Keene State seniors and twins Madison and Olivia Pechulis are both swimming into their last year together, racing the same event as a part of the Keene State Swimming and Diving Team. Madison and Olivia will again be swimming the breaststroke event to end their careers as swimmers at Keene State. Madison had a stellar junior season, winning the 50 breast event at the NEISDA Championships with a time of 30.72. She finished third in the 100 breast, 10th in the 200 breast event and even won the 100 meter breast event at the Little East Championship. Olivia did just as well in her junior season, recording personal best after best at the NEISDA Championships. She placed 7th in the 50 meter breast with a time of 32.25, and placed 8th in the 100 breast with a personal best time of 1:10:63.
Coach Woolridge loves what he’s seeing from the Pechulis twins so far this season. “I think that the newest piece that they’ve added is that they’re both captains so they’ve stepped up as far as assigned leadership role,” said Woolridge. He also mentioned they’ve been going strong throughout their time here at Keene State as far as knowing who they are and how hard they train. “They’ve come a long way. They were okay when they came in and now they’ve gotten to the point where they both won events at the LEC, individual LEC champions. They are top performers who can both really carry the weight in any of the breaststroke events,” said Woolridge. He noted the interesting level of competition between the Pechulis twins, seeing as though they both swim the breaststroke event. “They seem to manage it very well. They’re close and they seem to just want each other to do well.”
The Pechulis twins are looking to go off of the success of last season and improve upon it. “My goal every year is to improve my stroke, and because we swim breaststroke it’s so important to have good technique,” said Olivia. Madison has her eyes set on the LEC championships and NEISDA’s. “ My goal would be winning my events at LEC and doing better at NEISDA’s,” she said. Olivia agreed with Madison. “Last year our team placed first, second and third in the breaststroke event so it would be nice to do that again,” Olivia added.
As mentioned before, the Pechulis twins both swim breaststroke, but that only helps them make each other better. “We do have a sense of competition, but it’s good competition. We bring the best out of each other.” Olivia talked about how they both get to show each other what they learned in practice if one misses it. “Madison is an education major and she’s [working] in the school so she doesn’t get to practice as much, but what I learn from practice one day I can show Madison the next,” she explained. Olivia and Madison reflected on the past four years at Keene State and what the experience has meant to them. “Our team has such a great dynamic with each other and I really don’t think any of us could have made it through these intense practices over the last four years without each other,” Madison said.
Jack Dey can be contacted