January 30, 2023 – Story and photos by Joshua Ross
We are breaking the mold once again this week to recognized not one, but four amazing athletes on one relay team. The four members of Hingham’s swim and dive relay team – senior captain Clara Bodnar, junior captain Kelsey Donegan, junior Lina Matera and freshman Ella Cignetti are this week’s Athletes of the Week presented by College Hype. In two meets last week, they won all four relays they raced – 200yd medley relay (twice), 200yd freestyle relay, and 400yd freestyle relay. Additionally they won 13 individual races between them, only placing second when racing each other.
They have also qualified for the state championships in the 200yd medley relay and the 400 freestyle relay. Clara also broke the school record for the 50yd freestyle with at time of 25.24.
Head coach Kaitlyn McDonough couldn’t be more pleased with the way the four are swimming right now.
“All 4 are incredibly versatile making it easy for a coach to fill a quality lineup,” McDonough says. “It’s impressive to see the chemistry this foursome has built in only 2 months, they race as if they have been training together for years. They are constantly pushing each other in practice and focusing on the little things that matter like their finishes and relay takeoffs. And that all starts with former state champ in the 100fly and senior captain Clara Bodnar. Clara is a great leader and has an unbelievable work ethic. She empties the tank on every set and every race. It’s no surprise she holds 4 records in just one season with Hingham and more to come this year. Kelsey has had an unbelievable season she had missed sectionals last year by .77 in the 100 back, so this is her comeback year, she came in lazor focused on a goal and she has absolutely crushed qualifying for 4 events at Sectionals and 1 event at states. Lina is an unbelievable competitor and can kick into high gear when needed to pull ahead in any race. Lina loves a challenge, often pushing to swim back to back races with less than 4 min rest in between. Ella is only a freshman but has hit the ground running finding her place on the team and scoring some major races. Her passion for swimming permeates and I am so excited to see what she can do over the next 3 years.”
Congrats girls on an amazing week and season so far and good luck in the coming weeks!