The faces in the pool may change over the years, but the focus of the Peabody High swim team does not.
The Tanners look forward to rebuilding and growing their team, while focusing on developing personal best times and helping to foster the squad’s depth.
One season removed from a Northeastern Conference South championship, Peabody hopes its returning swimmers and some talented newcomers can mesh to put together another noteworthy campaign.
“We have a great group of young and enthusiastic athletes ready to take to the pool,” said Maureen Shea, now in her eighth season as the Tanners’ head coach.
It all starts with the captains, of which the Tanners have a quintet of this season.
Kirsten Currie, a senior, and Anthony Minichello, a junior, will both compete in a variety of events for Peabody. Fellow captains Bailey Lopes (freestyle events), Jason Canuel (freestyle and breaststroke) and William Connolly (freestyle) are seniors who help comprise this impressive group.
Shea said that Currie has shown consistent improvement in her four seasons in Tanner blue.
“We’ve seen her make dramatic improvements with the 100-yard butterfly — about a 7.6 percent improvement from a fairly fast time, which is excellent — and about a seven percent improvement overall in her 100-yard backstroke — again, hard to do when you began as a fast swimmer,” said Shea.
“We’re very proud of Kirsten’s accomplishments, not just in how much she’s gotten faster as an athlete and the long-standing (team) records that she’s breaking, but also because she was recently offered and signed a Division 1 contract with Merrimack College. She’ll be an excellent addition to that program, and we have no doubt she’ll leave her mark there.”
Other swimmers who’ll certainly earn their share of points for Peabody include Jared Aphen (freestyle), Lily Bromberger (all around), Roman Bukhovko (freestyle), Alexander Chau (breaststroke), Millie Teague (breaststroke), Stephanie McLean (freestyle) and Lauren MacPhail (backstroke).
For the divers, Isabella Forte — daughter of Stephanie, who coaches the team’s divers and is the PVMHS record holder — is back, joined by Malachy McAdams (who also swims freestyle and breaststroke).
“We have a strong squad this year, and we were pleasantly surprised at how quickly they’ve bonded as a team,” said Shea, who welcomes back Julie Shea in her third season as an assistant coach while welcoming in Hilary Bowden for her first season coaching. “If we can help them manage the back-to-back meets, and keep them healthy, they will do themselves proud in the pool this season.”