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Junior Abrielle Osborne has set lifetime-best marks in two events with the North Haven girls’ swimming and diving squad this fall. Abrielle had to miss two weeks due to quarantine, but is looking forward to competing at SCCs this week. (Photo courtesy of Abrielle Osborne )
Abrielle Osborne is having breakout junior season with the North Haven girls’ swimming and diving team, despite being forced to miss time due to quarantine. Abrielle has set lifetime-best marks in both the 100 butterfly and 200 individual medley and will be looking to carry that momentum into her senior year.
Abrielle went into a two-week quarantine after coming into contact with someone who had tested positive for COVID-19. In fact, all North Haven sports shut down for a week due to a COVID case at the high school. Abrielle had to sit out when her team hosted its recent Senior Night meet, but was slated to return to action by competing at the SCC Championship this week.
Prior to SCCs, the last time that Abrielle competed for North Haven was on Oct. 19. Abrielle swam a lifetime-best time of 1:08.24 in the 100 butterfly during that meet. One week earlier, she recorded a lifetime-best performance of 2:32.39 in the 200 individual medley.
Abrielle had high expectations for herself entering her junior year. She worked hard throughout the offseason to put herself in a position to swim her best.
“[When the COVID-19 pandemic began], it was really hard not swimming at all. I started working out a lot and, when I got back in the pool with the high school team, I thought this year should be my year. I tried my hardest,” Abrielle says. “Being a junior, I knew I only had two seasons left, and I wanted to do something. I really wish that we had states, because I was definitely making it this year.”
Even though Abrielle has had a shortened season, Head Coach Martha Phelan is impressed with what the junior has accomplished this fall. Phelan says that she expects Abrielle to continuing flourishing during her senior campaign.
“Coming into this year, Abrielle was very determined to leave her mark. When we began practicing in August, it was clear that she was physically fit. She entered the season in a really good place,” says Phelan. “I immediately moved her up to a more advanced training group, and she didn’t look back. I could tell from our first meet that she was going to have a great season. The way she has dealt with quarantining says a lot about her maturity and ability to rebound. It bodes well for her senior year.”
Abrielle started swimming with the Hamden-North Haven team when she was in kindergarten. She stuck with the team all the way up until her freshman year at North Haven.
After joining the varsity squad as a freshman, Abrielle felt a little nervous about swimming at the high school level. However, once she met her new teammates, all of those worries quickly went away.
“Honestly, I was scared. But after my coach worked with me, I realized I could do it,” Abrielle says. “Everyone is so close on this team. Everyone is friends. There’s no separate groups. Everyone has a strong bond with one another. I think it’s what makes the team swim better.”
Abrielle competed in the Class M State Qualifying meet as a sophomore, finishing 35th in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:22.04. North Haven went on to claim its first state title with a first-place finish at the Class M State Championship that year. Abrielle says that being part of that championship team was the highlight of her career at North Haven so far.
“It was definitely tough. There were some of the hardest competitors there, but we did it,” says Abrielle. “We have such a strong team bond, and I don’t think we would have been able to do it if we didn’t work together as a team.”
Abrielle has found out just how difficult of a sport swimming is throughout the past several years. Despite the challenges, Abrielle feels grateful for how she’s grown as a result of competing for North Haven.
“I can call myself strong for swimming as long as I have. I think swimming is the hardest sport,” Abrielle says. “You need a lot of positivity, because there are so many ups and downs when it comes to swimming. I was able to get through those ups and downs by making friends on the swim team.”