Monument Mountain swim teams withstand a challenge from Pittsfield, hang on to sweep the Generals
GREAT BARRINGTON — It's been more than four years since the Monument Mountain boys swim team has lost a dual meet. At times in Berkshire County swimming, it seems some things will never change.
However, Spartans coach Jill Svirida knows all too well that things do change. The teams that built this incredible unbeaten streak relied heavily on the upper-echelon talent of year-round and life-long swimmers. This current iteration of the Monument co-op is a little bit different; mixing in a variety of newbies to an experienced core.
Yet, the result Wednesday evening at Simon's Rock was the same. Monument Mountain swept Pittsfield High. The boys squeaked one out 88-81 to extend the streak, while the girls put together a more convincing 120-50 victory.
"What's more important to me with this novice program, is what they were able to pull off today," said Svirida. "For them to be able to get out there with so much heart and so much dignity and to push themselves to win like that, it's so cool and it means so much more to me than any win."
For the girls, Monument picked up dual wins from Asa Stone and Aubrey Blanchard. The Spartans swept the podium in both the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke, while also winning all three relay races. Pittsfield got an individual win from Szofia Lewis, in a thrilling 100 breaststroke race that saw her defeat Olivia Raifstanger by a little more than half a second.
The boys meet wasn't quite so straightforward. The Generals broke out of the gates with a two-second win in the 200 medley relay, signalling right away that the crowd on hand at Kilpatrick Athletic Center was in for a treat. Thanks to some solid depth and a big pool, Pittsfield withstood wins from Ethan Dean, Nick Dillon and Harry Albert to lead 32-30 at the diving break.
"Being undefeated is special, but being a part of something like this is more special," said Svirida. "We might lose, and that's OK."
Veteran star Liam Mooney then asserted himself in a potentially demoralizing win over Dillon in the 100 butterfly. Mooney roared from behind in the final 25 meters to win handily.
A 40-37 lead for the Generals was short-lived, however, as Dean submitted his second victory in the 100 freestyle, backed up by teammate Jack Glantz in second. Another win by Albert and a first in the 200 freestyle relay later, the Spartans were in the driver's seat up 64-59 with three events remaining.
It was Connor Mooney's turn, though, and the youngster toasted the field in the 100 backstroke, with teammate Connor Hayford behind him to tip the scales back to the purple side, 70-69.
"We certainly told them that they had a chance. We didn't know what to expect, really. It just comes down to the matchups, a couple races here and there," said Pittsfield coach Tim Mazzer. "The kids swam some really great races. All you want to do is be in it at the end and that's what we got out of our kids."
With both sides running on fumes, Jack Glantz and Hayden Stein went 1-2 in the 100 breaststroke to give Monument back the lead with only the 400 freestyle relay left on the docket.
While it was Dean and Albert bringing home multiple firsts on the day, Monument's closer was Dillon. An 80-75 deficit wasn't out of reach for Pittsfield in the finale, and with only the anchor's remaining, Connor Mooney had given Pittsfield a two-second edge. Dillon calmly waited his turn, and entered with a textbook dive. With the deafening pool a mere murmur to him in the water, the Spartans veteran charged past his opponent and wrapped up the meet for the home squad.
"I know that I can count on Nick. He is the backbone of our team. He's a solid swimmer who is very dedicated to this program," said Svirida. "Him being up there as my last swimmer, I had complete confidence."
The two teams will meet again later this season up in Pittsfield in a smaller pool.
"When we swim in a four-lane pool the numbers come out of play a little bit and it's just your top horses," said Mazzer. "We'll go forward, but this was a great meet."
Monument Mountain 88, Pittsfield 81
200 medley relay — 1. Pittsfield (Hayford, Plouffe, L. Mooney, D. Fitzgibbons) 2:01.25; 2. Monument Mountain 2:03.22; 3. Pittsfield 2:27.25.
200 freestyle — 1. Albert (MM) 2:12.75; 2. Fitzgibbons (P) 2:22.31; 3. Boyko (MM) 2:49.00.
200 individual medley — 1. Dillon (MM) 2:17.09; 2. L. Mooney (P) 2:22.90; 3. Miller (P) 2:37.18.
50 freestyle — 1. Dean (MM) 25.52; 2. Plouffe (P) 25.89; 3. Elzner (P) 27.97.
100 butterfly — 1. L. Mooney (P) 57.78; 2. Dillon (MM) 59.35; 3. Chassi (MM) 1:08.57.
100 freestyle — 1. Dean (MM) 58.68; 2. Glantz (MM) 1:00.31; 3. Plouffe (P) 1:00.56.
500 freestyle — 1. Albert (MM) 5:48.19; 2. C. Mooney (P) 6:04.97; 3. Fitzgibbons (P) 6:22.96.
200 freestyle relay — 1. Monument Mountain (Glantz, Stein, Albert, Dillon) 1:44.63; 2. Pittsfield 1:47.19. 3. Pittsfield 2:15.89
100 backstroke — 1. C. Mooney (P) 1:09.72; 2. Hayford (P) 1:14.03; 3. Annand (MM) 1:18.97.
100 breaststroke — 1. Glantz (MM) 1:22.85; 2. Stein (MM) 1:23.81. 3. Elzner (P) 1:29.03.
400 freestyle relay — 1. Monument Mountain (Glantz, Chassi, Dean, Dillon) 3:56.37; 2. Pittsfield 3:56.90; 3. Pittsfield 4:53.95.
Monument Mountain 120, Pittsfield 80
200 medley relay — 1. Monument Mountain (O. Rubino, Raifstanger, Stone, Louison) 2:01.93; 2. Pittsfield 2:08.78; 3. Monument Mountain 2:09.44.
200 freestyle — 1. Wellenkamp (MM) 2:11.10; 2. Bradford (P) 2:12.57; 3. Codey (MM) 2:20.87.
200 individual medley — 1. Stone (MM) 2:23.13; 2. Raifstanger (MM) 2:38.00; 3. Kopiec (MM) 2:48.37.
50 freestyle — 1. Blanchard (MM) 27.81; 2. Lewis (P) 28.06; 3. Louison (MM) 28.84.
100 butterfly — 1. Blanchard (MM) 1:07.81. 2. Codey (MM) 1:11.25; 3. Flynn (MM) 1:12.09.
100 freestyle — 1. A. Rubino (MM) 59.03; 2. O. Rubino (MM) 1:00.15; 3. Marsh (P) 1:04.72.
500 freestyle — 1. Stone (MM) 5:36.38; 2. Bradford (P) 5:45.63; 3. Kopiec (MM) 7:01.56.
200 freestyle relay — 1. Monument Mountain (A. Rubino, Louison, Blanchard, Flynn) 1:52.33; 2. Monument Mountain 2:00.59; 3. Pittsfield 2:00.78.
100 backstroke — 1. O. Rubino (MM) 1:07.57; 2. A. Rubino (MM) 1:08.68; 3. Flynn (MM) 1:12.12.
100 breaststroke — 1. Lewis (P) 1:16.30; 2. Raifstanger (MM) 1:17.08; 3. Wellenkamp (MM) 1:19.09.
400 freestyle relay — 1. Monument Mountain (Wellenkamp, Blanchard, Rubino, Stone) 4:04.47; 2. Pittsfield 4:22.47; 3. Monument Mountain 4:46.72.
Mike Walsh can be reached at email@example.com, at @CLNS_Walsh on Twitter and 413-496-6240.
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