Karavas Keeps Tides of Optimism in Pool as North Haven Swim Captain
Mutual support of one another through the grueling endeavor that can be a hotly contested heat of a high school swim race can go a long way, and Maddy Karavas is using her support net in the water to skim her way to success.
The North Haven senior spent summers in a beach town that had a local swim team, on which she participated along with her brother. As Maddy took on lacrosse during her middle school years, she made her way back to the water upon entering North Haven High School.
A year ago, Maddy made her mark as a junior by being part of a foursome that cracked the top 10 in the 400 free relay with an eighth-place showing at the SCC Championship, prior to the unit finding fourth at the Class M State Championship. This season, Maddy is back for her final season in a stewardship role as a team captain, and she’s already claimed a victory right off the bat in capturing the 200 freestyle win in the campaign’s kick off meet against Shelton.
“I love how when we are all doing our own races, everyone is cheering for one another with constant support. The support has helped me do swimming for all four years of high school,” says Maddy. “What has helped me is my mindset through races and even practices. Without a positive mindset, I would not succeed in the sport. I have also gotten better by trying and not giving up on myself. Keeping my mindset positive and working hard has helped me succeed.”
Additionally a midfielder for the Nighthawks on dry land on the lacrosse turf in the springtime, Maddy is able to utilize her stamina acquired from the water to maneuver on both sides of the ball, while staying steady and upbeat to play a pivotal role in club conquests.
“My endurance has grown with doing both swimming and lacrosse, because you are constantly moving in both sports,” Maddy says. “Swimming has also helped me stay active, and my mindset has been helped through swimming. I realized no matter how I do, I am still contributing to the team.”
In addition to the 200 freestyle, Maddy has a great affection for the 100 butterfly and, although that race can wear heavily on the mind, she makes the most of it by consistently shaving off seconds from her previous time in the event before taking on the marathon of the freestyle.
“The 100 fly is both my favorite and my least favorite. It is a very hard mental race, but at the same time, I love it because I have done it my whole life and I get better at it each time I race it. By the end of it, it is worth the stress,” says Maddy. “I also really like the 200 free; it is eight laps, but I enjoy the long distance of it.”
Nighthawks girls’ swimming and diving Head Coach Kenneth Pierson marvels at the mere fact that Maddy has pushed herself to the same stature typically prevalent amongst more constant swimmers, and he is eagerly awaiting her to top her own times this coming postseason.
“Maddy is a dedicated leader and hard worker. It’s amazing how well she does only being a high school swimmer; most of the swimmers who qualify for finals at SCCs and states are year-round swimmers,” says Pierson. “Maddy won the 200 free at Shelton with only two weeks of practice after being out of the pool since last season ended. I’m looking forward to her having another great season and improving her times and placements at SCC and Class M State championships.”
Maddy’s stint as a captain has gotten off to a rousing start at the forefront of this season. While serving as the face of a very youthful bunch of swimmers this fall, Maddy’s advice to her teammates weighs that much more–making it all the more rewarding when that guidance comes to fruition for the underclassmen.
“I really like being captain so far,” Maddy says. “We have a lot of new people on the team, so it is fun to help those swimmers more and give them tips to help get their times down and help them grow. Being captain has taught me that no matter each person’s struggles, helping them succeed means that much more.”
As she sets her sights academically on the next phase of her life, Maddy looks to maintain her athletic obligations collegiately. Yet right now, it is about her and North Haven cultivating new milestones in a solo setting in order to form the foundation for team achievements.
“I want to succeed in my career and life and do the best I can in college academically, but I do not want to give up any of my sports and want to stay active,” says Maddy. “We know everyone on the team is new, and so we are encouraging them to just try their best and to not be discouraged. We are not worried about wins and losses, but we are focusing on individual times, placements, and goals.”