in decades, with nine swimmers qualifying for States and their 200 medley team of Molly Williams, Maddie Hughes, Sam D’allesandro and Virginia Guanci medaling and breaking a school record. D’allesandro also took home two bronze medals and while strong individual performances were done by Williams, Hughes and Guanci.

Expectations are high this season and with twenty one athletes (including eleven seniors) returning this year, it’s no wonder. The team is captained by Josefa Baeza-Diaz and Virginia Guanci. “We are 21 strong, and still have a core group of solid swimmers,” reports Melrose coach Deb Deacon.

Melrose entered the water last week ready to train. “I wanted to get them in as quickly as possible but I am sure some of these girls will be hungry to break those records, or at a minimum, have them stand or years to come.”

Seniors returning this year are captains Josefa Baeza-Diaz and Virginia Guanci, along with Sam D’Alessandro, Madeline Hughes, Olivia DeCecca, Samantha Farrell, Katie Meade, Delia Frederick, Helen Burtnett, Grace Nally, and Lauren Reilly. They are joined by Molly Williams, Camila Werner, Natalia Warton, Julia Paiewonsky, Stephanie Overlan, Alessia Pari-di-Monriva, Jennifer Kahler, Fiona Doyle, Natasha Brown and Emily Boutchia.

One of the hallmarks of this team in recent seasons has been their medal-winning relay teams. “We are going to see who will step up to fill in some available spots in the three relays vacated by stellar seniors who graduated,” says Deacon. “We are confident we will have three strong relays and our goal is to qualify all three relays for the Sectional and State meets.”

Early season goals include reduced swim times and maintaining hard work at practice. “We want every swimmer to be fantastic teammate to her swim sisters, by demonstrating solid sportsmanship at every practice and meet,” says Deacon. “We expect our girls to be solid citizens throughout the hallways at school; solid citizens in and out of the pool, always. Our #1 goal is to be sure they do all of this while also having fun.”

So far this season the girls are making their coach happy. “We set high expectations and they always exceed them! We have the best group of girls. They make me proud.”

 Girls’ Swimming Schedule

Wed 9/6: 4 PM vs. Arlington

Wed 9/13: 5:30 PM @ Lexington

Mon 9/18: 4 PM vs. Andover

Tue 9/19: 4 PM @ Burlington

Wed 9/27: 4 PM vs. Reading

Fri 9/29: 4 PM @ Chelmsford

Tue 10/3: 4 PM vs. Woburn

Fri 10/6: 4 PM @ Winchester

Wed 10/11: 4 PM vs. Wakefield

Thu 10/19: 3:45 PM @ Stoneham

Mon 10/23: 4 PM vs. North Andover

Fri 10/27: 4 PM vs. Belmont