Nina Boudreau is crushing records this season for the Erskine Academy swim team.

But more importantly, she’s having fun.

A senior, Boudreau has had a career year for the Eagles. She’s the record holder in the 200 freestyle (2:12.94), 200 individual medley (2:30.63), 50 free (27.03), 100 butterfly (1:03.96), 100 free (59.78), 500 free (6:01.46). She’s also a part of three record-holding relay teams in the 200 medley (2:11.39), 200 free (1:55.23) and the 400 free (4:26.34).

Boudreau credits her work with her YMCA team — the Mid-Maine Dolphins out of Waterville — with helping her success at the high school level.

“I was just kind of going into the season with open eyes,” Boudreau said. “I had a new Y coach this year. We were just throwing things around, seeing what’s going to happen this year. It’s definitely been different dynamics. Practices are run differently, so it’s taking it and putting a spin to it, so it’s been harder work, but a lot more fun. I did have a lot of personal goals.”

One of her goals was breaking a minute on the 100 free, which she did by 0.22 seconds.

“I wanted to break a minute in the 100 free, set a bunch of personal bests and just kind of swim it and see how much I can do this year and see how much I could tear it up,” Boudreau said.

Hard work has also been a major factor in Boudreau’s success. She estimates that she puts in 11-15 hours in the pool each week, practicing both with Mid-Maine and Erskine.

“For (Mid-Maine) it’s definitely two hours (per practice),” Boudreau said. “It’s a half-hour on-land training and an hour and a half in the water. I do another hour for high school.”

While practicing, Boudreau said she focuses on several aspects of her events. But more than anything else, she has fun.

“I’ve just got to have fun with it. If I’m not having fun, I’m not going to do well,” Boudreau said. “That’s happened before. I’ve had a season (two years ago) where I didn’t have any fun, and I didn’t have a good season.”

That hasn’t been the case this season, and it’s shown. Especially to Erskine coach Susan Burke.

“With Nina, she’s just unique,” Burke said. “I’ve never coached a person that has such a passion for swimming. She loves doing it, and it shows. I remember when she broke the 200 (individual medley record), I said ‘What were you thinking out there?’ And she said ‘I wasn’t Coach, I was just having fun.’ She just wants to have fun. And she shares that knowledge with her teammates. I think it’s just the dedication, the passion she has for it.”

Boudreau’s passion for the sport began at the age of 6, when she was taking swim lessons.

“I had the aquatics director tell me ‘Hey, why don’t you join the team?’ I said ‘Why not?’ And it was a group called Minis. They didn’t even have a group for me. It was just kind of ‘Hey, we’re going to teach you stuff, you’re part of the team, but you’re going to be in your own little group.’ That was for a couple of years and I just moved up from there.”

Like wrestling or track, Boudreau said she enjoys the appeal of having individual success in the pool while still being part of a team.

“Being able to do relays as an option, and then having my own individual events as well, it just makes it a lot more fun,” Boudreau said.

Boudreau’s confidence is sky-high entering the postseason. She finished 14th last year at the Class B state championships in the 100 free (1:00.86) and 15th in the 100 backstroke (1:10.86). But one of those events she’s already improved upon. And it’s a new year.

“Just last meet, she did 1:03 in the 100 fly,” Burke said. “That’s just unheard of for a female.”

Boudreau’s time in the 100 fly was a 5-second improvement from her previous record.

“I’m very excited to see what’s going to happen when it’s all tapered down and I’m ready to race and I’m in a fast skin and such,” Boudreau said. “I’m ready, I’m excited. The adrenaline is there.”

Swimming will certainly remain in Boudreau’s future. She has been accepted to six colleges (Husson, Colby-Sawyer, UMaine, Wheaton, St. Joseph’s College and Springfield), five of which are recruiting her for swimming. Boudreau is looking into a graphic design career.

“I love art. I love to draw,” Boudreau said. “I love to mess around with computer art and stuff. Just kind of a side hobby.”

But until then, there’s more records to break. And more fun to be had.

Dave Dyer — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Dave_Dyer

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