WESTFIELD, NJ — She swam the 100-yard butterfly faster than any Westfield High School girl has in recorded history.
Senior Abby McKinney set a new school record during the Lady Blue Devils’ varsity meet against Scotch Plains-Fanwood Dec. 19. McKinney is this week’s Ron Bansky and Associates Allstate Westfield Athlete of the Week. Her time of 56.90 beats the 2011 record of 57.34 set by Anna Fetter.
“I had been working for this record since last year so it felt great when I got it at this meet. The team really helped me motivate me to swim fast because there is an electric environment in the air during this meet. And it gets everyone excited because we are always cheering for someone at all times.”
The Lady Blue Devils came away from the swim meet at the Westfield Area YMCA with a divisive victory over rival Scotch Plains-Fanwood. McKinney said she and her teammates had practiced in the pool daily leading up to the meet, and coach Steve Whittington helped to bring the team the confidence on display during the competition.
“What he’s done for us made us feel confident and prepared going into the meet,” said McKinney, who has been swimming competitively since she was 8 years old and has committed to swim at the University of New Hampshire next year.
Numbers aren’t just a strong suit for McKinney in the pool.
“I really like math and science,” said McKinney, who hopes to major in secondary education at the University of New Hampshire. “I want to do something involving those.”
Closer at hand, however, is an upcoming county meet.
McKinney said the Lady Blue Devils hope to take the county championships at the end January after their close loss to Scotch Plains-Fanwood last year at counties. The Westfield team has gotten a boost in talent with the latest crop of freshman swimmers, she said.
“We lost by a couple of points, and we were really confident last year, so we really want get that win this year,” McKinney said.
Win or lose, however, McKinney and her teammates have grown close.
“It feels like we’re a second family,” she said. “I love the competitiveness of it and. I love when I break times.”
The Lady Blue Devils next face New Providence in a meet at the Westfield Area YMCA Friday, Jan. 3, at 2:30 p.m.
The Allstate Westfield Athlete of the Week is sponsored by Ron Bansky & Associates Allstate Agency. Located 502 East Broad St., the agency has been protecting local families and business owners for over 19 years. Call them at 908-301-0711 for a new auto, home or life insurance quote this week and if you mention the Allstate WHS Athlete of the Week they will make a $25 contribution to the Westfield Boosters Association! To learn more, visit ronbansky.com.