March 3, 2021

PHS Girls’ Swimming Produces 3-0 Start, Featuring Quality Throughout the Lineup

MAKING A SPLASH: Princeton High girls’ swimmer Annie Zhao displays her breaststroke form in a recent meet. Sophomore Zhao has helped PHS get off to a 3-0 start in virtual meet competition. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

While the Princeton High girls’ swimming team won’t have the chance to compete in the county championship meet or the state sectionals, Carly Misiewicz believes that her squad can still do some big things in 2021.

“The girls look pretty good this year,” said PHS head coach Misiewicz, whose squad defeated WW/P-North 121-49 in a virtual meet last week to improve to 3-0.

“We have got a pretty full team. We have got 21 or 22 girls so that is good.”

The Tigers have got two very good sophomores in Beatrice Cai and Annie Zhao.

“Beatrice is one who can do a variety of events, whether it is the individual medley or the 200 freestyle or the 100 butterfly or the 500 free,” said Misiewicz.

“At our first meet, she swam the 200 free and 100 fly for us. She mentioned possibly wanting to do the backstroke and she may be in fly a little more. Annie is an IMer and breaststroker. She came in and impressed us as she always does, clocking 1:11 or 1:12 in the first meet in the breaststroke.”

A trio of impressive juniors, Abby Walden, Tracey Liu, and Laura Liu, also give the Tigers good versatility.

“Abby is a distance swimmer but she is a pretty good sprinter and does butterflies too,” said Misiewicz.

“I had her in three relays and the 500 in our first meet. She won the 500, she wasn’t super happy with her time. The 500 is a tough race, especially if you don’t have anybody right next to you. She got in and got the job done as she always does with a big smile. Tracey will be doing backstroke as usual. She impresses in the 50 free too coming in around 26.0 or 25 high. We need that to fill that gap since Cami [Davis] graduated last year. Laura is also one of our better sprinters in the 100 free, she was right up there with Tracey as well.

The return of seniors Ella Caddeau, who had taken a hiatus from the program, and Becca Della Rocca, who returned to PHS after spending two seasons at Hun, will bolster the lineup.

“Ella ended up coming back out this year, she was with us a couple of years ago,” said Misiewicz.

“She is going to be more backstroke/butterfly. She is pretty good at those for us and freestyle too. With Becca we are thinking butterfly and sprints. Her fly is still solid as usual.”

Freshmen Lauren Girouard, Jesse Wang, and Courtney Weber have all gotten off to a solid start for PHS.

“We have quite a few newcomers that are pretty impressive too,” said Misiewicz.

“We have Lauren in the IM and backstroke. Jesse is a distance swimmer, doing the 200 and 500 free. Courtney is a very talented breaststroker and IMer. She was right up there with Annie in the breast.”

Even though the 2021 season is limited to virtual meets, which have teams swimming separately at their pools and then sharing the results via Zoom and doing the scoring off of that, Misiewicz believes her swimmers can still progress.

“There are not going to be any sectionals or a county meet; it is unfortunate but I keep telling myself and I keep telling them take advantage of every opportunity to swim,” said Misiewicz.

“Let’s end 12-0 or whatever we can do. I feel that fact that we are having one meet a week is breaking up practice time a lot less. We can train Monday, Tuesday, have our meet on Wednesday, and then train Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. We are getting more kids who would typically be with their club.”

Keeping the kids together at the pool six days a week may be the most important thing that can come out of this winter.

“What we have been stressing all season is let’s have fun,” said Misiewicz, whose team has a virtual meet against Notre Dame during the week of March 8.

“We get to swim some co-ed meets, that is different. We are going to have fun with it. We are going to be safe, we are going to have fun. All that really matters at the end of the day is that we get to be together.”