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It’s Terrier Time Sophomore Linnea for senior Short Lemerise persues her passion for the water

Senior Abby Short, an Exeter High School soccer standout, recently comitted to play Boston University this coming fall. By Shawn Stephens

Sophomore Linnea Lemerise, who has been swimming since the age of three, shares her experiences of international competitions and her dreams about the possibility of the Olympics. By Katie MacDougall

There is only one word that comes to mind when talking to Linnea Lemerise: dedication. The fifteen-year-old has completely devoted herself to swimming competitively since the age of seven, placing at regional, national, and international meets. “Being able to swim allows you to not only get a good workout in, but it helps you to get stress out and to focus better,” Linnea said. Swimming is something that she spends an average of six days a week perfecting, and she has done so for almost as long as she can remember. Her unconvenPhoto Credit: Cam Bumsted tional start in swimming began Abby Short celebrates with her teamates after their state championship when she was about three years win in 2011 old. “I was sitting on the edge of a Senior Abby Short, a foursaid.“Soccer is an important dock, right over this lake. I almost year varsity girls soccer player part of other countries and cul- fell in – luckily, my father was here at Exeter High School, tures everywhere outside the there to stop me,” she said. “After has committed to playing U.S.” that, my mom was set on getting NCAA Division I Soccer at BosIn addition to playing soccer me into swimming lessons.” Although it was her mother ton University next year. at EHS, Abby plays club soccer who chose to put her in lessons, Although several schools at Seacoast United Soccer approached Abby expressing Club, where she has received a it was Linnea who made the deciinterest in her abilities, BU great deal of attention for her sion to start swimming in meets when she was in 2nd grade. stood out to her as the best talents. While Abby feels she “I just knew that swimming was option. has gained enormous experiwhat I wanted to do; I was very ence playing club soccer and driven and motivated to start goparticipating in numerous high ing to meets,” Linnea said. level tournaments, she always The opportunity of a lifetime looks forward to playing socstruck when she was eleven cer at Exeter High School in years old. Linnea was offered the fall. the chance to travel to Austria as “School soccer is fun bea part of the People-to-People cause there is much better program and compete in an spirit; it’s more fun to play “Olympic-style sporting festival”. She was determined to go, no than club soccer,” said Short. matter what the expense, orgaThe girls varsity team here nizing fundraising efforts in order at Exeter has won the state to defray the cost. It was worth it; championship every year that Abby has attended, a winning the chance to compete with other student athletes from around the streak that she and her teamworld proved both informative mates hope to and encouraging. She ended up continue this year. with a total of eleven medals,

“It’s the feeling of winning and accomplishing something and being part of something bigger” ~ Abby Short

“I really liked the coach because she is really nice,” Short said, “I also really liked the location because it’s in the city in Boston; it seemed like a good fit.” Abby doesn’t just love soccer as a game, she loves the team effort that goes into playing. “It’s the feeling of winning and accomplishing something and being part of something bigger.” she said. She is also quick to defend soccer as a sport despite its inherent lack of popularity in the United States. “[In soccer,] watching one goal is much better than ten home-runs,” Short

Although she has received great praise for her contributions to this team effort, Abby doesn’t like to highlight her individual skill, preferring to focus on the team. “I’m okay, I guess,” she says. While it would seem that Abby should be excited about being asked to play for a college team as good as BU, she insists that she is not taking anything for granted. “I’m not going in with extremely high expectations for my playing; whatever time I get I’ll be happy with.”

having placed in every event that she swam. “When I first got there, I didn’t really know what to expect. It made me really proud in the end to know that I had placed in the top 3 in my events,” said Linnea. Linnea was quick to point out that she considers every meet to

spoke highly of her two younger sisters, both of whom swim, and her desire to remain a good role model. The coverage of the 30th Olympic games in London this past summer have kept Linnea thinking about her future. “To be able to swim for the

Photo Credit: Wikicommons The logo is from a program called People to People that in 2009 granted Linnea the opportunity to go to Austria to compete in an international swimmng competition.

be a challenge in its own right. This past summer alone, she competed in a New England meet, hosted at Harvard. She placed first in the backstroke for the 14 & Under category. Although swimming is Linnea’s first love, she has made sure to leave time for other areas of her life. Academics is clearly a top priority; the high school sophomore aims to maintain her honor roll average. Family is another; she

rest of my life, that would be incredible,” she said, adding that competing as a part of the U.S. Olympic team is one of her dreams. Until then, she is focused on the present, continuing to train, study, and stay motivated. “I put a lot of time into swimming because I want to succeed,” Linnea said.

By the Numbers Exeter vs. Winnacunnet Football First Game 1927 Biggest Margin Total Points of Victory Exeter: 19 Exeter: 1597 Winnacunnet: 0 Exeter 51-0 in 1955 Winnacunnet: 915

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