“I want the 50-(yard) freestyle first. Then I want the 100,” Paione said. “I want the school records one by one.”

Paione, an Edward Little High School junior, left at least one off the list.

Lest you think she’s being forgetful or overly generous to the prior standard-bearer, keep listening.

“The 100 breaststroke is Melissa’s. I think I’m going to save that one for last,” Olivia added. “The best for last. And if not, at least both our names will be on the board.”

Melissa is Olivia’s older sister, now swimming a mile down the street from the Lewiston YWCA at Bates College.

Their brother, Andrew, graduated this past June and is in the U.S. Navy.


EL coach Scott Morrison is sad that an era will end with Olivia and grateful for his good fortune at the same time.

“I had the Brodsky boys, Andrew and Tim,” Morrison said. “I’ve had these little pockets of unbelievable swimmers. It’s crazy. How does that happen?”

Paione spent her sophomore season stalking EL’s 200 individual medley record, set by Vanessa Williamson — another Red Eddie who took her talents to Bates — more than a decade ago.

The spotlight of the KVAC championship meet was just the push, or pull, that Paione needed. Brunswick’s Jessica Russell smashed the conference record that day. Her blistering pace inspired Paione to the new EL mark of 2:13.75.

“I was close enough to the time that I knew if I pushed I’d be able to get it,” Paione said. “The record pushes you. It gives you that self-motivation, that motor.”

Paione also finished second in the 100 breaststroke at KVACs.


Although she was ill at the Class A state meet, she still produced finishes of the third in the 200 IM and fourth in the 100 breast.

Morrison might have been surprised to know that Paione was aware of Russell’s presence in the record-setting race. The coach sees that as the hallmark difference between the sisters.

“Melissa is someone who was very precise. She was concerned about swimming, the competition, like it just ate her up. Olivia is a wild and free spirit,” Morrison said. “She doesn’t care who the race is against. Melissa would want to know, OK, am I swimming against the best swimmer from that school or what’s going to happen with the race? Olivia doesn’t care. There’s no fear. She just goes for it.”

Paione, who will swim every individual event on the docket at some point during the regular season — and will be the heavy favorite in most of them — can see his point.

“Coach says she thinks about it too much, and I just go out there and have fun. I think that’s what is the difference,” Olivia said. “I just dive in, whatever. You can’t overthink.”

The youngest Paione took up the competitive sport as a tag-along at age 6. Her mom, Janet, was curious to see whether or not the allure of the pool would stick.


It did, along with soccer and softball.

Now her goal is to leave a list of numbers on the wall adjacent to the YWCA pool that are equally enduring.

Morrison predicted that Paione’s wish list may come true.

“I think it’s quite likely that Olivia will set three more records on that board this year,” he said. “50 free, 100 free, and then from there it could go to the 500 free. She could break Melissa’s 100 breaststroke record. Those are all within realm.”

Bring it on, Paione said. That’s the element of the sport she likes best.

“It’s you against the clock really,” she said. “Meanwhile, racing against other people makes it better.”

That goes for other people, past or present.

Acquaintances and sisters, alike.


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