Building bonds while breaking records at the Catholic Champs Swim Meet


Olivia Caponiti '23

Varsity swimming makes waves at the National Catholic Championship this past weekend.

The Sacred Heart Greenwich varsity swim team dove into 2023 with the National Catholic High School Championship Swimming and Diving Meet January 14 and 15.  They headed to Loyola University Maryland and competed against Catholic schools from across the country, two of which are from the Network of Sacred Heart SchoolsCoach Keegan Reed celebrated the team’s success after Sacred Heart placed fifth out of twenty-seven schools and senior captain Laura O’Connor reflected on how participating in the event will benefit the team as they head into the rest of the season.

Freshman Lauren McCauley competes in the 200 Individual Medley.  Courtesy of Laura O’Connor ’23

Every year, Sacred Heart attends this meet to encounter top-ranked teams that they would not otherwise see in the Fairchester Athletic Association (FAA).  Prior to this past weekend, the team’s highest placement was twelfth overall, so this year marked improvement.  Each swimmer participated in a range of events, from medley relays to long-distance swims to short sprints, which allowed them to improve their all-around skills.  Sacred Heart athletes competed in every stroke, including freestyle, backstroke, butterfly, and breaststroke.  Three swimmers broke school records in their races. 

Senior Alexandra Bastone broke her previous record in the 200 freestyle, achieving a time of 1:52.20.  Alexandra, juniors Jane Cary, Emma Robredo, and sophomore Victoria Mordaunt broke the 200 freestyle relay time with a time of 1:41.01.  Alexandra, Jane, Emma, and freshman Lauren McCauley recorded a new record time of 3:41.57 in the 400 freestyle relay.  Many other team members achieved personal best times and placed highly in their respective events, according to Coach Reed.  Laura commented on how she saw the team’s growth throughout the meet.  

“I am very happy we went to Catholic Champs because it was such a great opportunity to meet new people and push ourselves as a team,” Laura said.  “The team even broke three records, which is always exciting to watch, as it shows the improvement of the Sacred Heart swim team over the years.  I was so proud of everyone and how they all showed up ready to compete at a high level.”

Looking ahead to the rest of the season, all that the team showed this weekend excites Coach Reed.  She expressed her thoughts on the team’s overall performance during the Catholic Championship and how she hopes it will benefit them in the future.  

Alexandra, Emma, Victoria, and Jane achieve a new record time in their relay.  Courtesy of Alex Marshall ’23

“This meet is important for the opportunity to swim against fast people and have a trial run before we get to our big New England competition at the end of the season,” Coach Reed said.  “It provided a taste for our potential.  With so many best times I think we are going to be more competitive than we’ve been in the last ten years.  The swim team is putting in hard work now so when we are rested at the end of the season we will have the ability to swim even faster than we did this weekend.”

Outside of the pool, the team participated in activities such as bowling, large team dinners, and games in the hotel.  They took part in some of these activities with the Convent of the Sacred Heart school in New York City, which allowed the network schools to connect with one another.  They watched each other’s events from the pool deck and cheered on their teammates.  Coach Reed believes that having a close-knit team will serve them well throughout the rest of their season.  She shared how this meet helped the team bond.  

“These types of meets allow swimmers to talk to teammates they don’t usually swim in a lane with which allows for some friendships and bonding that don’t normally happen during regular season practices and meets,” Coach Reed said.

Featured Image by Olivia Caponiti ’23