This weekâ€™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 Southingtonâ€™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 Knightsâ€™ 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.
â€śAs a freshman, Sarah has established herself as one of the best athletes in the Southington swimming and diving program,â€ť Southington head coach Evan Tuttle said. â€śShe has earned her success through hard work and determination.
â€śThe future of this young ladyâ€™s career is as bright as one could possibly be.â€ť
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.
â€śThis season has been pretty good,â€ť Samperi said. â€śI was named a captain, which was pretty cool, and this is the biggest the team has been since Iâ€™ve been here. Weâ€™ve had some pretty rough times where we didnâ€™t have enough people showing up and not enough people swimming.â€ť
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 didnâ€™t end up placing, he still considers this season a success because of the improvement he showed from beginning to end.
â€śWeâ€™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,â€ť Samperi said. â€śWe won more meets than Iâ€™ve ever seen us win, so my senior year was definitely a good year.
â€śOn a personal level, I improved my times almost every meet this season. Itâ€™s sad that Iâ€™m done swimming competitively now, but now itâ€™s time to start another chapter of my life after high school.â€ť
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.
â€śLorenzo was a big senior leader for us,â€ť Plainville head coach Chris Zagorski said. â€śHe 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.
â€śEverybody on the team knows that if you want to reach your potential, you need to work hard and Lorenzo always did.â€ť