BY Mitch Kiernan
The Sacred Heart Women’s Swim and Dive team dove into the season with success. In their first meet of the season against Central Connecticut State University, Fairfield University, Pace University and Southern Connecticut State University, they finished in second place.
Head coach John Spadafina said that the success was predicated on everyone doing well along with having a great mindset heading into the competition.
“I thought we did very well. The girls had a great attitude going in. We stepped up and did that with only three weeks of training,” said Spadafina.
He also touched upon how well the incoming freshmen did in their first swim meets of their collegiate career.
“Usually freshmen take time to adjust, but our freshmen had a very good day as this was their first college meet,” said Coach Spadafina.
Freshman Kelly Bartnett won the 100 backstroke along with coming in third twice in the 50 meter free and 300 meter freestyle.
“I think we did very well. I felt I did okay,” said Bartnett.
At her first college event she felt nervous in the beginning but that all washed away as time went on.
“I was not very nervous at first, but once we got in there, everyone was cheering and it just calmed me down over time,” said Bartnett. “I think I did overthink a little bit just because I was nervous at first. I was asking, what is going to happen? Am I ready to do this? It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.”
The other freshman who took the spotlight was Casey Barrett. She capped off the day with a first place finish in the 200 individual medley and second in the 200 meter backstroke.
Similar to Bartnett, Barrett was nervous about her first collegiate meet, due to the unfamiliarity of the meet structure.
“I was nervous because it was our first meet. I wasn’t sure how it worked. Once we got there and after my first event, it went well, so I got less nervous as the meet went on,” said Barrett.
She praised the upperclassmen for helping her and giving her advice for her first collegiate swim meet.
“They gave us advice on our first meeting and told us don’t be nervous and just have fun out there,” said Barrett.
Junior Emily Peter came up huge for the Pioneers and played a significant role in the events she was in. She finished first in the 100 meter butterfly along with having a part in the winning 400 freestyle relay and the butterfly leg of the 200 medley relay.
“I’m happy with how I swam. It’s where I should be at this point in the season. There’s a lot ahead of us left to go, but it was really good for only swimming in the past three weeks,” said Peter.
Emily talked about how well the incoming freshmen did at their first meet.
“They’re all really talented. It’s really exciting to have such a big class of a lot of good swimmers and divers,” said Peter.
Peter said that the biggest piece of advice she gave to her team was to simply be themselves.
“All the upperclassmen gave them advice and it was kind of just have fun, don’t be nervous. If you’re nervous, you’re going to tense up and not swim well. I think everyone listened,” said Peter.
The Pioneers will have their next meet at Central Connecticut State University Oct. 12 at 1:00 p.m., where they will have another chance to show off their talented team.