THE 2021 MHS swim team: Left to right back row: coach Meghan McDaid, Lillian Ladner, Amara Otaluka, Beth Cunningham, Grace Haseltine, Milania Saggese, Madison Wright, Noelle L’Heureux, Sophia Cantwell, Coach Laura McCormack, front row: Mayah Derosena, Audrey Methot, Cate Kavanaugh, Demya Allen, Sophia Scacchi, Ella Mistretta, Ariana Rodd, Emilia Rahilly, Madeline Broudour and Anna Burnett. (Jennifer Gentile photo)


MELROSE—The Melrose High girl’s swim team is approaching their last lap this week as they close out their regular season and eye the Middlesex League meet which takes place Wednesday (post deadline). It’s an annual event that Melrose typically medals in, so there’s no telling which league champions might be crowned at the meet which will be held at the Woburn Boy’s and Girl’s Club.

A fun twist: Melrose will compete with Burlington and Woburn in person, as the league is splitting the meet up to three facilities. All times will be entered for review to determine winners (some college facilities are still not renting out space.) It’s an innovative finish for the team, and the league.

Melrose is still aiming to advance swimmers to a post season and some are close to qualifying times. “We have a few close but we will see what happens at our league meet,” reports Melrose head coach Laura McCormack. But in the meantime they have personal bests they’re taking pride in. That includes Grace Haseltine who has taken off 5 seconds in the 200IM, Audrey Methot, who is shaving down her 50 free and Demya Allen, who took off over a second in her 100 Fly.

“The girls keep a good attitude and keep dropping time,” says the coach. “They know that these other teams are bigger and stronger than us, but that doesnt scare them away, they have learned to be competitive against their own times and have come so far since our first meet.”

As the coach winds down her first season, she’s immensely proud of the team she’s inherited. “They’re a great group of girls and I wish I’d been able to coach this team sooner. They’re so much fun to be around and the positivity we have seen is so great. Meghan [McDaid] and I may have had more fun than they did all season. They make every practice worthwhile because of how hard they try and how they want to succeed.”

And as her seniors plunge into their final swims, the coach salutes their efforts. “Our seniors have been the backbone of this team. Every single one of them has stepped up and performed so well.”

“Ariana Rodd and Demya Allen have taken on the 100 Fly for us almost every single meet,” she says. “Grace Haseltine has done our 200 IM and 100 Breast and dropped time consistently. Milania Saggese has done just about everything in a meet to keep this team rolling, Audrey Methot has held down the 50 free and 100 breast, and Anna Burnett has done amazing in her 50 free. We have so much gratitude to these amazing seniors and how well they have done this season.”