Ask Jenni Roberts about her favorite moment of the high school swimming season, and the answer from the Sanford senior might surprise those who don’t know her well.

Could it be breaking the 100-yard butterfly state record at the Class A state meet, a mark that had stood for eight years? Nope.

How about reclaiming the 200 individual medley record Roberts held for an hour or two as a sophomore, before Kristin Jackson of Falmouth slipped under it by two-tenths of a second? Nah.

Being named performer of the meet at the Class A state championships for the third year in a row? Hardly.

Must be the state records Roberts set in the 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke at the South Southwesterns?

Now we’re getting closer. The individual stuff is nice, Roberts said, but what really made her winter was Sanford winning the South Southwesterns for the third year in a row.

“It’s just that, everyone has so much fun and gets along great and cheers for each other,” she said. “Whereas at states, there’s fewer people (from the team). Only those who qualified get to go.”

That Roberts would prize team accomplishments more than her state records — 52.46 seconds in the 100 free, 55.89 in the butterfly, 56.90 in the backstroke and 2:04.63 in the 200 individual medley — is not exactly a revelation to Sanford Coach Jeremy Goulet.

“Jenni has always put a huge emphasis on her high school swimming,” he said. “Often, these club swimmers treat high school (competition) as this thing they have to do in order to make it through their high school careers. She has put considerable time into being a captain and never opted to not be there for her team.

She is as much, if not more, a high school swimmer as she is (a club swimmer).”

Roberts, who is headed to the University of Maryland on a swimming scholarship, is the Maine Sunday Telegram MVP for girls’ swimming.

She leaves Sanford not only with four state records, but also three New England marks — in the backstroke, butterfly and IM. Her times in those three events would have placed her among the top 10 Maine boys this winter. Her butterfly and IM times at the state meet automatically qualified her for All-America status by the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association.

“I think I went in (to the season) with the mind-set that I really wanted to leave my mark,” Roberts said. “I just set my mind that I was going to do something big.”

Next month at the YMCA nationals in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., she’s aiming for a finish among the top eight in her age group.

“I would be lying if I said I wasn’t going to miss her swimming and ability in the pool, but I’m a teacher first,” said Goulet, who had Roberts in a biology class. “I’m going to miss her most as a kid, as a great student. She’s fun to talk to. She always has funny stories, a joke of the day, she and a friend hooking up to a single iPod and singing bad karaoke.

“Yeah, I’ll miss the complete dominance in any event you put her into, but she’s a kid who a lot of parents would like to see their daughters grow up to be.”

 

Staff Writer Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or at:

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