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Junior Kiersten Winter sharpens her skills as a swimmer by competing throughout the year. Kiersten’s hard work has helped her become a reliable point producer for the Indians’ girls’ swimming and diving team. (Photo courtesy of Kiersten Winter )
Kiersten Winter is ready to help the North Haven girls’ swimming and diving squad turn in a successful showing at the team’s upcoming postseason meets. (Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)
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Kiersten Winter has devoted a great deal of time to progressing in the pool throughout the past decade. As a result, she’s become an impact athlete for the North Haven girls’ swimming and diving squad. Kiersten, a junior, helped North Haven post a regular-season record of 8-3 this fall. Now, she and her teammates are ready to compete in the postseason.
Kiersten says she knew that swimming was the right sport for her from the first moment she stepped on the pool deck. In addition to competing for the Indians, Kiersten also swims throughout the offseason.
“I always felt very comfortable in the water, so one day, my parents decided I had to try a sport and suggested swimming. I was in the pool at my first practice, and I instantly fell in love with the sport,” says Kiersten. “I’ve swam on various club teams and, since my freshman year, I’d do high school in the fall and continue swimming during the club season year-round.”
Head Coach Martha Phelan says that Kiersten is always prepared and has a unique ability to push herself to the max in practice. Phelan believes this is one of the biggest reasons why Kiersten constantly delivers solid times during the Indians’ meets.
“Kiersten is a very cerebral swimmer in that she plans out her races and focuses on her swimming. She’s very methodical in how she prepares,” Phelan says. “She is the first person on deck ready to train and one of those people that never sits back and relaxes. She works every set and is one of the hardest workers on the team. She is motivated on her own and is never distracted from the final goal.”
Kiersten is a versatile athlete who can swim a wide variety of events for North Haven, including the 200 individual medley, the 100 breaststroke, and the 100 butterfly. Kiersten says the breaststroke is her best event, and she likes the technical challenges that come with swimming it.
“With the breaststroke, you have to have a lot of endurance, and it’s all about having a great technique. I feel that is something I have achieved over the years and I’ve continued to expand on,” Kiersten says. “My coaches and the dedication I have put into it allows me to be the best breaststroker I can be.”
While helping the Indians see their fair share of success in the regular season, Kiersten also has also gained plenty of experience swimming for North Haven during the postseason. Kiersten has competed at both the SCC and Class M State championship meets in each of the past two years.
“I definitely feel that those meets are very important. They give me a goal to work towards. I get the opportunity to get personal records in the season and an opportunity for growth,” says Kiersten. “I feel the team really comes together and supports each other during those meets. We really cheer each other on.”
North Haven is competing in the SCC Championship this week and then has the Class M meet after that. Kiersten looks forward to lowering her times, while helping the Indians continue their climb up the state ranks throughout the rest of her tenure at North Haven. After she graduates from high school, Kiersten plans to continue swimming at the collegiate level.
“My goals for this season would be to go into the SCC and State championships and, hopefully, create a new personal record for myself...As for the future, I want to swim in college,” Kiersten says. “That is definitely a goal of mine, because I’m practicing so hard. I think it’s definitely a goal within my reach. Each practice pushes me harder and, through that, I’ve learned how to have integrity and work really hard. I’m committed.”
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