After Taking Hiatus from PHS Girls’ Swimming, Caddeau Making the Most Out of Senior Season
COMING UP FOR AIR: Princeton High girls’ swimmer Ella Caddeau displays her breaststroke form in recent action. Senior star Caddeau’s versatility and leadership has helped PHS post an 8-0 record. The Tigers will look to end the winter undefeated as they face Lawrence and Steinert in virtual meets this week to wrap up the 2021 season. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
By Bill Alden
After taking a hiatus from the Princeton High girls’ swimming team the last two years, Ella Caddeau returned to the program this winter for her senior campaign.
“I was just super excited to be part of a high school team again, there is more spirited energy, especially for meets,” said Caddeau, who swam for PHS as a freshman and continued to compete on the club level over the last two seasons.
“I was just super busy the past couple of years. This is one of the only ways I can be connected to PHS because I am not going into school.”
Despite the COVID restrictions at the pool, which limit how many people can be in the pool at one time, Caddeau has still been able to connect well with her teammates.
“We were all just happy that we had pool time and a season in the first place,” said Caddeau.
“During practices we are spread out six feet apart; we are not all jumbled on the wall together like we usually are. It takes more effort to make sure that we are still getting to have conversations because we are kind of spread out. Everybody is just more grateful that we are just having a season so there is a good energy.”
The Tigers showed good energy last Wednesday as they took part in a coed virtual meet against Trenton, rolling to 130-36 victory.
“Coach Mis [PHS head coach Carly Misiewicz] does a great job of motivating us before the meets,” said Caddeau.
“Even though we don’t have somebody next to us on an opposing team we know our goal as a whole is to swim as fast as we can. We would be doing the same thing as if they were there regardless. We are racing the clock too.”
Caddeau took second in the 100 breaststroke in the meet and also competed in the 200 medley relay and the 400 freestyle relay.
“I don’t usually ever swim breaststroke, so I was happy to swim something new; I usually only swim fly and back,” said Caddeau. “I like the underwater for the butterfly and I like the kick a lot. I can get away with a lot because of my kick.”
With PHS having posted an 8-0 record, Caddeau likes the way the team has come together.
“We have a group chat, we are all always motivating each other,” said Caddeau, a team captain.
“I really feel like we are a team and all the grades communicate with each other. It is not like only the seniors are friends or only the freshmen are friends. Everybody knows each other. I have tried to help with communication. I remember when I was a freshman on the team, I really looked up to the older seniors.”
Coach Misiewicz, for her part, is thrilled to have Caddeau back for her senior season.
“Ella has brought versatility and so much enthusiasm on and off the pool deck,” said Misiewicz.
“Even on day one, she was just so excited to get back. She can swim anywhere from sprint, backstroke, and butterfly. The butterfly has definitely been her big one for us this year. She has had a lot of wins, a lot of success, a lot of good times, and consistent improvement throughout the whole season. Having her back is the boost we needed. She strengthens relays and every individual event she is in is going to be solid.”
Misiewicz credits Caddeau with strengthening the team out of the water as well.
“She is someone who really tries to get to know everybody,” said Misiewicz, whose team will look to end the winter undefeated as it faces Lawrence and Steinert in virtual meets this week to wrap up the 2021 season. “It doesn’t matter to her if you are a freshman or if you are a first-time senior who has never swum before.”
Caddeau, for her part, knows that rejoining the PHS squad for her senior season was the right decision.
“I am glad I came back; this fall with club swimming it was hard to stay motivated because we didn’t have any meets,” said Caddeau, who will be continuing her swimming career at Middlebury College where she will be competing for its Division III program.
“This just brought the fun back to swimming and also just the competitive aspect of beating a whole other team instead of just competing individually. It is so much more fun seeing people.”