Building on Success

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Photo provided by the authors

The Suffield Swimming Co-op participants are pictured with the team’s many recent medals.

Student athletes of Wildcats Swimming, the Suffield High School co-op swim program, have continued to push themselves to new heights. On March 1, the Wildcats hosted the Nutmeg Conference Championships at the Windsor Locks High School pool. The team prevailed, winning the conference title and boasting nine swimmers with All-Conference honors (Matt Winter ’18 Suffield, Sam Tesko ’20 Suffield, Will Dubocq ’18 Suffield, Timur Couture ’18 East Windsor, Jake Wyse ’18 East Windsor, Mike Stavolone ’19 East Windsor, Saxon Nussbaum ’20 Windsor Locks, Charles Rose ’20 Suffield, and Chris Hoover ’20 Ellington)! This built upon their conference record of 3-0 (season record 7-3) after two meets cancelled due to snow. This team grew through their hard work and mental preparation, setting career best times as they prepared for the Class M preliminary meet on March 10.

Through focused work, we sent 13 athletes (a record number) to the Class M state preliminaries. The Wildcats co-op continues to work hard at developing athletes in and out of the water. We mix in principles of exercise science through dryland work and a dynamic stretch prior to the in-pool specified workouts. We maximize our short time together by strengthening and fine tuning strokes prior to the season ending taper (rest). This recipe is constantly evolving as we tailor all work to the events and needs of our student athletes.

The March 10 meet resulted in incredible time drops for our athletes. Matt Winter led the way in his 50 and 100 free. He also anchored the 200 medley relay, which now enters the Class M finals in 1st place! This set a new team co-op record!.Matt was joined by Sam Tesko, Mike Stavolone and Timur Couture. There will be stiff competition for the Wildcats at finals, with at least four teams in contention to win this event.

Other notable Suffield athletes are sophomore Braden Sunshine (’20), who dropped tremendous time in his 100 back, taking his 1:10 down into the 1:04’s. Will Dubocq started the year with a 1:14 in his 100 fly, bringing it down to 1:00 with his swim at prelims, earning him a shot of breaking a minute at finals. Ezra Audet (‘20) continued his onslaught of the 500 free, taking his time from a 6:30 at the beginning of the season down to 5:42! Wow! Sam Tesko has been a consistent performer at the meets as well, setting the standard for this team. He set a new Suffield record in the 100 back (57.60) this year, and has his sights set even higher for the future! Drew Martin-Ryan (‘20) also dropped his 100 free time from a 1:02 last year to a :54 this year. Amazing! Through Drew’s hard work, caring attitude towards teammates, and strong leadership, he has been chosen as a team captain for the 2018-19 season.

This program has enjoyed a tremendous four-year run. In 2013, the boys program finished Class S in 17th, slightly improving in 2014 to 14th. We have improved our finish annually, becoming a consistent performer inside the top 10. This current group of seniors also finishes their tenure with a dual meet record of 34-19.

Swimming is a challenging sport of dedication and focus, allowing you to reap the benefits of your work. Athletics can be a beautiful representation of life, and the grit and determination that lead to successes. Congratulations to you all!

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