The Cheshire girls swim team has a long history of success by having versatile swimmers who can be productive in any event.
Last season, junior Lindsay Smalec, a focused and goal-driven athlete, was one of those versatile swimmers who made an impact in every meet.
“She was certainly a very impactful swimmer for us because I could move her around to different events depending on the strength of the teams we faced (in dual meets),” Cheshire girls swim coach Dan Mascolo said. “She was always good to go whether it was the 100 breaststroke or 200 freestyle. I knew she would always be competitive in any event, and that’s a huge luxury during the high school season.”
Smalec dominated in her specialty events — the 200-yard individual medley and 100 butterfly. She won the 100 butterfly (56.67) and was third in the 200 individual medley (2:08.65) at the Class L meet. She was second in the 100 butterfly (57.61) and seventh in the 200 IM (2:10.70) at the State Open.
She was dominant in leading the Rams to the Southern Connecticut Conference meet team championship with 1,342.5 points. She won the 200 individual medley (2:14.36) and the 100 butterfly (58.98) and contributed in two relay wins. She swam the third leg of the 200 medley relay that Cheshire won in 1:52.53 and swam the first leg of the 400 freestyle relay, which the Rams won in 3:42.74.
For her effort, Smalec has been selected the Register All-Area girls swimming most valuable player.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better season,” Smalec said. “The key for me is my team pushed me hard in practice. I would never have been successful without them.
“Four wins at the SCC meet was a great accomplishment. But the Class L championships was the best meet for me. I worked hard all season and it paid off at Class L with a win in the butterfly and a third in the 200 IM. That was a great accomplishment for me.”
Smalec is a three-time Register All-Area selection, three-time All-State selection, an All-SCC selection and earned a spot on the SCC All-Academic team. She is an All-American in the 100 butterfly.
“What separates Lindsay from other swimmers is she has tremendous closing speed, especially in the butterfly,” Mascolo said. “A lot of swimmers go out fast in the butterfly and try to hold on for the win. Lindsay starts out third or fourth and then charges hard at the end.
“Her success comes from the way she approaches the sport. She always steps on the block with confidence to do well in her event. She is very focused on what she does. She sets specific goals for herself at the start of the season and has tunnel vision in trying to achieve those goals for herself and for the team.”
Smalec is looking forward to her senior year.
“I think my strength as a swimmer is I don’t have a weak stroke, and that helps in any event I swim, especially the IM,” Smalec said. “It’s been a special season and hopefully next season will be even better. Winning the All-Area MVP makes it even more special.”