Dec. 13, 2012
As a record-setting athlete, it can be difficult to keep things in perspective, but this is not the case for senior swimmer James Boretti. He values the team over the individual, despite the records he has set at Boston College.
From Boretti's point of view, all of his tremendous success is a result of his teammates.
"I came in here as a pretty average swimmer out of high school, the improvement I have had here has been unbelievable," Boretti said. "I really have to credit that to that teammates I've had. You come into practice and you are chasing these guys. Every day, you're racing each other and trying to chase that first guy, and now I am trying to see how much I can push the other people too."
For Boretti, practice is a competition and nobody on the team likes to lose. This creates an environment where everybody pushes one another to get better. As a team captain this year, this is the type of squad Boretti is proud to lead. Being named captain was a humbling experience because the honor is voted on by the team. Boretti appreciated the recognition because it showed that his teammates are aware of his hard work.
Besides leading the team by example, Borreti sees his job as being a liaison between the team and the coaches. As issues pop up, Boretti brings them to the coaches' attention during captain's meetings. It is usually small things like making sure the players have towels available to them after practice, but Boretti keeps track of the pulse of the team so he can deal with bigger problems if they arise.
Earlier this season, the Eagles competed at the Terrier Invitational hosted by Boston University. Boretti set the BC record for the 200-yard backstroke at the meet but the best part for him was how the entire team performed. Though they finished third, the Eagles were within 15 points of first place, which Boretti noted is minimal, considering each competing team scored over 1,000 points. He even said that the best part of the individual record was that it was evidence of how he is helping the team.
"The records are a great measuring stick, I guess, but I like to think of it as the team, as a whole, coming together and swimming great," Boretti said. "I would rather gauge myself by setting a team record."
It was a special weekend for Boretti and the Eagles as the team had great energy. Every race mattered and Boretti saw his teammates putting up personal bests everywhere he turned.
Boretti was also making tremendous contributions to the team a year ago as junior, when he was voted the team's most valuable player by his teammates. Like being named captain, Boretti saw this honor as a reflection of his hard work. He also believes that last year's team was the fastest he has been on in his four years of college, making the award even more special.
The Eagles' success this season has been the perfect way for Boretti to spend his senior year at the Heights. So far they have posted a 5-1 record. He recalls past seasons where he would always be looking to the future thinking about how he would perform against a certain team when he got to see them again. Now, there is no next season for Boretti and he sees how all the seniors have all stepped up their games to show their opponents how talented the team is.
As Boretti gears up for the end of his career as an Eagle, he is hoping to post a time under the NCAA B-Cut, which would allow to him to compete at the national meet. If he can achieve this, he would be the first swimmer in BC history to do so. It would also reflect on how Boretti has grown as a swimmer since he first came to college. He has become a team leader, a hard worker and a swimmer who his teammates feed off to become better themselves.
When Boretti graduates in May, the Westford, Mass., native will take a job as an auditor with KPMG. He hopes to keep swimming in some capacity as it has become an integral part of his life.
Written by senior Eddie Lockhart