Ward ready for challenge

Lisa Ward is an exceptional swimmer with a handful of records attached to her name, but the Trumbull High senior, who recently signed a letter of intent to compete collegiately at Central Connecticut State University, is most proud of her team’s accomplishments.

“We stuck together through some difficulties this season, including not having a home pool,” Ward said of the Eagles’ nine seniors. “The majority of us have been together since we were freshmen and to go out with a program-best seven and three record was rewarding.”

Ward, who swims the 200 IM, the 100 butterfly and with the medley relay team, knows what it takes to succeed.

“Being competitive comes naturally to me, and I’ve had my disappointments, but that only makes me want to get back in the water,” she said.

“Emotion is ninety percent of it — you have to believe in yourself and do what is necessary to get better.”

Ward also pointed to Trumbull coach Mike Ferraro as being an inspiration.

“I can honestly say that without Coach I wouldn’t be the swimmer I am today,” she said. “We all trust him, and he pushes all of us to get better every day.”

CCSU coach Bill Ball has seen this improvement.

“Lisa is a great young athlete that has continued to improve throughout her high school years,” said Ball, who signed three other recruits to bolster the roster.

“She swims for a proven coach who properly prepares his athletes to be able to handle the rigors of college training.

“We are very excited about what Lisa will bring to our team and cannot wait for her college career to begin here at CCSU.”

Central was picked to finish fourth in the Northeast Conference this season by the league’s head coaches, and the Blue Devils have finished in the top-two at the championships in the last five years and have not finished below the third spot in 13 out of 14 years — since Central became a member of the NEC in 1999.

Ward, an honor roll student, will study interior graphic design at the New Britain-based school.

“I’ve taken desktop publishing classes here at Trumbull and I’m looking forward to college,” said Ward, whose club team is Shoreline Elite Aquatics. “My mom MaryAnn and dad Steve have supported me in every way

“We go to states every year and I compete in six or seven events. The short course season ends in the spring and the long course takes place over the summer.”

Ferraro said of his prodigy:

“Lisa has been amazing both as a swimmer and a captain. She was voted captain by her peers and has lived up to the leader role, swimming hard in all the duel meets and leading the way with some must-win races.

“She trains all year-round and that gives her the ability to perform as well a she does in season and in championships.

“Lisa made a decision a couple if years ago that she wanted to take her talent to the next level. So she trained hard and after many double practices she has.

“She is a great person and I am so proud of her and all her accomplishments. She will be even better at Central next season.”