AUGUSTA — Even after years worth of success as an underclassmen, Gabby Low didn’t want for motivation this winter.

The standout swimmer took her craft to new heights, winning the state championship in both the 100-yard backstroke and the 100-yard butterfly. She was also part of Cony High School’s title winning 200-yard medley relay team.

Cony’s Gabby Low is the Kennebec Journal Girls Swimmer of the Year. Kennebec Journal photo by Andy Molloy

“With these sort of individualized sports, you have to have the ability to push yourself,” Low, a senior, said. “You’re not going to have people around you all the time. In a basketball game, if you make a mistake, one of your teammates is there to correct it. In swimming, if you make a mistake, only you can fix it. It’s self-motivation.”

There was no better example of Low’s ability to continue both raising the bar and leaping well beyond it than her performance in the butterfly. With her winning 52.24-second time in that event at the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference meet, she earned All-American status.

For her efforts this season, Low has been selected as the Kennebec Journal Swimmer of the Year.

She turned her focus to the butterfly and backstroke disciplines before she ever got to high school and realized they were something she took to almost immediately. She admits she put a bit more energy into her pursuit of excellence there this winter.

“Last year, I was All-American ‘under consideration,’ but I didn’t end up getting it,” Low said. “It was ‘I think I can do it’ in the weeks leading up to that meet, and I was definitely focusing a little bit more on butterfly than other events because I was determined to get that All-American time.”

Low holds multiple state, conference, meet and school records after a four-year career that ran out of superlatives. Notably, she holds the Class A state meet record for the butterfly and the 200 individual medley relay. She is the school’s record holder in both the butterfly and backstroke, and part of all three of the Rams’ school-record relay teams.

Tack on a couple of butterfly records for the pool at the Bath YMCA and the KVAC, and you’ve got a swimmer who left an indelible mark on the sport across the state.

“She works hard, sets realistic goals, and is a relentless competitor,” Cony swim coach Jon Millett said. “Like all exceptional people, she has made personal sacrifices, persevered through adversity and maintained steadfast focus on her goals.

“She has celebrated the accomplishments of her goals in the moment and has never settled for mediocrity.”

Low deflects all attention from her own accomplishments. She’s as proud of the Rams’ winning another KVAC title this winter and finishing second as an undermanned team in the Class A state meet as of anything she won on her own.

She’s planning on swimming at the University of Connecticut next year, where her interest in the program was piqued by the Huskies’ team dynamic.

“Like a team sport, it’s my teammates,” Low said. “I not only swim for myself, I swim for them. They push me to be better. They’re the reason I was able to do what I did this year.”

Millet said that the other Rams learned a lot from Low, who burst onto the scene her sophomore year with some amazing individual accomplishments.

“Gabby had a lot of success (at a young age),” Millett said. “She is modestly humble and takes none of her accomplishments for granted.  This is what sets Gabby apart from the rest of the flyers in the state. It is why she is not only a great athlete — but the very best athlete around.”

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC

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