Pre-meet excitement turned quickly to adrenaline when several local high schools lined up for the first meet of the season at Twin Rivers YMCA in New Bern, Nov. 20.
The atmosphere before the meet was electric. This was a big day for all teams, but especially for Lejeune High School, whose new swim team made its debut after not having a program in over a decade.
“I have been hoping for this since I was a freshman,” said Caroline Morgan, LHS senior. “When I started at LHS I was so disappointed that the school did not have a swim team and for a while it looked like we would not get one. To say I am excited is an understatement.”
The meet was kicked off by the women’s 200 yard Medley relay.
"This was exhilarating," said Stephanie Rivera-Moro, Jacksonville High School junior and daughter of U.S. Marine Corps Master Sgt. Julio Melendez. “By the time I was out of the pool, my adrenaline was going so much, I felt like I had not swam.”
The meet also saw boys’ teams compete.
“We just wanted to go out and do our best,” said Luc Fecteau of LHS. “Winning would be great, but ultimately we are just grateful for the opportunity to compete this year.”
Though it was a new experience for several swimmers, there were several seasoned swimmers present, who could show their teammates what to expect.
“We are fortunate that we have some seasoned swimmers on the team,” said Robert St. Clair, JHS swim coach. “With so many new swimmers, it is always helpful to have some veterans on the team who can help show the other swimmers what is expected and how it is done. I am very proud of all the kids today. They swam through their nerves and pushed through.”
“I could not be more proud of these kids,” said Dawn Brown, LHS swim coach.
Morgan qualified for 1A East Regional in the 100 meter breaststroke, sweeping the competition for first place. Dean Fecteau qualified in 3 events for 1A East Regional. The Devil Pups womens' 200 meter freestyle relay was 4th out of 12 teams. Lucy Pound placed 5th in the women's 50 meter Freestyle.