Return to Headlines

Swim Teams win State Vocational Championship

Swim Teams win State Vocational Championship

BILLERICA — The State Vocational/CAC boys and girls swimming championships were held during a two-day span last week, starting Wednesday with the diving and 500-yard freestyle and concluding the next day, with the events held at the Shawsheen Tech and Lynn Tech pools.

League officials did not make the official results available until Saturday night.

Mystic Valley Charter won both the boys and girls championships in the CAC portion of the meet, but as they don’t compete in the state vocational category, that still left the door open for Shawsheen Tech to rule the water. The Rams won both, as the boys captured their third straight title — fourth in the past five years and sixth title in all dating back to 2007 — and the girls captured their 14th straight title, dating back to the same 2007 season.

Also in the state vocational meet, the Greater Lowell Tech boys and girls teams both finished in second place.

Besides winning the title, the big news on the boys side for Shawsheen Tech was the 200-yard freestyle relay team of Aiden Singh, Damien Hadden, Derek Costello and Zachary Morris, which broke a school record and qualified for this upcoming weekend’s sectional meet with a combined time of 1:41.11.

“The boys team has won (the state vocational championship meet) three years in a row and four out of five years now, so we’re happy,” said Shawsheen Tech head coach Rick Menard. “And there was another program record set, so that relay team is going to the MIAA North sectionals next week. That’s the best of the best, and I think we’ll be the only (vocational) team to have qualified. I’m not sure how high we’ll be seeded, but that doesn’t matter because we’re in.”

Those four swimmers all had huge performances for the Rams. Singh started it off as he won the 500-yard freestyle on Wednesday with a time of 5:44.60, and that allowed him to come back the next day and be inserted into both the winning 200 free relay team and also in the 200 medley relay with the same three teammates, Hadden, Costello and Morris as they had a time of 2:00.71.

In addition, Singh won the 200-yard freestyle (2:10.04); Hadden won the 200 IM at 2:22.43 and the 100 freestyle at 54.81; Costello took the 50 free (25.25) and 100 butterfly (1:01.87); and Morris picked up a pair of thirds in the 50 free (25.47) and 100 free (58.84).

The 200-yard freestyle relay team of Evan Pinto, Dan Archibald, Andrew Farrell and Cole Privetera finished third with a time of 1:53.48.

Greater Lowell also had a strong meet, with three individual first-place finishes: Edward Lach in the 50 free (24.54), Derek Plateel in
the 100 backstroke (1:06.19) and Enrico Nuttoli in the 100 breaststroke (1:12.51). Also, the 400-yard freestyle relay team of Plateel, Nathaniel Gath, Nuttoli and Lach were also first at 4:01.18.

Also taking second place for the Gryphons were Plateel in the 100 butterfly (1:03.45), Gath in the 100 breaststroke (1:20.85), Lach in the 1-meter dive (159.45 points), and the 200 medley relay team of Plateel, Nuttoli, Eric Briere and Lach, who swam at 2:02.76. Nuttoli also finished third in the 200 IM at 2:33.63.

On the girls side, Shawsheen Tech absolutely dominated with 405 points, compared to 224 for second-place Greater Lowell.

“The girls had no business winning that this year,” said Menard. “Swimming is a trend and it seems like every four years, when there’s the Olympics, you start seeing a whole bunch of 8-year-olds take up the sport and then you have a hiccup. For years you’ll have some strong classes and then you’ll have some weaker classes and it’s not just us, it’s everybody.

“Our kids just don’t drop off. I don’t know what it is. We usually get one or two strong kids who we are consistent with and then everybody else just rises around them and fills in the other spots.”

Shawsheen Tech had six first-place finishes, including three relays and three individuals. The relay teams included the 200 medley behind Jacqueline Megna, Dillon Lavallee, Kinsey Boutwell and Tayla Tildsley, who came in at 2:29.66; the 200 free of Alyssa Wallace, Tildsley, Lavallee and Boutwell, which swam at 2:12.45; and the 400 free team, comprised of Wallace, Kasey McFadden, Lee Singer and Megna, which came in at 5:04.65.

In the 100 free, Tildsley and Singer were second and third at 1:10.74 and 1:18.09, respectively. Stephanie LaFond picked up a second in the 100 backstroke at 1:29.37, as did the 200-free relay team of Celina Barczak, LaFond, Alexis Vio and Leah Casey, with a combined time of 2:23.23.

The 200 medley relay team of Singer, Barczak, McFadden and Vio was also third at 2:37.40, and Barczak was third in the 100 breaststroke, coming in at 1:34.87.

The Greater Lowell girls also had a strong showing. Jessica MacFadgen led the way as the lone champion, as she won the 100 breaststroke at 1:32.06. She was also a part of two second-place relay teams: the 200 medley with Alexis Bastien, Jessica Lawler and Stephanie Williams, which came in at 2:37.36; and the 400 relay with Lawler, Emily Santiago and Williams, which finished at 5:10.90. Lawler was also second in both the 200 IM (3:00.59