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After swimming on the 200 freestyle relay at states last year, senior captain Noah Horton is once again competing in the freestyle events for the Branford-Guilford boys’ swimming and diving team this season, in addition to contributing in the 100 butterfly. (Photo courtesy of Noah Horton )
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Noah Horton recently began his senior season as a member of the Branford-Guilford boys’ swimming and diving squad. While this is only his second year in the program, Noah has been a key contributor to the team from the moment he hit the water last winter.
Noah is a senior captain on the swim team who also plays tennis for Guilford during the spring. Last season, he swam on a 200 freestyle relay that finished in 17th place at the Class LL State Championship. This year, Noah is looking to help Branford-Guilford continue growing, while strengthening his own skills with the support of his teammates and coaches.
“I just loved with swimming how you could push yourself and be part of a team. I loved that duality,” says Noah. “I love being with the people around me and trying to keep up with them. Seeing them swim motivates me to be better overall. My passion for the sport has definitely grown.”
In order to see gains, athletes typically have to endure some pain and make a few sacrifices along the way. However, for Noah, the grueling nature of swimming is an aspect of the sport that keeps him coming back to the deck day after day.
“I’ve seen myself becoming more patient and realized that things won’t come immediately. I just know that I have to grind through the practices and the results will come,” Noah says. “It’s also about trusting my coaches, and learning some technique has helped, as well.”
Noah notes that he’s diversified his skillset while competing for Branford-Guilford. Noah likes to swim the freestyles, but he’s also been pushing himself to learn other events on the fly.
“I usually do the freestyle and the butterfly. The fly is a unique stroke because of its motion, and it’s one of the hardest strokes. It’s a shoulder workout, and I love the challenge of it,” Noah says. “I’m still working on improving with the free, but I love being able to go as fast as you can there.”
Head Coach Jen Amasino praises Noah for how he gives every ounce of energy in both the pool and the classroom. Amasino describes Noah as a leader who constantly makes his team a top priority.
“Noah is a quiet leader and leads by example. He achieves well academically, makes good decisions, and gives 110 percent in practice,” says Amasino. “He’s a great kid and helps out in the community. He strives to be the best he can be. He’s one of the first people cheering someone else on, and he’ll do anything for the team. He’s made huge gains and is one of the top point contributors on the team, and I’m excited to see what he can do this season.”
As an athlete on a co-op squad, Noah enjoys the unique opportunity of contributing to a collaborative effort between two schools. Noah says that he and his teammates are ready to make a postseason splash in 2019.
“The co-op team is a great way to form a team. You have a melting pot of perspectives and skill levels,” says Noah. “We’re a young team, but we have a lot of talent. We’re looking to qualify as many people as we can for the postseason and make a deep run in both meets. Being able to come together is also an important goal. We have amazing swimmers here.”
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