Claiming victory

Women’s swim and dive win their 12th LEC title

Just like many years before, the Keene State College women’s swim and dive team has claimed yet another LEC title, making it their 12th straight title. With 12 years under their belt, the women’s swim and dive team succeeded again in their respective field, claiming their title in Owl Nation.

Colton McCracken / Senior Photographer

Colton McCracken / Senior Photographer

Sophomore Madison Pechulis said it feels amazing knowing her team’s hard work has pulled off each year. Continuously claiming the LEC title gave the team and individuals the extra strength they needed to push through the next season, Pechulis said.

The preparation that goes into each meet is a key part to the team’s success. Pechulis has to practice six days a week, doing doubles some days, and working in the weight room. “Each Friday, the girls have a quick meeting after practice where we each talk about the good things we saw from others during the week. It helps to have the support of your whole team,” Pechulis said.

Having all of the hard work pay off in the end is the best part to it all, Pechulis said. “To know that your teammates believe in you and are cheering for you at the end of the lane is sometimes what you need to believe in yourself.”

Senior Rachel MacKinnon, who has been with the team for the past three LEC titles, said it feels great to have pulled off such an accomplishment.

MacKinnon added that to win an LEC means a lot to the team and to have accomplished 12 years in a row is amazing.

“As the team captain, I’m extremely proud of the girls and how we performed. I definitely cried a little because of how happy I was with this win. It was an exciting meet and I can’t wait to see what our next championship has to bring in a week,” MacKinnon said.

The training process was rigorous this year, the team knowing just how big of a deal it was to pull out the win, MacKinnon said.

“Especially for the seniors since we’ve been apart of it for four years now. We didn’t want to lose it our last year so we had the drive to win. We’ve worked countless hours, swam thousands of laps to prepare for that,” MacKinnon said.

Colton McCracken / Senior Photographer

Colton McCracken / Senior Photographer

As a senior, MacKinnon hopes to see the legacy of dominance continue for another decade. “I have faith in our program that we can successfully continue this streak.”

Sophomore Sydney McGough said it feels amazing to be a part of something so much bigger than herself. “I was seven, when the women won their first title [of the 12 straight], and to now be a part of the legacy is just surreal,” McGough said.

McGough said that the key to her teams success is their unwavering hard work and their ability support one another in and out of the pool.

“We go into the meet with a positive mindset. Positivity and support are crucial, especially at such an important meet,” McGough added.

With so much history of success in the women’s swim and dive team, McGough hopes to continue the legacy for her next two years and keep up the hard work.

“I hope that as a team we can continue this win streak for many years to come. I know it won’t come easy, but we know the work required and we are willing to do it,” McGough said.

Senior Alexandra McCafferty said it felt amazing to claim another LEC title and that it’s a true honor to be a part of this legacy at KSC.

“I appreciate all of the alumni who started this team and that worked so hard to be able to get us to the point of winning 12 straight LEC titles. I also look forward to watching my teammates carry on this tradition for years to come,” McCafferty said.

In order to get this end goal, McCafferty said the team put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into this win; training every single day and devoting their overall time to the sport.

Their hard work has paid off, too, for the past twelve years, which McCafferty hopes will continue.

“My hope for the future is that the Keene State swimming and diving program continues to grow and to continue our winning traditions. I will always be a part of this team in my heart even as I graduate this spring; I will continue to support my team as a Keene State owl,” McCafferty said.

Senior Margaret Dean said winning 12 straight titles makes the team feel accomplished, but each win feels like a new chapter the team has added to their dynasty.

“Our team is still in touch with most of our alumni and its not only important to our current team but past teammates that our success story of LEC’s continues forwards. And it’s amazing to think I am part of this team’s journey and it’s awesome to know I am part of this success story,” Dean said.

Dean also added that each win feels like a contribution to something much bigger than being a champion and that, as a senior, it’s fulfilling to be a part of KSC’s legacy.

The team steps up when needed and works together, often participating in events they normally don’t participate in just to add points up for the team.

“Working together on our team means swimming your part and knowing everyone, regardless what place they come in, is a valuable asset,” Dean said.

As a senior, Dean will move on, but she hopes, as she continues her journey, that the swim and dive team will continue to work hard and continue the legacy.

Caroline Perry can be contacted at cperry@kscequinox.com