Published: Feb 12, 2023 07:00 AM
Swimmers representing the Newtown Torpedoes look to build endurance in practice and make a splash in every meet and, on February 4, put their stamina to the test and made some significant waves for a good cause above and beyond race times and results.
They participated in the Torpedoes Swim-a-Thon, which supports the Daniel Barden Newtown Torpedo Memorial Scholarship, awarded annually by the Newtown Scholarship Association to a graduating swimmer from Newtown High School.
The Torpedoes were broken into 10 and under and 11 and over age groups, each with their own session, for a combined three hours of nearly continuous swimming at the Newtown High pool.
Since 2013, the scholarship has been awarded to 11 former members of the Torpedoes and NHS swim teams. Heading into this year, $58,500 has been donated for scholarships.
Swimmers are asked to get pledges per length of the pool (25 yards), or flat donations, from family, friends, neighbors. The 10 and under swimmers had a one-hour period to swim a maximum of 100 lengths or 2,500 yards, whichever came first.
Swimmers ages 11 and over had a two-hour period to swim a maximum of 200 lengths or 5,000 yards. Each swimmer came up with a personal goal for how many lengths they thought they could swim. This marked the first year of the swim-a-thon since 2020 due to the impact of the coronavirus.
“We’re super happy to have them back doing this,” said Lisa Irving, head coach of the Torpedoes. “Not only is it a really good fundraiser, it’s a good challenge for them. They can accomplish a lot more than they thought they could.”
Barden was a member of the Torpedoes killed in the Sandy Hook tragedy.
A small portion of funds raised supports current and future needs of the team, which consists of nearly 100 swimmers. A new computer to operate the scoreboard and kick pads are examples of items the team replaces with time, Irving said.
Volunteers, including past Torpedoes’ swimmers, such as current Newtown High team members Lauren Smiley and Daniella Guerrieri, were on hand to help out and document laps as each swimmer went end to end of the pool.
“It was fun. It was rewarding to raise money for the team (and Newtown Scholarship Association),” said Smiley, reflecting on her days participating in the event.
“It’s pretty tough but once you get older it’s a lot easier, especially when you bring water,” added Guerrieri referring to the importance of hydration to withstand the extended swim time. “I love the swim-a-thon. It’s basically the highlight of the season.”
Visit the Torpedoes website and select the Swim-a-thon tab for more details.
Sports Editor Andy Hutchison can be reached at [email protected].
Indigo Land participates in the Torpedoes Swim-a-Thon, which supports The Daniel Barden Newtown Torpedo Memorial Scholarship — awarded annually by Newtown Scholarship Association to a graduating swimmer from Newtown High School. The event was held at Newtown High on February 4. —Bee Photos Hutchison
Andrew Smiley swims laps for a good cause at the Torpedoes swim-a-thon.
Camryn Egan swims the backstroke during the swim-a-thon.
Swimmers do their laps as volunteers track their tallies at the swim-a-thon.