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Cameron Cargan is having a stellar season with the North Haven boys’ swimming and diving team. A sophomore, Cameron has qualified for states in both the 50- and 100-meter freestyle events. (Photo courtesy of Cameron Cargan )
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Cameron Cargan got out to an early start in the pool. Cameron took up swimming lessons when he was six years old and then started swimming competitively at age nine. All of this experience has helped Cameron become a huge asset for the North Haven boys’ swimming and diving squad.
Cameron, a sophomore, is in his second season swimming for the Indians. Cameron attributes much of his early success to his uncle Keith Cargan, who coached him with his former club squad, the Central Connecticut Aquatic Team (CCAT).
“My parents encouraged me to do it, because my uncle graduated in 1994 from North Haven. He coached the CCAT, so I grew up on his teaching for swimming,” says Cameron. “He was one of the main coaches when I was growing up and was always there for me when I needed advice. Everything that he kind of knew how to do was based on what his coaches told him over the years. He put that back to me, so I could swim to the best of my ability.”
Even with all of his experience, Cameron came close to giving up on swimming after he was diagnosed with hearing loss in 7th grade. Cameron stopping swimming in 8th grade, but got back in the water when he entered high school. Despite this obstacle, Cameron overcomes the challenge by using the lighting system on the blocks.
“The hearing loss doesn’t deceive me or stop me from achieving what I want to achieve,” Cameron says. “On the block, there is a speaker next to the pool and, above it, is a light. As soon as you see light, it means to go. I pay attention to the light more than the sound.”
Cameron is seeing his greatest success in the freestyle events for North Haven. While Cameron swims the 200 individual medley and also in some relays, he’s putting forth his best performances in the 50, 100, and 200 freestyles this season.
“It’s my fastest stroke,” says Cameron of the freestyles. “I was tall for my age growing up, and I’m very lean. My long arms and legs are good for the stroke.”
Head Coach Martha Phelan loves the versatility that Cameron brings to her team and feels pleased that he’s having such a great year. Phelan says that Cameron is one of the biggest reasons why the Indians are sporting a record of 4-1 in their SCC Division II meets.
“He has progressed as a top contender for my lineup. He’s very versatile in that I can use him in any event, but he’s come to be a great free sprinter, having qualified for states in both the 50 and 100,” says Phelan. “He’s very enthusiastic and a happy-go-lucky kid. Cam is one of those natural athletes in the sense that he’s tall and slim and has the perfect swimming physique for sprinting.”
Cameron is seeing improvements across the board during his sophomore campaign. He’s dropped his best time in the 50 freestyle from 26.53 seconds to 23 seconds. In the 100 freestyle, Cameron has bettered his top mark from 56 seconds to a 52.7. He also recently broke the two-minute barrier in the 200 freestyle by clocking in with a time of 1:59.
“Every time I step to the block, I want to beat my personal record,” Cameron says. “I’m always upset when I don’t get that time I wanted. Next time, you want to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”
Cameron has set a few goals that he wants to accomplish throughout the next few years. In addition to serving as a leader for North Haven, Cameron is looking to win a few events at postseason meets and possibly swim in college after he graduates from high school. Ultimately, Cameron simply wants to deliver for the Indians.
“I’ve always been the kind of person to not fail. I don’t want to get disqualified, do something wrong, and don’t want to let my team down,” says Cameron. “I always want to do a good job and be that outgoing person to make my family, friends, and team proud.”
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