Ask Anne Guadalupi what her favorite memory of the Class A state swimming meet was and she’ll look past her surprising runner-up finish in the 200-yard freestyle and her fourth-place finish in the 100 backstroke and bring up her relay team’s sixth-place finish in the 200 medley.

“What really mattered was we had fun,” said Guadalupi, who swam the backstroke in the first leg. “I can still remember being at the blocks and everybody was so excited. It was a very special moment for me to share with my friends, even more than my own individual accomplishments.”

Guadalupi’s individual accomplishments were quite impressive nonetheless, which is why for the second consecutive year she is the Kennebec Journal Girls Swimmer of the Year.

The sophomore already holds seven Cony swimming records. This year, she broke the three she established her freshman year and set new marks in the 100 butterfly, 100 backstroke, 200 freestyle and 200 individual medley.

The term “sophomore slump” never entered Guadalupi’s vocabulary.

“She dropped a couple of seconds in all of her events,” Cony coach Jon Millett said. “She put in a lot of time and got herself into incredible shape.”

Fitness is never an issue for Guadalupi, who is a year-round club swimmer and one of the top cross country runners in the state (she was third at the Class A state meet last fall), With that in mind, she goes into each high school season thinking about how she can match or exceed her club times first, then sets her sights on other goals, such as school records.

In a sport where self-motivation is paramount to success, Guadalupi stands and swims a cut above.

“It’s her commitment to training and personal goals (that sets her apart). She’s good at setting goals,” Millett said. “She’s willing to make personal sacrifices to be successful.”

She goes above and beyond to prepare herself physically and mentally for each meet, yet she still feels the butterflies in her stomach before she swims the butterfly or any other race. She’s concerned if she doesn’t.

“I think that pushes me to go faster. It raises my adrenaline,” she said. “I rarely don’t get nervous. Usually if I’m not nervous, there’s something wrong.”

Guadalupi swam in just three events at the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference championships and helped the Rams finish second in the team standings behind perennial power Brunswick. She led them to first and second in the 200 medley and freestyle relays, respectively, and set a new school record in the 100 butterfly (1:01.25)

Perhaps it was the adrenaline boost Guadalupi received from leading the Rams to their sixth-place finish in the 200 medley relay at the state meet that led to a stunning runner-up finish and time (1:58.60) in the 200 freestyle later in the meet

Guadalupi wasn’t surprised she’d come in under two minutes in the event (she’d swam it in 1:59 at a YMCA state meet last year) but how she arrived at that time.

“I believe that was one of the best races I ever paced. The real surprise to me was my splits were so good,” she said. “My first 50 was 27 seconds and my last three 50s were all 30s. That was surprising. It sure didn’t feel like that. It was definitely a highlight of my state meet.”

There will probably be many more highlights in state meets to come.

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @RAWmaterial33


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