Going Swimmingly: Franklin High Girls’ Team Wins Hockomock, South Sectional Championships


Zach Chew Photography

FHS Girls Swimming captured the MIAA Division 1 South Sectional Title as part of a historic 2022-2023 season

Isabella Trull, Writer

Champions: a word that the Franklin High School Girls’ swim team has gotten used to hearing this past month.


On February 4th, the team, which won the Kelley-Rex title earlier in the season, placed first at the Hockomock Swimming Championship for the third consecutive year.


However, the winning didn’t stop there. A week later, the girls knocked off Duxbury High School, a girls swimming powerhouse that had won seven straight MIAA D1 South titles, to earn the first South Sectional crown in the program’s history.


This year’s Franklin team was a smaller group of only 18 swimmers, putting the Panthers at a disadvantage compared to teams of roughly 25 swimmers they faced consistently. Even so, Franklin had an undefeated season, accomplishing the aforementioned league and statewide achievements. While these titles and victories are more than impressive, the team believes that the amazing community that has resulted from the camaraderie between teammates is by far their greatest achievement.  


Hockomock League Championships:

With a remarkable score of 406, Franklin outscored runner-up Attleboro by a dominant 154 points. Franklin placed in the top six of every single race. Those who placed included seniors Maddi Lawlor (captain) and Hope Xayaveth, juniors Emma Ferriera, Sydeney Bourgeois, Ashley Desroches, Caroline Clifford, and Christine Tang, as well as sophomores Harikalal Birali, Keegan Wright

Division 1 South Sectional Championships:

During the south sectional competition, Franklin scored 226.5 points to solidify a historic season for the Pathers.

“Crazy” Franklin senior captain Maddi Lawlor said of the title. In the few years to this season, Franklin had placed outside of the top three at this level of the competition. They will compete at states the weekend of February 18th.

Celebrations after Hock win
Photo via (Zach Chew Photography) (Zach Chew Photography)

The Team

Overall, captains Faith Ellin and Maddi Lawlor are “forever proud of the team”, but the best thing about swimming in their opinions was the community it provided.

 “The feeling of having ten people crowded around you when you’re swimming is crazy…it feels nice,” Lawlor said. 

“When you can see them when you’re swimming you can’t help but smile or laugh and that just makes them cheer more…It’s a very wholesome thing,” Ellin added.

When you can see them when you’re swimming you can’t help but smile or laugh and that just makes them cheer more…It’s a very wholesome thing

— Faith Ellin

Although swimming is a very individualized sport in terms of scoring, the girls still formed strong connections and grew closer as the season progressed. Lawlor attributed much of the team’s success to group encouragement.

“You have a better swim when you know that you have people rooting for you” she said.

Ellin also mentioned that the environment change from club swim to high school has been awesome to see, adding how she’s seen “Club swimmers come to high school swim and form a community”.

FHS Girls Swimming coaches smile for the camera during one of the team’s competitions (Photo via Zach Chew Photography)

This positive support is not just seen in the swimmers, but also in their Coach.


Coach Pridham is the current head coach and was labeled by Lawlor as “One of the most supportive individuals I have met in my entire life”. This constant positive encouragement from Pridham has definitely stuck with her team and created a great environment for the girls to work hard and succeed. 


In ending their great season, the team and their eight qualifying swimmers finished third at the D1 State Meet this past weekend.