Published in the December 7, 2017 edition

2017 NRHS Swim Team captain Molly Feffer. (Courtesy Photo)

NORTH READING — The North Reading High School boys’ and girls’ swim team season is underway with a new look and new format. After graduating 18 seniors including Academic All-Americans Kimberly Bockley, Nicole Shedd and Andrew Shedd, the swimming Hornets will look to rebuild.

Senior leadership will come from Cape Ann League All-Star Owen DeCleene, who can compete in any event. Sam Barrette and Courtney Hennessey, also seniors, lend experience and depth along with newcomer to swimming Noah Aran.

The Hornets are captained by junior Molly Feffer, a sprint specialist with plenty of Sectional and State experience. Molly is an outstanding teammate who is well organized and an exceptional leader. She is joined by juniors Caroline Belinowiz and Christina Lasdin, who gained sectional experience last year and newcomer to swim team Brooke DeGrande.

The large sophomore class are, for the most part, returning swimmers who have experience. Brandon and Ellie DeCleene, Hannah Lord, Hae-Jung Kim, Griffin May, and Mary Regan will add depth to the lineups and are joined by newcomer Benjamin Giunta.

Eight freshmen have joined the swim team this season. Mia Freccero, Erin Davis, Henry Pelmas, Chris Mangano, Alec Semann, and Joleen Weiss are learning strokes and gaining endurance as rookies. Freshmen Kaia Grabar and Kristina Valenti have a boatload of experience and can swim any of the high school events.

Coach and Mr. Hunter are in their seventh season with North Reading and are pleased by what they see so far. Mr. Hunter said the new swimmers are eager to learn and are working hard.

Coach Hunter said that the new format will make the season very interesting as the team splits into girl v girl and boy v boy meets as opposed to the previous coed varsity/JV meets.

“We will experience some growing pains with the new format. Hopefully the change will be beneficial in the long run.”

The team opens with a Relay Carnival on December 9 at the Burbank Y and will travel to Shawsheen Tech on Thursday December 14 for the first dual meet of the season. They practice before school at the Burbank YMCA.