The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) swim team ended their season on a high note at Boston University with record-breaking performances from junior Gabby Carr and sophomore Ruari Mullin during the Massachusetts Swimming and Diving Division II State Meet.
Of the 23 swim team members, Gabby and Ruari moved on from the regular season to compete in three events at the state meet. Gabby broke two school records previously set by herself, and was awarded 12th for her time of 1:59.43 in the 200m freestyle, and 13th for her time of 5:27.07 in the 500m freestyle. Ruari Mullin broke one of his previous school records with a time of 1:53.72 in the 200m freestyle, placing 14th statewide, being the first male in MVRHS history to do so.
Swim Coach Jonathan Chatinover said, Gabby and Ruari “both put in the time, especially the effort, and they were both rewarded for it in the end.”
Although the swim program is relatively new compared with other sports programs, Gabby explained that one reason the program has been successful is because it is personalized for each athlete. “The coaches are really good,” said Gabby. “They do specific workouts tailored to [each of] us, so we can each work on different things.”
The advanced nature of the program is attributed in part to the swim team’s partnership with the YMCA. The Y’s existing programs offer the opportunity for younger kids to get swimming experience earlier on, creating an influx of students into the high school’s ‘pool’ of competitive swimmers.
Gabby, who has been swimming competitively since she was 8 years old as part of the M.V. Makos club team, highlighted how she believes it is important to start young: “We would do meets, which is a really good experience, because it introduces you to swimming.”
Once they outgrow the Mako Team at the YMCA, the young swimmers are channeled right into the MVRHS swim program, which takes swimmers from seventh through 12th grades. Ruari also commented on his support of the middle schoolers’ involvement: “I think it’s good; the coaches don’t put too much pressure on the younger kids’ performance during meets, so it’s really just an opportunity [for them] to gain more experience.”
The swim program is expected to expand in coming years, and Coach Chatinover has a good feeling about the way this year’s swimmers have progressed over the course of the season. “It’s always great to see kids improving,” he said, “even the swimmers who aren’t placing at the conference championship. Nine swimmers swam the best times they had ever done in the 100-meter, so that makes me feel good.”