This week’s Athletes of the Week, Southington swimmer Sarah Meade and Plainville swimmer Lorenzo Samperi, are in different stages of their careers but each is coming off of a season in which they had plenty of success.
Meade was one of 12 girls to compete with Southington’s winter boys swim team. The freshman plays volleyball in the fall and is coming off a historic swim season.
Meade was a fixture in the Blue Knights’ swim lineup throughout the winter season, particularly in the backstroke, where she scored consistently.
At the end of the season she competed at the Splash Classic, a competition for girls who swim in the winter, where she earned two silver and two bronze medals.
The freshman finished in third place in the 50-yard freestyle and in second place in the 100 backstroke. On top of that, she was also part of two relay teams - the medley relay and the 200 free relay - which finished in second and third place, respectively.
Meade was the only female to qualify for the Class LL state meet and there she posted a career-best 1:02.04 in the backstroke.
“As a freshman, Sarah has established herself as one of the best athletes in the Southington swimming and diving program,” Southington head coach Evan Tuttle said. “She has earned her success through hard work and determination.
“The future of this young lady’s career is as bright as one could possibly be.”
The Plainville boys swimming team did not have the greatest season record-wise in the winter, but it did show some growth. The team seems headed in the right direction and a big reason for that is the leadership of senior Samperi.
“This season has been pretty good,” Samperi said. “I was named a captain, which was pretty cool, and this is the biggest the team has been since I’ve been here. We’ve had some pretty rough times where we didn’t have enough people showing up and not enough people swimming.”
The bigger team led to more swimmers qualifying for the Class S state meet this season. Samperi was one of those swimmers to qualify and, although he didn’t end up placing, he still considers this season a success because of the improvement he showed from beginning to end.
“We’ve lost a lot of meets in the past, but this year we definitely got more people to come out and it was a very successful year for us,” Samperi said. “We won more meets than I’ve ever seen us win, so my senior year was definitely a good year.
“On a personal level, I improved my times almost every meet this season. It’s sad that I’m done swimming competitively now, but now it’s time to start another chapter of my life after high school.”
Samperi led the younger swimmers by example through his hard work and dedication to getting better every practice and every meet, which could have a lasting impact even when he graduates.
“Lorenzo was a big senior leader for us,” Plainville head coach Chris Zagorski said. “He knows what he needs to do every time he gets into that pool and he sets a good example for the rest of the team.
“Everybody on the team knows that if you want to reach your potential, you need to work hard and Lorenzo always did.”