Swim team strokes to victory, breaks record

The girls swim team broke a 27-year-old school record in the 200-meter medley relay at Cub Run RECenter against Westfield on Jan. 14 with a time of 1:55.79.

The relay team was made up of freshman Kate McDermott, sophomore Bella Spignardo, sophomore Sophia Cloutier and junior Julia Simpson.

“The 200 medley relay is a race where each member swims [50 meters],” McDermott said. “I swam a 50 backstroke to start the relay. Then Bella swam a 50 breastroke, Sophia swam a 50 butterfly and Julia swam a 50 freestyle.”

McDermott said the girls team is fast this year because of its many new underclassmen club swimmers.

“My role in breaking the record was [at] the beginning of the relay to start us off strong,” she said.

The swimmers said they grew closer due to their shared goal.

“I definitely became closer friends with Bella, Sophia and Julia because of our relay,” McDermott said. “Breaking the record was very exciting for the whole Marshall swim team. I don’t think the team has broken a relay record in a long time.”

McDermott said her team was not focused on breaking the record before the race.

“I didn’t know we were even close to the record time, so it was a huge surprise when Bella told me we broke it,” she said.

Head swim coach Steven LeDuc said he was also impressed with the girls’ accomplishment.

“That is something I don’t think I have ever seen in a dual meet,” LeDuc said in an email to the swim program. “I have a feeling that they are not done breaking records yet.”

Spignardo agreed.

“Breaking a record in the first event of the meet really boosted Marshall Swim’s spirit as the meet continued,” Spignardo said.

The swimmers said they were motivated for the event because of the performance of the opposing team.

“I think we swam so well because the other team also had a fast relay, and that competition pushed us to swim our best and beat them,” McDermott said.

As their season nears its end, LeDuc said he remains confident that the girls team will continue to impress, even hinting the team could continue to break records in the remaining weeks.

LeDuc’s prediction was validated on Jan. 29 when the swim team broke four additional records, including the earlier 200-meter relay record with a time of 1:54.15.