Captain Feature, Girls Swimming, Sports, Winter Sports

Co-Captain Macey Mannion ’19 Is “Like an Older Sister” to the Team

M.Suri/The Phillipian

After beginning swimming at a young age, Co-Captain Macey Mannion ’19 fell in love with the sport and began giving her full attention to swimming. Eight years later, Mannion has continued her passion through being Co-Captain of Andover Girls Swimming. “As a kid, I just did what my older sister did. So when she started swimming, I started swimming too. We both just stuck with it and got rid of our other sports. My older sister and my teammates around me all just kept me swimming,” said Mannion. Mannion’s speed in the distance events along with her versatility between strokes and events make her a vital asset to Andover throughout the pool, according to teammate Abby Ryan ’21. “She does our two distance events, the 200-[Meter] Freestyle and 500-[Meter] Freestyle and then she’ll be in whatever relay [Head Coach Paul] Murphy needs her to be in. She’s such an asset for the team because even though she’s a distance swimmer, she is also able to swim the 50-[Meter] and 100-[Meter] Freestyle. She has great stamina and that definitely always pushes the swimmers in her heat and in practice, she’s always leading the lane and always just setting the pace for the whole team,” said Ryan. Mannion credits her teammates as the reason she still swims today. “My teammates have played a big role in my time here at Andover. They are the ones who keep me swimming and keep me motivated during practice every day. They always keep it lighthearted and happy,” said Mannion. Similar to the way Mannion is motivated by her teammates encouragement, Mannion is essential in rallying her teammates during difficult practices, according to Co-Captain Liz Tran ’19. Tran said, “She’s always amping people up. Between sets, if people start to lag, she really gets their heart rates up again and gets people excited. She’s definitely a huge part in making sure that people stay motivated during practice.” Additionally, Mannion leads through the work she puts in practice. Mannion pushes herself above and beyond in practice by willing choosing to swim the more difficult sets, according to Hailey Wadell ’21. “Macy is a super hard worker which I think pushes us during the practices. She always chooses to do the distance set, which has more yardage, and it really takes a lot of mental toughness to complete those sets, especially right after school. She pushes the team through those sets just with positivity and because we see her grinding, we want to work harder too,” said Wadell. According to Tran, Mannion’s leadership extends beyond the pool as she always puts the team first. “She does what’s best for the team and she’s always thinking about what needs to be done and how we can improve. It really shows in how she addresses the team and how much she cares. If she sees you on the path or in [Paresky] Commons, she’s always happy to talk to you, happy to listen and she’s just a great captain and friend for the whole team.” said Tran. Ryan added, “She always has team dinners which is really fun because it’s just a nice time to hang out outside of the pool and chat about non-swimming related things. She’s a Captain in all aspects and not just with swimming.” Mannion’s mentorship and compassionate character helps her act a role model to the younger swimmers on the team, according to Wadell. “She’s able to see when one of us is having a bad day or if one of us is just a little bit off our game and she tries to help us get back on track but in the nicest way possible,” said Wadell. “She’s like an older sister to all of us which I think is the best way to be a captain.” According to Mannion, the team’s success starts with a strong team chemistry. “We try to help everybody get along. We switch up lane lines every week so everybody’s meeting new people. We make sure to cheer for everyone during meets and that everybody’s involved during swims and races. We just make sure to create a supportive environment for everyone,” said Mannion. According to Mannion, swimming is equally dependant on one’s mental state as it is their physical state. “Even though it’s an individual sport, it’s really a team sport, especially here at Andover,” said Mannion. “The mental part of swimming is a huge factor, and the way your teammates treat you and the way you treat your teammates actually affects your races a lot.”

Feb 1, 2019