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Triton Swim Makes a Splash at CALs

After an undefeated season, the Triton Swim Team won the CAL Championship

Alexandra Flodman

By Sam Bell, Triton High School

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On the bus home from the CAL championship, co-ed swimmers for Triton celebrated their latest victory.

“Everyone worked really hard and we had a really good season,” said sophomore Alexandra Flodman.

Triton’s swim team just capped off their undefeated season by winning the Cape Ann League Championship.This is the first championship win since the team started competing in 2013. In 2018, the team won CAL open, but not the full CAL Champ title. After winning, many swimmers on the team will be moving on to States and/or Sectionals.

After going a whole season undefeated, some wonder, what is the secret to the swim team’s success? Triton Voice investigated by interviewing coaches and swimmers, as well as looking back on the team’s earlier records.

“When the program started when I was in seventh grade, we had twenty-five people on the team,” said Maggie Summit, a team captain and star swimmer for Triton.

In Triton’s first season in 2013, they did not win a single meet. In the six years since, they have been able to completely reverse their record to undefeated, and more than double the size of their team.

In Triton’s first season in 2013, they did not win a single meet. In the six years since, they have been able to completely reverse their record to undefeated, and more than double the size of their team”

“Over the years, [with] becoming so successful, I think it really has to do with our team dynamic,” said Summit. “We’re all really close even though we’re coming from four different schools, and some of them are rivals.”

The team is comprised of 53 boys and girls from Triton, Newburyport, Pentucket and Georgetown. Despite the mixed team, they all swim for Triton. This interesting dynamic makes the swim team unique when compared to other high school teams.

“There’s an unspoken rule that during swim season, no matter where you’re from, you bleed blue,” said captain Rylee Lucia.

Some swimmers attribute this mixed team’s success to their strong sense of community and family.

“Someone’s always there to support you,” said Lucia. “You always know you have support from someone on that team, so that’s a really big motivator for everybody.”

“Swim season just brings everyone together,” said Summit.

“As a team, even from different schools, we all come together as one big family,” said Lucia.

Leading that “family” is Head Coach Diane Sagaser. Sagaser has been coaching swim on and off for ten years, and has been coaching Triton for six.

“Strategy [contributed to our win at CALs],” Sagaser said“Typically swimming is an individualized sport. But high school swimming is a total team sport since winning is determined by points earned in each event.”

As explained by Lucia, “You’re not only swimming for yourself you’re swimming for other people.”

“Our head coach does such a great job of making practices that are challenging and push people to do their best,” said Summit.

Sagaser said she coaches in two styles: “Democratic” and “Autocratic”. The “Democratic” style takes in athlete input and allows them to contribute to decisions. Sagaser’s “Autocratic” style involves outlining a goal she thinks is necessary, and helping the athletes to complete it.

Preceding their win at CALs, the swim team hadn’t lost a meet. This boost in confidence was also a great motivator for them to win CALs as well.

“Once we realized we had gone undefeated everyone went ‘Oh we can win at CALs’,” said Flodman. “So, everyone really pushed hard at practices and it definitely paid off at the meet.”

“This year, we were undefeated in all of our individual meets, but it still is such a great feeling to win,” said Summit.

In the Voice’s findings, the overall trend in interviews was that it was the support of the team and the hard work they put in that was the ‘secret’ to their success.

“This year was absolutely insane,” said Lucia. “You know how hard everyone has worked for it. There’s been so much love and empowerment on the team as a whole.”

“Their dedication, determination and desire is what lead to this year’s success,” said Sagaser.

Their dedication, determination and desire is what lead to this year’s success”

— Diane Sagaser

Although their season is over, tryouts will be open to join the team next winter.

“Even if you don’t think you’re going to be the best swimmer, you should just go out and try,” said Summit. “You get the opportunity to meet people from so many different schools and you make lifelong friends that you’ll keep in touch with.”

“Join swim,” said Flodman. “Do it. It’s so fun, even if you’re not a really good swimmer[…] it’s a really good time.”

This story was originally published on Triton Voice on March 5, 2019.

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