ST. ALBANS — Three off this week's Sharks, Zoe Montagen Litchfield, Mackenzie Smith, Anna Ebert, were selected as members of lane 6 in our 9am practice group. During practices this week, the coaching staff kept track of every little slip in focus and effort from all swimmers. Over three days, this lane only failed to do something like finish to the wall or complete a flip-turn when appropriate one time!

Mackenzie Smith (Left in the combo photo)

Mackenzie is regularly a hard-working swimmer who is a fantastic teammate, and she earned 2 personal best times (50 breast / 50 free) at this week's Shark Meet.

Anna Ebert (Middle in the combo photo)

Anna has been one of the hardest working swimmers since the first day she arrived on our team, and she happens to have an infectiously positive attitude that we all benefit from.

Zoe Montagne Litchfield (Right in the combo photo)

Zoe has been one of the hardest working members of our Reef Shark group (10 & under swimmers) since joining the team, and has not skipped a beat now that she has progressed to competing in 50 yard rather than 25-yard events. At this weeks' Shark Meet, she earned a personal best time in her 50 freestyle.

Ben Palagonia (Photo on the paddle board / kayak)

Ben was selected based on his performance at this week's Shark Meet where he earned three personal best times (50 back, breast, & free), combined with his consistently strong efforts in practice. While Ben is not the most vocal or attention-drawing member of his practice group, he does arrive each morning from Colchester in time for 7am practice in order to put forth a strong effort with an excellent attitude.

Sawyer Comfort (Photo with neon green heat winner ribbon stuck to his chest)

Sawyer was selected initially based on his performance at this week's Shark Meet. Sawyer earned two personal best times (25 back & free) and successfully completed the 25 butterfly for the first time. His strong performance is, no doubt, a direct product of his hard work and focus during practice. It is also worth noting that Sawyer has really begun to take off this year in terms of improving performance.

Teddy Tremblay (​photo not received YET​)

Teddy was selected this week based on his performance at our Shark Meet. He earned personal best times in 2 events (50 breast & free) and successfully complete an additional two events for the first time (50 fly & 100 breast). Teddy also has the challenging task of spending practices swimming in a lane with three experienced swimmers, one of whom is his older brother Jacob. As such, it's trial by fire in his first year on the team, but he handles it expertly with a goofy attitude and rarely missing smile.

Anna Ebert Age: 11

Years have you been in the program: 3

Favorite stroke to race: Backstroke

Favorite event to race: 25 Freestyle

Favorite non-racing “stroke”:

Power Bobs (combine bobbing with recovery breathing. Swimmers jump as high as they can and inhale, then exhale slowly and completely underwater before jumping again)

Greatest strength in the pool: backstroke.

Why did you join swim team? I joined because it sounded like lots of fun!!

Why do you come back?

I come back because I like making friends with people I wouldn’t see otherwise.

Favorite part of practice: The warm up because it’s really fun!!

Favorite part of swim team in general: The swim meets, because I like to compete.

Favorite type of shark: The hammerhead shark, because they are really weird looking.

Could you beat your parents in a race?

I might be able to beat my Mom, but she was a diver, and I would probably beat her in breaststroke, maybe. I would not be able to beat my Dad because he was a swimmer.

Pro-tip: If the water is colder than the air, as soon as you get in, go underwater and stay there until you get used to the water. If you have to, do it many times.

What’s one thing about swim team that people in our community might not know?

People might not realize how hard we work to be the best of the best.

Career highlight:

When I did a 25 butterfly for the FIRST time and got a time of 18.75 seconds.

Annual Shark Awards: Hammerhead Shark Award in 2019 for being a swimmer who gives 100% every day.

Ben Palagonia Age: 14

Years have you been in the program:

Swimming for 3 1⁄2 years, but this is my first as a Shark!

Favorite stroke to race: Freestyle

Favorite event to race: Medley Relay

Favorite non-racing “stroke”: Corkscrew – I like swimming in the river just for fun.

Greatest strength in the pool: My arms and legs (said with a laugh)8. Why did you join swim team?

When I was younger, I was afraid of the water, and I didn’t want to do the swim lessons at my school. I watched the summer Olympics, and I was inspired to learn to swim.

Favorite part of practice:

I like getting in the pool first thing in the morning and doing the warmup.

Favorite part of swim team:

I like socializing with my teammates between races.

Favorite type of shark: Whale Shark

Could you beat your parents in a race?

I think I could beat my parents in all events. My Mom would probably try to use her paddleboard, my stepdad would try to ski, and my Dad would try to walk – none of them swim as much as I do.

Pro-tip: Have fun with it! Get in the water as much as you can.

What’s one thing about swim team that people in our community might not know?

It’s a really great way to make friends and spend the summer.

Career highlight:

I won my heat in a really close race at CVSL last year. It was 100 freestyle, and I think I won by a touch. I worked really hard for that.

Sawyer Comfort Age: 8

Years have you been in the program: 4

Favorite stroke to race: Breaststroke

Favorite event to race: 25 Breaststroke

Favorite non-racing “stroke”: Breaststroke

Greatest strength in the pool: Being used to cold water.

Why did you join swim team: My parents signed me up.

Why do you come back? I love the team, and the coaches are amazing.

Fvorite part of practice: Diving board

Favorite part of swim team in general? Swimming

Favorite type of shark: Hybodus Shark

Pro-tip: For doing breaststroke, pull, breathe, kick, glide.

One thing about swim team that people in our community might not know: We can push the coaches in the pool if we win a meet.

Career highlight: 4th place in the medley relay at the State Championship meet.

Teddy Tremblay Age: 14

Years have you been in the program: first year.

Favorite stroke to race: Freestyle and breaststroke

Favorite event to race: 50 Breast/50 Free

Favorite non-racing “stroke”: Breaststroke 1 pull, 2 kicks (Coaches Note: this is a drill designed to improve glide, kick, and streamline)

Greatest strength in the pool: Being attentive to everything that the coaches say.

Why did you join swim team? I wanted to challenge myself

Favorite part of practice: Cool down

Favorite part of swim team: Being with others.

Could you beat your parents in a race? Yes, both in any race.

Pro-tip: If you can’t swim, lay on your back and don’t panic.

One thing about swim team that people in our community might not know? It’s a great place to take risks. (Coach’s Note: We encourage swimmers to take safe and healthy risks

around swimming, competition, teamwork, and leadership)

Career highlight: Getting better at all strokes.

Zoe Montagne Litchfield Age: 11

Years have you been in the program: 4

Favorite stroke to race: Backstroke

Favorite event to race: Freestyle

Favorite non-racing “stroke” :

Power Bobs

Greatest strength in the pool: Definitely not staying in the pool! I don’t stop during practice; I just keep going until it’s over with.

Why did you join swim team: I love to swim and wanted to be able to race against other kids.

Why do you come back?

It’s FUN! I really like my coaches and enjoy swimming with my friends!

Favorite part of practice:

When it’s over (just kidding). I love diving off the blocks and playing games like sharks and minnows.

Favorite part of swim team: The meets!

Favorite type of shark: Little tiny sharks because they don’t bite you.

Could you beat your parents in a race? Obviously! All of them. Well, I could definitely beat my Dad, but maybe not my Mom in freestyle.

Pro-tip: When you swim underwater, exhale through your nose to help you hold your breath longer.

One thing about swim team that people in our community might not know: That we practice every day, even if it’s raining.

Career highlight: Making states and coming in 4th my first year of swim team.

Mackenzie Smith Age: 13

Years have you been in the program: 4 to 5 years

Favorite stroke to race: Breaststroke

Favorite event to race: 50 Freestyle

Favorite non-racing “stroke”: Bobs

Greatest strength in the pool: I am attentive.

Why did you join swim team? My parents signed me up to become a better swimmer.

Why do you come back? My parents keep signing me up and the exercise.

Favorite part of practice: Fun Friday

Favorite part of swim team: The people.

Favorite type of shark: Hammerhead.

Could you beat your parents in a race? Both in every event except butterfly.

Pro-tip: If it’s cold out, jump in, the water’s warm.

Career highlight? Winning ribbons in states.

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