Track, swim, dive set records
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Throughout the long history of the high school, students have left their mark on athletics by setting school records. So far this year, multiple records have been broken in track and field and swimming and diving.
The records these athletes set were achieved by a season of hard work and intensive training, and many were credited to supportive teammates and coaches.
Girls swim and dive senior Jess Leipman broke the six-dive record, with a score of 252.15, and the 11-dive record, with a score of 405.50. According to her, she only started to dive last summer but had accumulated skills through her experience as a USA gymnast.
“It was just a pretty natural progression from gymnastics because I already knew all the spacial awareness in the air,” Leipman said. “I knew how to flip and all that. So, it was a relatively easy transition. Over the summer, I worked pretty much everyday. I started learning the basics and so then when I came to the high school team, I was prepared.”
Leipman credited her success to the rigorous practices and a variety of other factors.
“I think it was definitely the hard work I put in, but I also couldn’t have done it without my coaches,” Leipman said. “Your coaches really push you to do that dive that maybe you’re having a little trouble on, and they help you correct it if you’re doing it wrong. Definitely coaches are a huge part of that. But also, it takes a lot of determination from your part, and you really have to want to work, and if you don’t, then you’re not going to get anywhere.”
Freshman Sara Song, also a member of the girls swim and dive team, broke the 25 freestyle record, with a time of 25.17. Song was also part of the record-breaking 200 freestyle relay, with a time of 1:42.65. The 200 freestyle relay also consisted of freshmen Yasmeen Moukadeem, Sasha Bourdine and sophomore Petra Huang.
Song credited her breaking of the record to wearing a Fastskin suit at Bay States and Sectionals and getting support from her teammates.
“I think the high school training was probably the most intense swimming training I’ve ever had,” Song said.
Song also said that she is just as motivated even though she has already broken the record.
“My goal next year is to break my own record,” Song said.
The girls swim and dive team also broke the 400 freestyle relay record. The relay consisted of juniors Courtney Carroll and Valentina Rojas and freshmen Yasmeen Moukadeem and Sasha Bourdine.
Boys swim and dive captain senior Michael Levin broke both the 200 IM record, with a time of 1:58.08, and the 100 fly record, with a time of 52.12. For him, as the season progressed, the possibility of breaking records became more of apparent.
“It feels good. I definitely didn’t expect to do it since I came in freshman year,” Levin said. “It only became an idea now, but I’m proud of it definitely, and it’s something that I can look back upon when I go through college and when I’m older and if I come back to Brookline to visit, I can hopefully stop in and look back at it.”
Levin also said that during his races, he focused more on his race plan than on actually breaking the record.
“The week leading up to the meet, it was pretty much just me and my coach practicing because no one else was going to States, so we spent a lot of time focusing on a plan, like what splits I would want to go on each individual 50 and each 25,” Levin said. “And so the whole time, I was trying to focus on how I would swim each part of the race and if I thought I was going fast enough and if I thought I would need to go faster.”
Girls track and field sophomore Mary Corcoran was part of the 4×800 relay team that broke the record with a time of 10:05.63. Other members of the relay included seniors Emma Larrabee and Rae Swardstrom and sophomore Maddie Nagler.
Corcoran said that the relay team broke the record at the Last Chance Invitational meet, in which all of the members of the relay only ran the 4×800 and not any of the other events that they usually compete in.
“Usually, meets are kind of crazy and everyone is running around and running multiple events, so that meet was different,” Corcoran said. “We ran over there. We didn’t have to go until later in the day; we usually have to go really early. So, everyone was relaxed and ready.”
Corcoran also said that the presence of her teammates helped to motivate her.
“There’s a sense of trust because even though track is an individual sport, relays definitely help it to feel more of a team sport, because you know when you’re running, it doesn’t just affect you,” Corcoran said. “For me, it’s more motivating to know to give your all so the next person is set up well.”
Corcoran said that the relay team has its sights on breaking the record again during the outdoor track and field season this spring.
Boys track and field senior Noah Lindeman was a part of the boys 4×800 relay team, which included sophomore Quinn Gangadharan and seniors Zach Leonard and Evan Baker. The relay ran a time of 7:56.88 at New Englands.
Lindeman said that although the relay cut down a lot of time at New Englands, it had been improving throughout the year.
“That was a massive PR for all of us,” Lindeman said. “Everyone ran their best race at the same time, so that was really great. Basically, the perfect race. But otherwise, we had been cutting down. We had 8:12 and then we had 8:07, slowly bringing it down.”
Lindeman stressed the importance of building a sense of trust between the members of his relay.
“Especially as the number of members went down to the final people who were running in States, we were just talking to only a small group of people everyday for a couple of hours,” Lindeman said. “And spending that time definitely made us closer. So, it was a really great experience to run with those guys.”
Lindeman said he was proud of his accomplishments.
“I’m proud that we managed to break at least one record,” Lindeman said. “I’m glad that I was a part of that while at BHS. I’ve always put a great deal of importance in working hard in sports, so I’m glad there’s something concrete that I can show for it.”