The Townies National Swim Team headed to Tampa/St. Pete, Florida on April 10th for the Nationals Competition that takes place each year. This year, they swam on the 11th, 12th and 13th of April. Having been picked for the 2014 Nationals Team, all 10 athletes had worked extremely hard to get on that flight to Florida.
Each swimmer brings something unique to the team. Charlestown Townies, swimming for the Boys & Girls Club, Charlestown, become part of “Team New England”. When the regular season ends in February, Nationals swimmers continue to practice in the pool and dry lands, both in their own club, and with Team New England. The following athletes swam for Charlestown/Team New England: Sam King, Lucy King, Maggie Gray, Eliza Nilson, Ryan Messer, Aiden Fittz, Maeve Fittz, Claire Lakus, Jolie Doherty, Afton McKinney Claire Lakus, Jolie Doherty and Ryan Messer made it to the finals (that means that they were in the Top 16 in their races). Ryan Messer really showed the country what a boy from Charlestown can do! He was in every final in the races that he competed in earlier in the day(s). Maggie Gray won one of her heats. Sam King, Lucy King, Eliza Nilson, Aiden Fittz and Maeve Fittz, swam very well and shaved time off of their races as well. Shaving time, when competing with the Nations best, is a huge accomplishment. Every child should be thrilled with their accomplishment.
There cannot be enough said about Stephanie Ward and Jessie MacDonald, the two Assistant Coaches who accompanied the children to Florida. Stephanie and Jesse are true professionals and sincerely made the swimmers more confident, ready to swim, and happy to be there. Head Coach Cassandra Hartwell had to stay back and cheer from afar as Baby Hartwell was close to arrival.
The Charlestown Townies have each other’s backs! Cheering, hugging, shouting, “go, go go” was on the lips of each swimmer. When a swimmer was in the water, the rest of the team was at the end of the lane supporting their mate(s). True sportsmanship was displayed throughout the competition.
Parents got to accompany their children on the trip, and each family was well represented. Friendships were made, fun was had by all, and a great experience overall for each family. I don’t think there is anything quite like seeing your child compete at the National Level. I know it is something I will never forget.
Congratulations to all of the amazing children and adults who made the trip successful, positive and fun. Another BIG THANK YOU to Stephanie Ward and Jesse MacDonald for giving your best to Charlestown’s children who swim.