Saint Joseph's College and high school swim teams make a splash

The swim teams from Bonny Eagle High School and Windham High School now call the Saint Joseph's College swimming pool their new home. The two high schools and the college shared the cost of new equipment, including timing touch pads and a console, for competitive swim meets at the campus. They also received a donation from the town of Windham, and Greely High School in Cumberland donated the scoreboard.

Steve Merrill, athletic director at Windham High School, says he's thankful for the new partnership because his three-year-old varsity swim team had to travel to away sites until now. Merrill credits swim coach Pete Small Jr., whose connections within the swim community helped to foster the new partnership. "As we became aware of St. Joe's efforts to begin a swim program, we asked them if they considered hosting meets.. they were interested, but the cost of a new scoreboard, scoring system, and touch pads was beyond reach," says Merrill.

Mike LeGage, assistant principal and athetic director at Bonny Eagle High School, says everyone is so proud of the relationship with Saint Joseph's, on both athletic and personal levels. "This relationship helps our students draw connections to life beyond high school and they have the opportunity to see a college facility in action. Our kids are very proud of St. Joe's and are so excited to have other student-athletes in the SMAA come see, as they say, 'their facility,'" says LeGage.

St. Joe's athletic director Brian Curtin says the willingness and teamwork of Small, Merrill and LeGage were crucial, along with the campus facilities department and aquatics staff. "It's very exciting .. I never thought we would have meets here so quickly. The college makes community efforts a priority, and I think this is a good example," he notes.

The two high school teams will be competing in several more swim meets at St. Joe's this season, and spectators for the meets are welcome to chair seating on the pool deck.

December 11, 2008 Contact: Charmaine Daniels at (207) 893-7723 or e-mail cdaniels@sjcme.edu