County swimmers earn Western Mass. qualifying times

Sunday February 3, 2013

GREAT BARRINGTON -- Taconic's George Sommerville and Mount Anthony's Kate Ahearn were the individual standouts in Saturday's Berkshire County Individual swim meet, held at Bard College at Simon's Rock.

About 215 swimmers from the nine teams in the Berkshire County swim league participated, according to Monument Mountain coach Jill Svirida.

Sommerville won the 100 freestyle and the 100 backstroke, as well as being part of the Braves' 200-yard freestyle relay winners.

Pittsfield's Ken Black was no slouch either, winning the 200 freestyle and the 500 freestyle event in Western Mass. qualifying times. Mount Anthony's Ryan Spencer was the other double winner on the boys' side, with victories in the 200 IM and the 100 backstroke.

Ahearn was the winner in the 50 and 100 freestyle events, and swam on the winning 400 relay team for the Patriots.

Scores are not kept at the meet, and there are no meet records, according to Svirida. But individual swimmers from Berkshire County can still qualify for the Western Mass. swim meet, slated for next week.

Wahconah, for example had two swimmers, Kyle Miller in the 100 butterfly with a time of 1:06.44 and Devin Gale in the 100 freestyle with a time of 1:06.9, get in. In addition to Black's qualifying times, Pittsfield's Aaron Coty qualified in the 200 individual medley.

"This the last shot for some of these swimmers," sad Warrior coach Dave Lussier. "This may not count in the standings, but if a swimmer qualifies here, he will go. Kyle had qualified earlier in another event, so he was going anyway. But I'm very pleased with Devin. He had an awesome performance today."

For some teams, Saturday's event was the final meet.

"We're done after this," said New Lebanon coach Tim Christianson, who noted that New York State doesn't have sectional meets like the Western Massachusetts swim meet. And, he said, most of his swimmers don't participate in swim clubs as do many of the athletes in the county. Taconic Hills is in the same situation.

For Mount Anthony Union High School, the situation is similar, but slightly different. The Patriots have the only swim program in Vermont.

"There are no other programs," said Mount Anthony coach Anna Swierad. "But my kids love to come down here and push the Berkshire teams so they can get ready for Western Mass."

Both Swierad and Svirida agreed that the final race of the day was one of the best, as Mount Anthony edged Monument in the girls 400 relay by a whisker, otherwise known as three-tenths of a second, 4:08.61 to 4:08.92.

The Spartan girls were the hard-luck team of the afternoon. They also dropped the 200-yard medley relay by .14 of a second, 2:05.01 to 2:05.15, to Hoosac Valley.

There were several other close races. Mount Anthony's Heather Foley lost the 50 freestyle to teammate Ahearn by a fifth of a second, 26.58 to 26.78, then turned around and beat Monument's Maeve Wilber in the 100 butterfly by .44 of a second.


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