Cony’s Cecilia Guadalupi swims in the 200 meter medley relay last season at the Kennebec Valley YMCA in Augusta. Kennebec Journal photo by Joe Ph Buy this Photo

Throughout her high school swimming career, Cecilia Guadalupi wanted to be perfect.

And this season, the Cony senior pulled it off.

For the fourth straight season Guadalupi ran the table at the Class A state meet, taking home golds in all four of her events and capping off her career championship record at 16-0. For her performance, Guadalupi is the Central Maine Girls swimmer of the Year.

“I wanted to go for the four-gold again, I’ve done that my three previous years,” Guadalupi said. “I kind of wanted to keep that streak going.”

She did just that, winning the 200 IM at 2:05.45 and the 100 breaststroke at 1:04.53. She also helped the Rams win the 200 medley and freestyle relays, and was named the top swimmer of the Class A girls meet.

“I could put her in any event, and it’d be the same result,” Cony coach Bob Johnston said of Guadalupi, who set school records in the 200 IM, 500 freestyle and 100 breaststroke. “She’s just so talented in all the different strokes. … She’s a top-notch performer.”

She has been, which is why she carried the unblemished record into the state championships this season. But the goal of perfection that she had this season wasn’t the objective her freshman year when the run began.

“Oh my gosh, no,” she said. “We were going in with the intention of winning states my freshman year, and we knew the 200 IM was going to be a close race. But I was seeded fourth in the 100 breast, so I didn’t really think I had a shot. I just remember looking at the clock (after) and seeing the ‘1’ next to my name. … You could just see it in my face. I was so surprised.”

It was a different story her senior year. Guadalupi was the swimmer to watch, and she performed as such.

“I closed out the season with those same events,” she said. “The same events I did freshman year, I swam this year. So it’s kind of a nostalgic thing for me to see.”

Despite her success, Guadalupi said she wasn’t locked in from the start. She had a slow beginning to the season, and it wasn’t until January when she started to get the results and feel the excitement she was used to experiencing.

“I was mentally drained, and not really looking forward to it that much,” said Guadalupi, who also swims for a club team. “But as things started getting more ramped up, I was really excited and the team was really excited. We had a lot of energy going into KVACs.”

Guadalupi also stepped into more of a leadership role with the team. She was one of the leaders along with Gabby Low last year, but after Low graduated, it fell more on Guadalupi to be the voice for the team.

“I could feel the underclassmen looking up to me, and they see the vibes that you give off,” she said. “If you’re really focused and really driven and you’re like ‘Hey, this is a serious meet,’ then they’ll feed off of that and they’ll do well too.”

Guadalupi said she could be a fiery, emotional voice for the team — unless one of her events was coming up.

“Outside of the pool, I would say I’m very rah-rah,” she said. “But when it comes to (races), I’m much more quiet. I have a goal. I’m always thinking, I’m really in my head in meets.”

Both approaches worked, and Guadalupi led Cony to another KVAC title before the team finished fourth in Class A.

“She’s a very hard worker, and she puts the time in to be able to do what she does,” Johnston said. “She was a good leader for us. Very dedicated and determined.”

The year hasn’t come without a significant disappointment, however. Guadalupi had been training all season to compete in the YMCA Short Course Nationals in Greensboro, North Carolina in April, but found out that the meet was canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

“It was absolutely devastating,” she said. “I looked at my phone, one of my other friends who was going to nationals had texted me the link saying it had been canceled, and I literally felt my heart drop. … I was just overwhelmed by such sad, devastated feelings. I couldn’t think of anything else.”

The story doesn’t end there, however. Guadalupi will compete in the YMCA Long Course Nationals in early August, and then swim for Division II Hillsdale College in Michigan.

“At least it’s not forever,” Guadalupi said of the canceled short course meet. “I still have something to look forward to.”

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