Ellie Field

Eighth grade, Hoosac Valley

The Hurricane never looked overwhelmed by the pressure of swimming in varsity meets and that continued right on through the postseason where she continued to excel. At states, she finished 11th in the 200 free and 14th in the 100 butterfly.

The coach's take: She's a great swimmer. She has clear head going into swimming, and she's just raw talent.

I knew she was really good. I had seen her when she was younger, and I knew she was going to be a very talented swimmer. I guess her times shocked me, though. They're just really fast for her age, which is awesome.

-- Eryn Brewer, Hoosac coach

 

Liz Bernardy

Sophomore, Hoosac Valley

Liz spent last year away from the high school scene, opting to swim club instead. It seems to have been the right decision for the sophomore, as she qualified for Western Mass. and states in multiple individual events. Her best finish at states was a 14th-place result in the 100 breaststroke.


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The coach's take: She's always been dedicated to swimming, but I think, this past year when she swam Purple Valley Aquatics, I think that she really came back with a different mindset. ... She definitely did every practice exactly how it was supposed to be. ... She came back with a competitive edge where she doesn't want to lose, and she wants to do the best that she can.

-- Brewer

 

Alyssa Bush

Senior, Hoosac Valley

Alyssa missed her junior season because of a knee injury, but came back for her final season and excelled. She finished 17th in the 100 fly at states, despite having to regain all of the conditioning she lost while injured.

The coach's take: She was more relaxed this year. I think that after having the knee injury, it had to take her a few steps back because she was starting back at zero ... I think that anybody could become defeated when that happens, and I think, she just came in with a really clear mind and she was ready to go. But she was ready to see what she was capable of doing. It was nice to see her just having fun with it.

-- Brewer

 

Michaella Vecchiarelli

Senior, Hoosac Valley

It's been a battle for three seasons for this Hurricane to qualify for states, but in her final season, she accomplished it. She qualified for the 50 free and finished 33rd. She narrowly missed qualifying for Western Mass. in the 100 free by a few hundredths of a second.

The coach's take: She had a great season. She was very tough on herself. She got very down on herself for not qualifying last year for states. ... Then she did it, and it was nice that she did it pretty early on in the season because the rest of the season she was just able to kind of relax.

-- Brewer

 

Julia Whitney

Sophomore, Hoosac Valley

Julia success this season was a result in a mindset change. She came into the season with specific goals she wanted to accomplish and followed through, qualifying for states in the 200 IM and 100 breast. Her value to the team came from her versatility in the pool.

The coach's take: She was definitely one of the people that I could count on to put in a number of events because she can do a number of events, which is nice to have those people you can kind of float around to different areas where you need them.

[At states], she got a best time in the breaststroke for the season, she got her best time in the IM by 2 or 3 seconds, which was great to see because she's capable of it, more than capable of it.

-- Brewer

 

Emma Whitney

Sophomore, Hoosac Valley

Emma swam both the backstroke and the butterfly at states. The backstroke was no surprise to her coach because of her talent in the event. The butterfly, which she finished ninth in was a call back to her younger days.

The coach's take: She is also another one that she can swim anything that you need her to swim. ... We kind of got in the season, I had her swim fly a few times in practice. I think she was getting really down on herself with the backstroke, so we switched her to fly and started swimming fly a little bit more, started training that a little bit more, so she could relax. She ended up having a great time at states in her 100 fly.

-- Brewer

 

Liz Bartlett

Freshman, Hoosac Valley

It was Liz's first season swimming for Hoosac, and the first half of the season was about getting familiar with the coach and practices. Once she was able to relax a little bit more, the talent took over and carried her to states in the 100 breast where she finished 32nd.

The coach's take: She would consider herself a breaststroker. Next year, I think, I would like to work on the freestyle, maybe some fly with her.

She's very steadfast. You tell her to do something and she'll work for it, she'll get it. She wants to get it.

-- Brewer

 

Cori Ghidotti

Senior, Hoosac Valley

Cori made her return to high school swimming this year after focusing on the club level as a junior. She made a huge splash at Western Mass. by dropping more than 5 seconds off her seed time in the breaststroke. She pulled a similar feat as a sophomore.

The coach's take: I think she's just able to clear her mind when she actually goes into those big races and just kind of say, ‘This is what I'm here to do. This is what I want to do.' And she tries to do it. She just does what she's trained for.

-- Brewer

 

Maeve Wilber

Junior, Monument Mountain

Maeve was a leader for the Spartans in every sense of the word, both in the water and out. She was a member of the 400 free relay that set a new school record, finished third and fourth at Western Mass. in the IM and backstroke, respectively. Those turned into 10th-place and eighth-place results at states.

The coach's take: This was a great year for Maeve. She had two solid years as a freshman and a sophomore, but this year when we got in and started the season, you could see she had a new perspective.

She matured in the year since I had her. She came at her training with a very mature, determined attitude and she really worked hard."

-- Jill Svirida, Monument coach

 

Emma Wilber

Freshman, Monument Mountain

The freshman broke onto the high school scene in a big way, qualifying for Western Mass. in every event. She was also part of that 400 free relay record-setting team. She was seventh and 11th at Western Mass. in the IM and butterfly, respectively. She broke into the top 20 at states with a 19th-place finish in the fly.

The coach's take: Any time you get a swimmer who has beautiful technique and can do all the strokes, it's huge. It's really exciting as a coach. Emma was definitely one of those kids you look forward to having because you know she can do that. She was solid across the board.

She's small but she's so strong. She's a force to be reckoned with when she's racing.

-- Svirida

 

Rowan Rice

Junior, Monument Mountain

Rowan also qualified for Western Mass. in every event, and the captain swam the breast and IM. She finished 11th and ninth, respectively. At states, she was 22nd and 21st, respectively. Her placing in the breast at states wasn't the story, though. It was her time. She finished in 1:13.61 to set a new personal best.

The coach's take: This was a phenomenal breakout year for Rowan. She did some solid training in the offseason that set her up for some great training during our in-season swims.

She really loves the breaststroke, and we took a different approach with it this year, kind of just working it in training, not racing it as much.

[Her breaststroke swim at states] was definitely one of the most thrilling moments of the season for me. ... She worked so hard towards it and really was determined to get a best time. ... To see her break through and have that 1:13, that was awesome.

-- Svirida

 

Caroline Bissaillon

Freshman, Monument Mountain

Caroline was another freshman standout for Monument, which only furthers the Spartans' depth for next year. At Western Mass., she finished fifth in the 50 free and ninth in the 100 free. Her times dropped even more at states, and she was 11th and 18th in those events, respectively. It's no surprise, with the praise her coach gave her, that her biggest successes came in sprints.

The coach's take: Caroline is definitely one of the strongest individual swimmers I've ever coached.

She really made a name for herself in Berkshire County and Western Mass. as a sprinter, and she deserves that success so much because she put in the training. High school swimming can be tough because you have to swim a lot of different events. She used all of those events just to help her to get stronger for her sprints.

-- Svirida

 

Theresa Murphy

Senior, Pittsfield

Theresa was the coach's pick for league MVP because of her versatility in the pool. She qualified for Western Mass. in five events, including freestyle, butterfly, IM and breaststroke. At Western Mass., she was 13th in the fly and 23rd in the breast.

The coach's take: She had the versatility of a well-rounded swimmer, and in high school swimming, that is critical. I think she exceeded both her expectations and my expectations right off the bat. The first meet, she qualified for Western Mass. and went on from there.

This year, she started strong and continued. Her consistency was amazing.

-- Jim Harrington, Pittsfield coach

 

Aileen Archambault

Senior, St. Joseph

The Crusader used almost all the available time she had to find a spot on the All-Eagle team. She didn't qualify in the 200 free until late in the season, and making the time in the 100 free came as a surprise as she was actually trying to make it in the 50 free.

The coach's take: We had one goal and that was to qualify in the 200 free. ... She was determined this year. She wanted to put in a little extra work. She doubled up on some practices with her club team. She definitely was motivated this year, a little bit more so than in the past. So that definitely helped her.

-- Shannon McMahon, St. Joseph coach

 

Jessie Tobin

Freshman, St. Joseph

Tobin almost never seemed tired, despite swimming for two teams at the same time. She qualified in every individual event for Western Mass. and had a strong showing in her first trip to states.

The coach's take: I think she's got a lot of natural talent. She's got a lot of experience, which helps too. ... She's very smooth in the water. It's easy to watch. She makes it look effortless. It's definitely her technique.

-- McMahon

 

Katie Nugai

Senior, St. Joseph

The senior qualified for Western Mass. in only two events, but they were the two events that fit her style perfectly. She swam the 50 and 100 free, both are sprints.

The coach's take: She's capable of swimming other events but her strong ones are the 50 and 100. ... She's got a lot of power in a small package, and I think that helps her sprint. She's got those short little bursts of energy that you don't necessarily see in a distance swimmer, but you can see it in Katie. Even her personality she's got those little bursts that just kind of come out that she throws into her swimming, and it works for her in sprinting.

-- McMahon

 

Gillian Campbell

Junior, Taconic

The Brave may have had the toughest road to the postseason this year battling mono early on. She qualified in the 50 and 100 free and 100 back, opting to save the 50 for states.

The coach's take: She didn't actually ever stay out because she didn't want to. But there were days where I'd look at her and be like ‘you got to go,' or ‘why don't you take a break,' just because you could just see it on her face by the end of the day she was just really tired. But she didn't want to give up and stop. ... It affected her energy level but I don't think her drive.

-- Marisa Plant, Taconic coach

 

-- -- --

All-Berkshire Team

(as selected by the county's coaches)

Theresa Murphy (P) -- MVP

Ellie Field (HV) -- 200 free

Emma Wilber (MM) -- 200 IM

Emma Whitney (HV) -- 50 free

Alyssa Bush (HV) -- 100 fly

Caroline Bissaillon (MM) -- 100 free

Jessie Tobin (SJ) -- 500 free

Maeve Wilber (MM) -- 100 back

Liz Bernardy (HV) -- 100 breast

Gillian Campbell (T), Cori Ghidotti (HV), Theresa Murphy (P), Mia Modafferi (TH) -- 200 medley relay

Katie Ahearn (Mount Anthony), Michaella Vecchiarelli (HV), April Foley (MA), Phebe Hall (MA) -- 200 free relay

Rowan Rice (MM), Katie Nugai (SJ), Aileen Archambault (SJ), Julia Whitney (HV) -- 400 free relay