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Published October 23, 2013

Cousino girls swim team wins first league title since 2006

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The Warren Cousino swim team had an undefeated mark of 6-0 overall, 5-0 MAC Gold, at press time. Pictured is Patriots senior captain Sabrina Mercurio swimming the 500-yard freestyle during the Oct. 15 meet.

ROSEVILLE — Warren Cousino senior swimmers Sabrina Mercurio, Jenna Brown and Hannah Mckinnon know all too well what it’s like to be a part of a team that struggles.

All three are captains of the Patriots swim team and have been members of the team since their freshman years at Cousino.

That first year was one to forget, according to Mckinnon, but she remembers it well.

“Our freshman year, we won one meet the whole year, and it was a scrimmage,” said Mckinnon, who, along with Mercurio and Brown, is a captain.

Those struggles seem like they took place ages ago to McKinnon, especially after Cousino knocked off Roseville High 100-80 Oct. 15 to clinch its first division title since 2006.

The win helped the Patriots, led by coach Scott McDonald, preserve their undefeated record. At press time, Cousino sat at 6-0 overall, 5-0 in the Macomb Area Conference Gold Division, with three nonleague meets remaining in the season.

“We’ve never been undefeated before, so it’s a good feeling,” said Mercurio, a two-year captain. “Our team has been working really hard.”

This season has proved to be quite a turnaround campaign for the program. The Patriots finished fourth in the Gold in 2012 and last in league meets from 2008-11.

“It’s good to know that our hard work and practice has paid off and that we’ve been able to accomplish what we wanted to,” Brown said. “We’ve all changed being members of this team. For … things to finally come together, it feels really good.”

Each captain said they have enjoyed being in a leadership role with the team. The three captains sound like proud parents when discussing how each swimmer on the squad has improved over the course of this season.

Brown said it’s been important for everyone to cheer on their teammates during each event, as moral support has played a big role in Cousino’s success this season. Brown said she wants the girls who will return next season to continue being supportive to future swimmers.

“Getting to know everyone and seeing how they’ve improved for however long they’ve been on the team is really cool,” Mckinnon said. “We feel really accomplished.”

The Patriots next hit the pool for a matchup against Utica High, set for 6 p.m. Oct. 29 at Cousino.

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