There was plenty of talent in and around the pool deck this season for the area girls swimming and diving teams. Our All-Herald Girls Swimming and Diving Team features the best of the best swimmers, as well as one diver.
Many of this year’s team features familiar faces as well as some new ones mixed in.
After a strong regular season and postseason, Southington lands the most selections on our team, with three swimmers, Olivia Fournier, Patrycja Zajac and Meghan Hammarlund.
Fournier is making her fourth straight appearance on the All-Herald team and with good reason. The senior continues to show why she is one of the best swimmers in the state as she continues to break records in the pool.
Fournier broke not one, not two, but six school records, including her own record for the 50 freestyle with a time of 25.11. She also helped the 200 and 400 freestyle relay teams break two more.
Having earned all-conference again this season in the 100 freestyle, she claimed two individual conference crowns while breaking one meet record and tying another at the CCC meet.
Fournier defended her 50 and 100 freestyle titles with times of 25.11 and 54.76, respectively. Fournier is now a nine-time conference champion and was awarded team MVP for the third year in a row.
Fournier plans on swimming in college and has verbally committed to Division III Trinity College.
Zajac had a tremendous season as well. Finishing her career as a four-time varsity letter winner, the Southington captain made it a clean sweep during her conference meet, where she took first in the 100 breaststroke. Zajac qualified for states and was also named all-conference.
In the fall, Zajac plans on attending Central Connecticut State University but does not plan on swimming.
The third member of the Blue Knights making the All-Herald team is first-year swimmer Hammarlund. She was chosen as girls Rookie of the Year and for the all-conference team. She qualified for states in the 100 backstroke and 200 IM.
Hammarlund was alongside Fournier when they broke the school record in the 200 medley relay. Although Hammarlund is just a freshman she already plans to swim in college.
Berlin diver Alina Whiteside also makes our team.
Whiteside received all-conference and All-State honors with her performance on the board. She placed third with a score of 249.60 (six dives) at the Class S meet and 24th at the State Open with a score of 383.3 (11 dives). Whiteside is a USAG Eastern champion for gymnastics and is also a RYLA participant (rotary leadership).
Whiteside plans on attending college after she graduates from high school but is unsure if she will play sports.
Plainville’s Lydia Weinberg once again made All-Herald this year, as the junior proved to be one the area’s strongest swimmers.
Weinberg was a finalist in four events at the Class S state meet - the 50 free, 100 free and the 200 and 400 free relay teams. She would go on to finish sixth in the 50 and ninth in the 100.
The junior captain was awarded Most Outstanding Athlete by her team as well as being honored with all-conference in the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly.
Rounding out our team is Newington’s Amber Rocheleau. The sophomore holds the school record for the 100 butterfly and 200 IM. She was awarded the MVP in 2016 and 2017 by her team and was a finalist in the 100 butterfly during this year’s Class L meet. Rocheleau is also a USA Swimming Futures qualifier and is an exceptional student, earning high honors.
Both in and out of the pool, this year’s area swimmers have had great seasons to help their teams place well.