Swimming and Diving

Thornton Academy swimming and diving has been in existence for more than three
decades and continues to grow. The Golden Trojans fielded its first boys and girls teams in
1989 under the leadership of Audrey Jones and Lisa Dussault. The program was directed
by Peter Goulet for five season, until 1997. Since that time, the head coach for Thornton
Academy swimming is former University of Maine standout Kathleen Leahy. Leahy has
guided the boys team to 129 victories and the girls squad to 133 wins during her career.
The 2017 boys team captured the Southwestern Maine Activities Association championship
and finished fourth in the Class A state championship meet. After the 2021-2022 girls
team earned runner-up finishes in both the conference and Class A state championship
meets, the 2022-2023 squad won the SMAA championship for the first time in school

A number of outstanding female student-athletes have competed for the Maroon
and Gold during the three decades of Thornton Academy swimming and diving. Versatile
at both the long distances and the sprints, Katrin Wolfe won two SMAA
championships during her career. Emily Puleio is the most accomplished freestyle
sprinter in school history and won the 2010 SMAA title in the 50 yard event. Elizabeth
Tangney is the most talented diver in girls program history and won that event at the 2010
league championships. The 200 freestyle relay squad of Nora Freeman, Anna Fomichenko,
Isabelle Rocheleau, and McKenzie Lowry captured a state championship in 2022.

Thornton Academy boys swimming and diving has also featured a number of
outstanding athletes in the past thirty years. Tyler Goulden used an extensive gymnastics
background and won back-to-back SMAA and Class A state championships in 2011 and
2012. Chris Steward won six individual conference titles, a number matched by his
brother Eli; both swimmers went on to compete for Wheaton College. Their teammate
Joshua Roberts also won six individual or relay championships during his outstanding
career at Thornton and was part of the inaugural intercollegiate program at Maine
Maritime Academy. In 2017 Eli Steward won the Class A state championship in the 100
yard butterfly and joined teammates Roberts, Daniel Roch, and Joe Vail atop the podium
following the 400 yard freestyle relay. Most recently, distance standout Sebastian Shields
captured top honors in Class A in the 500 yard freestyle race in 2023.

The typical Thornton Academy boys and girls swimming and diving season consists
of nine regular season meets prior to the championship season, which takes place in
February. All boys and girls swimming and diving practices and home meets take place at
the University of New England in Biddeford. Participation in Thornton Academy
swimming and diving is a five-day per week commitment with occasional regular season
contests taking place on Saturdays.

Thornton Academy boys and girls swimming and diving is open to all interested
participants, regardless of their level of experience. Student-athletes who meet Maine
Principals’ Association qualifying guidelines earn the opportunity to compete in the Class A state championship meet held at the University of Maine and Bowdoin College in
alternating years.

Season: Winter
2023-2024 Opening Date: November 20
Boys Team: Varsity
Girls Team: Varsity
Varsity Boys Coach: Kathleen Leahy
Varsity Girls Coach: Kathleen Leahy
Assistant Coaches: Thomas Cote, Lynn Steward

Swimming & Diving Teams

Athletic Resources for parents & players