By Maia Alling and Chloe Babb
On Saturday, December 8, 2018 the Massabesic swim team had their first meet of the season against Greely High School.
The competition was hosted at Greely’s pool in Cumberland, Maine. The pool was said to be unusual. “There were no windows,” described Aleena Beneszewski, “And it was only a five lane pool.” Considering most competition pools hold at least six lanes, this was an interesting component of the meet. Chloe Babb observed the interior aesthetics, “The colors on the walls kinda clash[ed] with the water in the pool.”
The way in which the meet was run was also a bit out of the ordinary. Unconventionally, the national anthem was not played before the start of the events. When the swimmers were asked how they felt about this, they said it was “Very weird.” Kiley Semo added, “I’m very offended as a daughter of a veteran that they didn’t play the national anthem.”
Yet, despite the odd makeup of the meet Massabesic still performed well. Head coach Samuel Burne recalled, “I don’t think the unusualness of the Greely pool impacted the [swimmer’s] performance . . . we started in a really good point this year.” Impressively, the team already achieved seven qualifications for the state championship meet held later in February.
As for subjects for improvement, team spirit was reportedly something the team could develop more. Burne explained, “I think it’s important [for us] to not necessarily think in terms of grade level but in terms of the total team. I think that will happen … with some team building.” Team captains Alison Ryan and Katie Castle further supported that the team “Could cheer more” and also that the meet “Definitely stressful.” But, overall the team did “Really good.”
One swimmer’s final comments summarized the meet to be “Very entertaining, but tasteful. Very athletic.”
All in all, the Massabesic vs. Greely meet was a great start to the season. Although the team faced some challenges, they put in their best effort and were able to push through with some excellent swims. It seems like Massabesic will have a prosperous swim season this year.