2012 NE-10 Championships

The past four years, I have found the Northeast-10 Conference Swimming and Diving Championships to be the most tiring weekend of my college swimming career. It’s three long days of trials in the morning, finals at night, and a 6-hour drive to Southern Connecticut State University on both ends of the three days. On top of that, our team hasn’t reached the resting part of our season yet, which we refer to as taper, while most of the other teams have. It can be frustrating watching our times stay at a standstill while other swimmers drop seconds.

This year was a completely different story. Our women’s team finished in 7th place, while the men tackled a 6th place finish overall. On top of that, we captured five school records and multiple best times.

Senior Eileen Mullowney broke her own school records in the 50 and 100 yard freestyle winning both events in the meet, as well as the 200 freestyle. Her sister Julie Mullowney (only a sophomore) crushed the 18-year-old 200 breaststroke record. The last two records were also broken by the women in the 400 medley relay of E. Mullowney, J. Mullowney, Sammy Sweeney (senior), and Steph Nadow (freshman) and the 400 free relay of E. Mullowney, J. Mullowney, Corine McAllister (junior) and Kaytlyn Kelley (senior).

Making it back top 16 for finals included E. Mullowney in the 50, 100, and 200 freestyle, J. Mullowney in he 100 and 200 breastroke, Kelley in the 100 backstroke, Sweeney in the 400 IM and the 200 butterfly, Maddie Craig (sophomore) in the 400 IM, and Nadow in the 200 backstroke.

Outstanding swims for the men’s team included Nathan Paluso (freshman) in the 100 breastroke, Kyle Esposito (junior) in the 1650, and relays of Nick Lamana (sophomore), Esposito, Matt Pearson (freshman), and Chris Jones (senior) in the 200 free relay and Lamana, Paluso, Aidan Meehan (freshman), and Jack Mulderig (sophomore) in the 400 medley relay.

Our top finishing diver, Joe Vo (freshman), captured a fifth place victory for the one-meter dive.

On cloud nine after competing so well this past weekend, we transition into our two weeks of taper before we head down to White River Junction for NEISDA Championships.

See below for a picture gallery from the NE-10 Championships.


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Mullowney Sisters

Check out the adorable video of our very own Vermont-born TV stars!

Sisters Eileen (senior) and Julie (sophomore) Mullowney are clear opposites in many ways except for their love of swimming and breaking records. Their relationship is one of competitiveness, but also cheering one another on. I’ve loved swimming on the same team as both of them and their sister dynamic has only helped our team stay family-oriented.


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The Beginning of the End

As promised, the end of the season showed up faster than I expected. Unfortunately, that means for seven of us on the team that our last season is creeping up to its end.

On the bright side, the women’s team this year was able to top off our season with a winning record of 5-4 with our recent triumphs of Norwich and Potsdam. The men finished respectfully with a 2-8 record.

Our last home meet of the season serves as our senior meet where we recognize the students who have committed their time and energy to the team for the past few years. The underclassmen decorate the pool, put together memorable gifts to take away from the team, and the seniors are announced prior to the meet. Although it’s a bittersweet ending, I couldn’t be happier I’m finishing my final year with our current team.

Our senior women include Eileen Mullowney, Sammy Sweeney, Kim Marchetti, and Kaytlyn Kelley. The four teamed up for the final relay of the night in the meet against Norwich and solidified a victory. On the men’s side, the future graduates include Michael Sprague, Dan Healy, and Chris Jones.

Check out a few of the swims from our Norwich meet:

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Vamos a la playa.

Let’s go to the beach..

Well those of us who can, I suppose. As my team packed up in Vermont mid-last week to head for exactly that, I’ve stayed up in Vermont to begin some real world experiences. As they dove into a beautiful Olympic-size outdoor pool in warm and exciting Puerto Rico, I dove into my first two weeks of student teaching.

And although I know we’re both working extremely hard, I can’t help but be a little jealous of their breaks on the beach in between doubles practices. Along with two long and tiring practices in the pool per day, I’m confident they’ve found time to fit in a little running, push ups, and a lot of squats to keep up with their Crossfit training.

Having had the opportunity to travel with the team to PR my sophomore year, I know they’ve found some time outside of the gruesome workouts to have a little team bonding and fun. I’ve been sent pictures of beautiful sunsets and updates on their exciting adventures, including para sailing and snorkeling.

The team also had the opportunity to face off against Division 1 schools La Salle and Kansas, both of which were training in PR for winter break. They were challenged to work hard against the higher division teams and posted some great swims accompanied with awesome times.

Although I’m sure they’re not entirely ready to return from the warm sun, I’m anxiously awaiting their arrival back in Vermont. It’s been a tiring two weeks for me as well and I’m ready to participate in some team bonding this weekend with two meets in New York. We’ll face off this Saturday against St. Rose and Sunday versus Le Moyne.

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Mid-Season Slump

There isn’t anything worse than feeling like you’ve let your team down. Last week as I struggled to recover from pneumonia or whooping cough or whatever virus health services couldn’t technically put a name to, I felt just that. I spent my week in a haze of coughing, sleeping, and trying to stay away from the pool so I didn’t infect anyone.

I did, however, sneak into a team meeting on Wednesday in which we discussed the haze the entire team seems to be struggling with. Mid-season is hard. It is especially difficult when your season spans five months. Five whole months of constant training and racing on top of the typical college tasks of class, studying, and attempting to maintain a social life and sleep for a couple hours a night. It’s hard when the mid-season coincides with the winding down of a semester with increased work load and the anticipating scary phrase of finals week. It’s hard when one of the longest meets of the season sneaks up at a time when you’re sore, sick, and stressed.

To address the stress, we vented. And then we rationalized. To do this, we turned to the statistics. Coach reminded us that 85% of us have improved our times so far this season. Likewise, 84% of us are faster this time in the year year as compared to this time last year. After hyping ourselves up with the facts, we reminded ourselves of when the hype had been high on its own and discussed the goals we concocted at the beginning of the season. Sometimes the goals we made seem too far out of reach, but that’s why we’re a team. Our sport can sometimes be perceived as individualized, but we wouldn’t last five months if that was the case.

The Bentley Invitational this past weekend proved that we may think our spirits and strength are down, but if we can toughen out an 8-hour meet, we are in better shape than we thought. Two weeks away from Christmas break and the season will start to speed by.

Last mid-season slump for some of us. Weird…

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Vermonsters on the Road

[Originally dated Nov. 20]

Hard to believe, but the first half of our season is almost done and I think I can speak for most of the team as to our excitement for some time at home with turkey, football, and family. Our standings right now have the women’s team at 3-1 and the men’s 1-3.

Since my last post, the women’s team was able to trump both Clarkson and Norwich. Contributing to the wins, included heat winners seniors Eileen Mullowney, Kaytlyn Kelley, Sammy Sweeney, Kim Marchetti, junior Julie Mullowney, and freshmen Kim Brady, Steph Nadow, Kathleen Lamontagne, and Charlotte Murray.

Although the men fell short against both Clarkson and Norwich, top swims included seniors Dan Healy, Michael Sprague, junior Kyle Esposito, sophomores Jack Mulderig, freshmen Aidan Meehan, Nathan Paluso, and Matt Anenberg.

Check out our last few awesome swims vs. Clarkson at home:

Our team hero the past few weeks has been our new diver, freshmen Joe Voe. After stepping up to the challenge immediately following one practice, he braved the crowd in his first meet against Clarkson. Since then, he has only improved in his skills and his confidence stepping up to the board.

Immediately following our Norwich meet at their home pool, our bus braved the Stowe mountains and brought us to the Sweeney household for some home cooked food. It was nice to relax in a warm house with homemade lasagna and it made all of us even more ready for our Thanksgiving treks home.

Prior to our meet this past weekend, some of the team took a trip downtown to our home-based Ben & Jerry’s. We took the ultimate challenge of digesting two Vermonsters between all of us. If you haven’t heard of the notorious sundae, it includes 20 scoops of ice cream, a fudge brownie, 4 bananas, 3 cookies, 4 ladles of hot fudge, 4 toppings, and an entire can of whipped cream.

Although the men’s and women’s teams both suffered losses at Bentley University, there were multiple impressive swims, including wins for Eileen Mullowney, Kelley, Paluso, and Anenberg.

We re-unite in Waltham for the Bentley Invitational following our Thanksgiving break. It will be our final meet of the semester and we’re anticipating big things in best times and touch out wins.

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last first, but hopefully not the last first

Saint Michael's recently won its first meet of the swimming and diving season.

Confusing title so let me go into more detail to help you all out.

For us seniors, this was yet another last first this past weekend. Our last first meet, which was held at Colby Sawyer College in New Lebanon, N.H. was this past Saturday. Having trained extremely hard in the pool and with Crossfit the past six weeks, we were excited to bring home our first win. And hoping (but really knowing…) that it won’t be our last victory brought back up to Vermont.

The seniors, having this be a little bittersweet of a meet, were still able to pull out some unbelievable swims. Highlighting those seniors on the men’s side include Michael Sprague capturing wins in both distance events, the 500 and 1.000 freestyle, and Dan Healy dominating in the 50 and 100 backstrokes. On the women’s side, Eileen Mullowney and myself, Kaytlyn Kelley, won both of our individual events. Mullowney in the 100 and 200 freestyle and myself in he 50 and 100 backstroke, while Sammy Sweeney brought back a victory in the 200 butterfly.

Although the seniors were hoping to leave our mark behind in our last meet at Colby Sawyer, we wouldn’t have brought home a win without our underclassmen. The freshmen stepped up to the pressure of their first college meet and blew all of us out of the water with how well they did. No pun intended. Wins for the first years included Aidan Meehan and Nathan Paluso in both of their individual events and Matt Pearson in the 50 breastroke. Our first-year diver, Matthew Annenberg, captured wins in both diving events, setting a new pool-record for his 6 dives.

Most noteworthy, however, were the dominating relay teams we had. Between the men’s and the women’s teams, our A relays won all four relay events. For the men, this included senior Healy, sophomore Jack Mullderig, and freshmen Paluso and Meehan in the 200 medley, and Healy, Paluso, Meehan, and junior Kyle Esposito in the 200 free. For the women’s triumphs, we were ecstatic to have our Dream Team swim together for the first time. After one shattered elbow and two of us studying abroad last year, we finally swam a relay all together for both events, involving seniors Mullowney, Sweeney, and myself, and sophomore Julie Mullowney.

Even though we are into our 7th week of training, our season is still just beginning. With one win under our belt, we are confident and motivated to have a great season. The next couple weeks before Thanksgiving will be busy with 3 meets coming up before we head home for food and relaxation.

Our next meet is this Saturday vs. Clarkson at home. Come check us out and cheer us on!

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