Saturday, May 08, 2021

Sports Person of the Week

Moriarty Helps the Indians Swim to Landmark Campaign


Junior Haley Moriarty has competed for the Guilford girls’ swimming team the past three seasons and helped the Indians make a meteoric rise during that time. Photo courtesy of Haley Moriarty

Junior Haley Moriarty has competed for the Guilford girls’ swimming team the past three seasons and helped the Indians make a meteoric rise during that time. (Photo courtesy of Haley Moriarty )

Haley Moriarty could see the enthusiasm growing among her teammates on the Guilford girls’ swim squad every day during the 2019 season. Moriarty, a junior who specializes in freestyle events and the 100 breaststroke, felt thrilled to contribute to the Indians’ landmark campaign. In the team’s third varsity season, Haley and company helped Guilford notch its first victories in team history on its way to finishing with a record of 7-6.

Haley started swimming a couple of years ago with the MADMarlins team out of the Madison Racquet & Swim Club. In her freshman year at Guilford, Haley was happy that the Indians fielded their own team for the first time after their swimmers had previously competed with the squad at Branford.

“We attended town meetings and pushed hard, along with [Head Coach Jen] Amasino, for this,” says Haley. “In the past, kids who swam in Guilford were part of the Branford team. I know that many of my friends wanted to be on a team of their own.”

Coach Amasino describes Haley as a “coach’s dream.” Amasino says that Haley is an integral member of a program that’s seen exponential growth and continues to trend upward.

“Haley is excited about being with this team every day. She comes to every meet or practice with a smile on her face,” Amasino says. “Haley will never complain or tell you that she may not feel so good today, but she’ll always seek out other kids who may not feel well and offer them encouragement.”

Haley’s favorite aspect of swimming is the duality of the sport. She likes how every individual performance in the pool contributes to the greater good of the club.

“You not only swim for yourself to set personal bests in races, but you also swim for the team,” Haley says. “As much as I enjoy doing well, it means even more to me to watch my teammates succeed. There’s a great joy in being around them all the time.”

Haley recently recorded season-best times in the 100 freestyle (56.85) and the 100 breaststroke (1:12.87) at the Class M State Championship. She also swam on the Indians’ 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle relays that set school records and finished in fourth place. It meant lot to Haley that Guilford had such a great year that featured a winning record and a ninth-place finish at states.

“We came into this season never having won a dual meet,” says Haley. “We’ve only had a varsity team for three years. We only have 17 swimmers on the team. It all goes back to hard work.”

Haley says the work ethic of senior Alex Mayo motivates her to work that much harder. Haley is willing to do whatever it takes to make herself and the team better. This is why she had no reservations about taking on the 100 breaststroke in her sophomore year.

“Coach Amasino thought I would be good at it. It took some time and lots of practice,” Haley says. “It’s not as difficult, I think, as the butterfly, but it still takes time and practice to get better at the stroke.”

Amasino says that Haley’s willingness to help Guilford succeed makes her a valuable asset for the Indians.

“Teams aren’t successful, whether it’s swimming, hockey, or baseball, or any others, unless they have a kid like Haley,” says Amasino.

Haley is thinking about going into a career in medicine or psychology. She also wants to continue swimming in college.

“I’m taking a heavy amount of science courses now and thinking about schools,” Haley says. “They’re Division I schools in swimming, and I’m thinking more towards a Division III school where I could swim.”

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