The Hopkinton High School girls swimming and diving team has been able to improve throughout the winter despite facing a number of challenges. The Hillers have a relatively small roster, with only 13 swimmers. And their lone diver, Eve Weatherhead, had to scramble to find a place to train when the Keefe Tech pool closed.
“She had to practice separately, so she went to Wayland’s practice every day,” coach Kristen Wells said. “She has been managing that all season, but she still had a good season and she has been performing well.”
Weatherhead, a junior, finished fourth in the Tri-Valley League Showcase meet and qualified for the sectional and state meets. She will be joined by teammate Olivia Scalora, another junior, who qualified in the 50 freestyle.
“She has been working toward that 50 free qualifying time all season,” Wells said. “She is a strong swimmer in all of the freestyle events and has been the team leader in points. Her effort in practice has also been really impressive.”
Junior captain Natalie Bouffard is a strong swimmer in the breaststroke and also has been a factor on the Hopkinton relays. She dropped her times significantly throughout the season, which aided the relay efforts greatly, Wells said.
The 200 freestyle relay team, consisting of Bouffard, Scalora, freshman Anna Burke and senior Anna Bardelli, came close to qualifying for sectionals at several points this season, including just missing during the TVL Showcase meet. Still, their efforts earned high praise from their coach.
“All of them had really good improvement over the course of the season,” Wells said.
The Hopkinton girls finished 1-8-1 during the dual meet season, a record that can be largely attributed to the lack of depth and having a much smaller team than normal years. But Wells said the smaller roster did provide some advantages.
“Because it was such a small team, everyone had a chance to swim more events and score more points for the team during the dual meets,” she said.
The improvement for her swimmers across the board is what stood out to Wells the most.
“Over 90 percent of our swimmers had their best times at the TVL Showcase meet, which was awesome to see,” she said.
Another plus for Hopkinton is the fact that most of the team will return next year. Both Weatherhead and Scalora have another season to go, and there were four freshmen and five sophomores on the roster this season.
“We have a lot of our team coming back,” Wells said. “That will be very good for the program moving forward.”