Providence-bound Lally overcomes adversity
Trevor Lally has overcome more than his fair share of adversity. One roadblock he faced was being sidelined with a right shoulder injury during his senior year but this tri-captain of the Staples boys swimming team before graduating in June didn't let it deter him and will be swimming for Providence College next year.
"I'm excited to get back into it," Lally said. "Taking a year off and watching my teammates wasn't ideal, but in the end, it didn't hurt me."
Originally, Providence placed him on the waiting list but when a spot opened up, he gleefully accepted.
"It was definitely an exciting day," Lally said. "The coach knew how I swam and it was an exciting day."
This spring, he received scholarships from the Sportsmen of Westport and Staples Tuition Grants. When the Sportsmen bestowed upon him its scholarship, they cited Lally for overcoming adversity.
"I guess it comes from motivation, a positive attitude, family, friends, coaches and teammates," he said.
Overall, he scored 278.5 points. Despite missing his senior year, he led the Class of 2010 in career points.
"I just tried hard my freshman, sophomore and junior years and I had a lot of help from my teammates and relays," Lally said. "Missing my senior year was tough and it's hard watching your teammates swim their best because you want to be out there and swim your best and support the team. Besides cheering on my teammates, there wasn't much I could do."
All three years he swam for Staples, he was its fastest breaststroker. Freshman year, Lally received the Perseverance award. Sophomore and junior years, he swam the breaststroke leg for the All-FCIAC 200-yard medley relay team.
"For three years, he gave his heart and soul to Staples swimming," Wreckers Coach Jeff Schare said. "He had an immediate impact on the team and was our best breaststroker for three years. It was tough losing him because he meant so much for the team. The good news was his presence was felt. He was there every day and acted like an extra coach."
The breaststroke became his primary stroke because it came natural to him.
"I did it, I liked it and I got better and better at it and it was just my stroke," Lally said. "I tried every stroke as a kid but the breaststroke was always the stroke for me."
Swimming the 100-breaststroke in individual events is different than swimming 50 yards or 50 meters in the medley relay because three other guys rely on you in the latter. Lally likes both the individual and relay events, which also differs because of the distances involved with both.
"In the relays, it's an all-out sprint," he said. "You have to pass your opponent and watch him closely. The turns and pull outs are the most important thing in order to get the edge on the guy. From there, it's an all-out sprint. Your legs have to be stronger and you have to have a stronger kick. It's a continuous motion and if you maintain your consistency through the sprint, you are better off."
Lally also swam 50 meters or 50 yards for the 200-freestyle relay. Swimming the 200-free relay is even more challenging than the medley relay.
"It's always a close race and you can't always listen to your body and go as fast as you can," he said. "You have to give more than you have because the races are competitive. Practice and experience are important. Relays are a team effort and you have to try as hard as everyone else to succeed."
Life in the pool began for him at age 6 when he began swimming for his country club. He then swam for Zeus in Norwalk. Growing up, Lally tried soccer, basketball, baseball and lacrosse and played lacrosse freshman year for the Staples JV team. In the end, he gave up all sports to focus on swimming.
Leadership is a strength of his as he was chosen to serve the Wreckers as one of their captains. He led by example through his work ethic and by attending every practice and meet, which doesn't always happen when an athlete is injured. Being that he wasn't able to swim, he led verbally as well by constantly encouraging his teammates.
"I loved being captain," Lally said. "I looked up to my captains when I was an underclassman and to be the voice of my team was an honor. Not being able to swim, I was able to get closer to the guys. I was on each side of the pool instead of just one side."
Academically, he consistently made the honor roll. Math is his favorite subject.
"I've been doing it for quite some time and I'm used to it," Lally said. "By the time you are done with practice and dinner, you have only so much time to do your homework before you go to bed."
At Providence, he will have to raise his performance a few notches because the competition is tougher at the college level. He's undecided about his major and career plans.
"It will be cool to see how well I can do," Lally said. "The level of training will go up, in and out of the pool."
Schare is looking forward to Lally swimming for the Friars and is happy for his former captain.
"It's exciting to see he'll jump in next year," Schare said. "If his body holds up, he'll be competitive. As long as he eases into it before he starts the intense training, he'll do well at Providence."