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H.S. swimming/diving preview 2020-21: Athletes want to make waves

  • Swimmers from Lebanon, Hanover, Stevens, Mascoma, Bow, Hopkinton and Monadnock warm up before their NHIAA swim meet in Lebanon, N.H., on Jan. 25, 2019. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Valley News Correspondent
Published: 1/30/2021 9:55:01 PM
Modified: 1/30/2021 9:54:58 PM

Usually the only waves in high school swimming and diving come from the pool.

That hasn’t been the case with the NHIAA’s season thrown in disarray by the COVID-19 pandemic. Vermont travel restrictions have forced Hanover High — led by its three-time defending state champion girls squad — to move practices and intrasquad competition from the Upper Valley Aquatic Center to the Carter Community Building Association’s Witherell Center pool. They’re sharing the space with Lebanon, while Stevens is currently without any scheduled meets because of pandemic uncertainty.

The NHIAA is promising a state meet; it’s not going to be at its traditional site at UNH, as the university isn’t allowing off-campus groups to use its facilities. The format is also up in the air but could very likely be stretched out over several days to limit contact between large groups of athletes.

HANOVER

Coaches: Sean Uiterwyk (4) and Carl Renshaw (6).

Last year: The girls won the NHIAA state championship for the third straight year. Boys finished fourth.

League: NHIAA Division II.

Returnees: Seniors — Emma Dunbar (captain), Jocelyn Hazen (capt.), Brian Tso (capt.), Reilly Uiterwyk (capt.), Rosey Thompson, Sophia May, Nika Renshaw, Emma Sablan. Juniors — Mia Edmonds, Aidan Lackstrom, Benton Cesanek, Matthew Adner, Aislinn McDougall, Will Golec, Rebecca Berger, Elise Debo, Charlotte Pidgeon. Sophomores — Lia Steward, Caroline Healy, Rebecca Robinson, Ava Winchester, Andres Savellano, Kieran Artman.

Newcomers: Senior — Hannah Burdick. Junior — Danny Bender. Sophomores — Janina Li, Brynne Spaeth. Freshmen — Theodore Burdick, Sam Calderwood, Tessa Cullen, Josh Stearns, Rosie Keith.

Analysis: With pool time limited due to COVID, and uncertainty around when and if any meets will even happen, the Marauders have been staging weekly intrasquad competitions to help build racing and diving experience.

“We miss the opportunity for the usual meets, but we’re making the best of it. We are focused on being safe, building technique and having fun,” swimming coach Sean Uiterwyk said.

LEBANON

Coach: McKeanna Teevens (1).

Last year: Competed at state meet.

League: NHIAA Division II.

Returnees: Seniorn— Aidan Urnezis. Junior — Madilyn Herring. Sophomores — Isabella Direnzo, Angus Hall.

Newcomers: Sophomores — Nicholas Lamontagne, Ellen Wolstenholme. Freshmen — Sarah Cunningham, Katherine Herring, Adaa Karanwal.

Analysis: Coach McKeanna Teevens — the daughter-in-law of Dartmouth College football coach Buddy Teevens — praised the leadership of senior Aidan Urnezis in the abbreviated, unusual circumstances around this season.

“Right now, we’re taking it week-by-week and are grateful for each practice. If we have the chance for a meet, the athletes will be ready,” Teevens said.

STEVENS

Coach: Abbey Rouillard (3).

■Last year: No team results.

League: NHIAA Division II.

Returnees: Seniors — Hannah Lembree, Lauren O’Grady, Prescott Herzog.

Newcomers: Freshman — Elise Smith.

Analysis: The Cardinals currently have no meets scheduled for this year as COVID restrictions have made it hard to coordinate socially distant indoor meets.

“I just want to give these kids a lifelong skill for staying active. Swimming is just as much a mental sport as a physical one, and teaching that aspect of the sport more this year especially is what I believe will really help the kids in the long run,” coach Abbey Rouillard said.




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