Deering Rams Winter Athletes of the Year

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McLaughlin

Rossvall

Male:

OWEN MCLAUGHLIN, Sophomore-Swimming

* Southwestern Maine All-Star, first-team, 200 IM

* Captain

McLaughlin has put in a lot of time in the pool and he was repaid in kind this winter, emerging as one of the state’s best swimmers, one who has a very bright future.

McLaughlin started swimming at the age of nine and grew up playing baseball and soccer as well, but by the time he entered high school, thanks in large part to to his time swimming with the Southern Maine Aquatics club team and Coach Leanne Gravel, McLaughlin decided that swimming was his top sport.

“Swimming is a very good outlet for me,” McLaughlin said. “It makes me feel better about myself. It’s a team sport and an individual sport. It depends what you put into it.”

McLaughlin nearly quit high school swimming his freshman season, but he stayed with it and after placing 15th in the 100 butterfly at the 2017 Class A state meet, he became a major factor this winter.

McLaughlin opened the campaign with wins in the 200 individual medley and backstroke in a meet against Massabesic and Portland and didn’t look back. After a consistent regular season, McLaughlin sparkled at the North Division Southwesterns meet, taking first in the 100 butterfly and second in the IM. At the Class A state meet, McLaughlin was runner-up in the IM and sixth in the fly.

“I almost quit and just did club swimming, but I’m glad I didn’t,” McLaughlin said. “I’m happy with my season. I’m very competitive. I hate losing. I’m very motivated. If I see one of my peers put up a fast time, I just want to beat them.”

McLaughlin has lofty goals going forward.

“I want to be All-State next year, I’m going for two state titles and hope to take down a few team records,” he said. “I also want to swim in college.”

Based on his devotion to his sport and his steady improvement in the pool, don’t bet against Owen McLaughlin, Deering’s Winter Male Athlete of the Year. He figures to continue to impress.

Coach Sarah Rubin’s comment: “Owen’s commitment to swimming extends far beyond his own personal goals as was evidenced by his pushing several other boys on the team, all novice or non-club swimmers, to swim fast. He lent fast skins to the guys, has convinced some to swim club teams in the offseason to get faster and has his sights set not only on beating individual team records, but on relays and states finishes as well. He literally never stops thinking about swimming. I get messages from him around the clock about his goals for his own swimming career, who should swim what at meets and how to build Deering into a powerhouse. He has rallied our guys and helped to create an incredible atmosphere that I was so lucky to be able to help coach this season. He’s still young and I can’t wait to see how he’ll grow both as a swimmer and as a leader.”

Previous winners:

2016-17 Ezra Chapola (track)

2015-16 Paolo DeMarco (track)

2014-15 Hany Ramadan (track)

2013-14 Eric Delmonte (swimming)

2012-13 Jared Bell (track)

2011-12 Jon Amabile (basketball)

2010-11 Jon Amabile (basketball)

2009-10 Eddie Tirabassi (basketball)

2008-09 E.J. Googins (swimming)

2007-08 Chris Smith (wrestling)

2006-07 Brandon Carbone (basketball)

2005-06 Allen Stein (wrestling)

2004-05 Kyle Johnson (swimming)

2003-04 Brian Vail (track)

Female:

ANNAH ROSSVALL, Senior-Track

* SMAA All-Star, second-team, senior 400

* SMAA All-Star, third-team, 200

* Captain

Rossvall didn’t just excel on the track, she also left her mark on her program and school in the progress.

Rossvall started running in the fifth grade and took to it quickly.

“I realized that, hey, I’m kind of fast,” Rossvall said. “Track is all about raw emotion. You have to lay it all on the line. It’s all discipline and getting out what you put in.”

After being hindered by injury her freshman year, Rossvall placed seventh in the 400 as a sophomore and as a junior, she was fourth in Class A in the 200 (setting a school record in the process) and placed fifth in the 400.

That was a mere appetizer to what the 2017-18 season would produce.

Rossvall opened the season by winning the high jump and placing second in both the 55 hurdles and the 400. The next time out, she won the 55 hurdles, the 400 and the high jump and she continued to impress all season, also competing in the triple jump and setting and re-setting records in the 200 and 400 along the way. 

At the SMAA championship meet, Rossvall was runner-up to Scarborough’s Molly Murnane in the 400 (1 minute, 00.54 seconds) and placed third in the 200 (26.85 seconds). At the Class A state meet, Rossvall finished fourth in the 400, breaking a minute with a time of 59.33 seconds, and also came in fifth in the 200 (26.43). At the New England meet, she set a new school record in the 300, placing 18th in 42.39 seconds.

“I’m very happy with my season,” Rossvall said. “I didn’t expect to break 60 seconds in the 400. That was a goal since sophomore year. I was very excited when that happened.”

Rossvall, who played soccer for Deering in the fall, now turns her attention to outdoor track, where she is eyeing the school record in the 400 and hopes to qualify for New Englands. Rossvall belongs to Deering’s Key Club, Student Senate and National Honor Society and is weighing her college options, which include some top-notch schools, where she hopes to continue running.

Annah Rossvall, Deering’s Winter Female Athlete of the Year, was one of a kind on the track and off and her legacy will live on.

Coach Kevin Campbell comment: “Annah is the most dedicated athlete I’ve ever coached. She’s willing to do whatever it takes to improve. She has rewritten the Deering record books. Her drive to succeed is not limited to the track. She is ranked sixth in her class, volunteers for the Lincoln Middle School team and has a part-time job. Annah’s most important role on the team was a leader. She’s a person her teammates look up to. Not only does she lead by example, but she also motivates through encouragement. When other students call her a role model, you know you have someone special.”

Previous winners:

2016-17 Tasia Titherington (basketball)

2015-16 Abi Ramirez (basketball)

2014-15 Amanda Brett (basketball)

2013-14 Emma Pontius (swimming)

2012-13 Genevieve Worthley (swimming)

2011-12 Genevieve Worthley (swimming)

2010-11 Kayla Burchill (basketball)

2009-10 Claire Ramonas (basketball)

2008-09 Diana Manduca (basketball)

2007-08 Diana Manduca (basketball)

2006-07 Nicole Garland (basketball)

2005-06 Emily Sweatt (swimming)

2004-05 Rebecca Schack (track)

2003-04 Megan Urban (basketball)

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter:@foresports.

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Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at theforecaster.net. I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.