Tori Mullen - Her Final Year in the Norwood Pool

Christopher Tremblay
Issue Date: 
November, 2017
Article Body: 

Norwood senior captain Tori Mullen has swam for the Mustangs all four years of her high school career as well as participating in the pool for the Stingrays, the Norwood Aquatic Club, and the Karishim Swim Club out of Needham. Despite all the time in the pools, Mullen was not all that interested in getting into the water at an early age.
“It’s funny as my parents made my sister and I take swim lessons and we both hated it,” Mullen recalled. “But having a pool, we eventually decided to join the Stingrays and that’s when I realized that I really loved the sport, the competitiveness of swimming for a team, and being able to support your teammates.”
After she began swimming for the high school team, she felt that she wanted to get involved with more training and joined the club team Karishim; here she improved her swimming techniques as well as drastically dropping her times, but it wasn’t easy at first.
“When I first joined the swimming club, I found that I had a pain in my right arm after the first month, but I didn’t say anything,” Mullen said. “Eventually, it got to the point where I just couldn’t take it anymore and told my coach. From there we worked on adjusting my swimming style and it has been fine since.”
Since joining the high school team four years ago, Mullen has swam in a variety of events for her team, giving Coach Jennifer Rodger someone she can rely on.
"Tori is an extremely versatile swimmer; someone I can count on to do well each time she gets in the pool, Coach Rodger said. "Not only is she happy to do it, she does it well. This year, she will take part in the 100 and 200 freestyle, the 200 IM, the 100 fly and the 100 backstroke, but her primary focus is the 200 and 100 freestyle.”
Although she is predominately perusing the two freestyle events, Coach Rodger can still use her in just about any event she needs her to swim and knows that her senior captain will compete with the best of them, which speaks volumes about her versatility.
“Having such a small team it's good to have people who are versatile,” Mullen said. “When the coach needs me to do an event, I’ll do it as she knows that she can trust me to give it my best.”
Last fall, Mullen was the only female swimmer to advance to the State Tournament where she posted a time of 2:27.96 in the 200 IM; this year, she has lowered that time to a best 2:16.62 against Needham.
“Being the only female from Norwood to qualify for the states was an amazing honor,” Mullen said. “Although my performance there showed that I wasn’t one of the best swimmers, I was still happy to get there.”
Upon entering her fourth and final season with the Norwood swim team, Mullen was named a tri- captain; an honor she has been hoping for since first getting into the pool for the Mustangs.
“As a freshman, I knew that I wanted to one day be a captain,” Mullen said. “I love the entire aspect of it and although there is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes, I still want to be a leader for the team.”
According to her Coach, Mullen has improved her overall freestyle endurance since her freshman year.
“She is one second away from qualifying for the Sectionals in the 200 free and the entire coaching staff is confident that she will get there before the end of the season,” Rodger said. (On October 13th Mullen posted a time of 2:14.83 against Marshfield to qualify for the 200 freestyle)
Through the years, Mullen has shown that she can swim with the best of them; as a sophomore she was given the Most Improved award for her team and last year was named the MVP.
“Being given those awards showed me that all my hard work paid off and I was recognized for it,” Mullen said.
Coach Rodger strongly believes that Mullen is a very big part of the Mustangs success.
“Tori is a key player and if she’s absent from a meet, it is evident.," the coach said. "She’s a role model to all of our other athletes. She puts up very consistent times, and although you want to cut your times, it is very hard for an athlete to maintain those times, but Tori is a very reliable swimmer.”
While Mullen still has the rest of the year to swim with her Mustang teammates, in her final year, she hasn’t really thought about swimming on the next level.
“I love swimming and although I am undecided about college (where she wants to go), I’m not sure if I’d have the time to swim on the college level,” Mullen said. “With that said, I’d at least want to join a club or intramural team.”
So for the meantime, Mullen will continue to help her team succeed, while looking to improve her times to move onto the Sectionals, and then wait and see what comes of that.