By Steve Svetovich
Work harder than your competition.
That is how you become an All Regional swimmer three years in a row.
Dunmore senior swimmer Maddie Healey is that swimmer.
Daughter of Georgia and Joseph Healey, Dunmore, Maddie, 17, had the top qualifying time in the 100-yard backstroke with her school record (58.58) and seeded fourth in the 200 free (2:02:14), but could not compete in the post season due to a shutdown of athletics at school because of COVID-19.
Maddie was expected to compete at a high level in districts and state competition, so the shutdown was a disappointment.
However, she was honored with her third consecutive All Regional selection.
She will attend Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York in the fall on a scholarship. She will study chemistry and be a member of the swimming team at Marist College.
“I’m excited about it,” Maddie said. “I am excited to see what the next four years will bring. I will see if all of my hard work pays off.
“I can’t wait to be a part of the swimming team there. Chemistry is a broad major. I am not sure what I will eventually do with it, but it is a strong academic major and it will provide me with a range of decisions.”
Well spoken and personable, Maddie has a 3.65 grade point average at Dunmore. Not surprisingly, her best and favorite academic subject is chemistry. She is a member of the National Honor Society.
Maddie said her parents teach her a lot. “They teach me to always work very hard and respect my elders.”
The senior stalwart swimmer said she likes listening to music in her spare time and would like to see Post Malone in concert.
She talked about what it takes to be a good swimmer.
“It takes a lot of hard work. There is a lot of talent out there, but you need to put in the work and out work the competition.
“You need to work harder than anyone else.”
Maddie is a four-year member of the Dunmore swimming team. She has been swimming competitively since age 11 in the Dunmore Middle School. She is also a member of the Dunmore cross country team. She has been participating in cross country since seventh grade and was named “Runner of the Year” at Dunmore the past four years.
She was named MVP of the Dunmore swimming team the past three years.
Maddie this past February scored the 1,000th point of her career as a swimmer. With a time of 58.58 seconds, she broke the school backstroke record set by Coleen Brown in 2019. The previous record was 01.01.03.
“It was an incredible feeling,” she said.
Maddie said she and her teammates were heartbroken when a COVID-19 outbreak cancelled Dunmore’s post season.,”All of our hard work was just taken away from us. We were all heartbroken. We were so much looking forward to it.”
Last year the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled the state playoffs for Dunmore. Maddie had placed fourth in the 200 freestyle and third in the 500 freestyle in districts as a junior.
Her swimming coach at Dunmore is John Andreoli. “He teaches us a lot of life lessons,” Maddie said. “He tells us to always be there for each other and the team is most important.”
The articulate, hard working senior talked about what it takes to excel as a swimmer.
“You need to dedicate yourself to swimming and put in the time. You need to work hard in and out of the pool. You need to work on both your training and diet. Diet and eating the right food is a big factor. Plus your training out of the pool is a big aspect of it.”
Maddie talked about her Dunmore experience. “Well, due to the COVID pandemic the past year and a half is not what I expected. None of us did. But it has been a great four years to be a part of Dunmore High School and the swimming team. Dunmore is a great school. We are all obviously disappointed in not being able to compete in the post season. I am looking forward to attending Marist in the fall.”