Record breaking swim team returns for more in ’15
Published in the September 4, 2015 edition
By JENNIFER GENTILE
MELROSE — 2014 proved to be a pivotal year for the Melrose High Lady Raider swim team, who shattered records and took six medals at States. This season, local swim fans should be prepared for more.
A large portion of the team has returned, including school record holders and state medalists, which means that the good times will continue to roll for these busy swimmers. Melrose put themselves on the map in 2014, thus no team will rest easy swimming against the Lady Raiders.
“Teams and coaches seem to take us a lot more seriously,” says Melrose coach Deb Deacon. “It’s fun to watch the powerhouse teams like Belmont/Lexington/Reading sweat it out to see if they can beat us.”
Leading the teams are 2015 captains Holly Cohan and Ali Thome.
Once again Melrose competes in a tough schedule but that has not prevented their success. “The addition of boys to several teams in the league adds a different element of competition for us this year,” reports head coach Deb Deacon. “We look forward to competing against Woburn, Reading, Winchester, Wakefield and North Andover.”
Sam D’Allesandro was a power swimmer as a freshman last season and earned a state bronze medal in the 100 freestyle and a league title in the 50 free. Expect the sophomore to reach States once again. “Sam is a talented swimmer … it seems to come so naturally for her but more importantly she loves it. She works hard, really hard so it’s nice to see her achieving success in her various events.”
Madeline Hughes and Virginia Guanci helped D’Allesandro and (now graduated) Anna Steele earn a medal at states in the 200 yard medley, and the duo returns ready for more hardware, along with senior leader Holly Cohan, who was part of a medal earning 400 freestyle relay team at States last season.
The team enjoys a unique blend of upperclass experience, like Thome and Cohan, and youthful talent that will keep Melrose very competitive this season. Last year the Lady Raiders broke records, this season they may shatter them.
Says Deacon, “Our overall goal as a team is to get in shape, earn individual achievement and, most importantly, I want the girls to work hard, compete and have fun.”
The team’s first meet of the season is Friday, Sept. 11 against Belmont at the Mystic Valley Charter pool. First splash takes place at 3:45 p.m.