Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

November 21, 2013

Awiszus closes out career with two state titles

Awiszus snags two state titles, Warriors proudly take second

By Christopher Smith
Staff Writer

---- — Throughout her young life, Maeve Awiszus had always dreamed of winning a state title.

In her final high school swim meet, she won two.

The Andover High senior won gold in the 500 freestyle (5:05.72) and 100 backstroke (59:14) as the Golden Warriors placed second as a team at the Division 1 state swimming and diving meet on Sunday at Harvard University.

“It’s just really exciting to end on a positive note,” said Awiszus, who will swim at Central Connecticut State University next year. “My best event is the 100 back. But the 500 was something different and it was exciting to win that.”

Andover, which had won four straight Division 1 titles, ended its reign in the states, finishing second to rival Chelmsford, which racked up 381.5 points to the Warriors’ 278.5.

Andover swim coach Marilyn Fitzgerald said Awiszus was an All-American with last year’s graduating seniors. But because last year’s senior class of swimmers was so powerful, Fitzgerald said Awiszus never really had the chance to take a first place.

She never even got to swim the 500 before this season, and it now has become one of her favorite events, Fitzgerald said.

“So one of (Awiszus’) goals this year was to swim the 500 at sectionals and states. To swim it and win it — today was her day. And she did save the best for last. Final meet, two first-places,” Fitzgerald said. “Her goal all year was to win one event at states and she turned around and won two.”

Fellow Golden Warriors star Soojin Kim, Awiszus’ best friend, added a second in the 200 freestyle (1:56:15).

“My goal for all my events was just to place where I was seeded (fourth) so to move up was absolutely exciting,” Kim said.

“I know how much (Awiszus) wanted it. I’m so proud of her. She definitely pushed a lot of girls this year so she was a huge contributor to the team.”

Shannon Fitzsimmons also came up big for the Warriors, placing third in the 100 breaststroke and Alison Murtagh was fourth in the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle.

Fitzsimmons, Kim, Awiszus and Rachel Landry teamed to take fourth in the 400 freestyle relay.

“Those 14 girls (who graduated last season) scored 238 of our points last year,” Fitzgerald said. “So we knew going in that to make up those kind of points would be amazing. So to end up finishing like this, it’s been almost like a fairy-tale season.

“We have so many freshmen on this team. And here (Sunday) scoring were only two seniors. So that bodes well for us.”