Monument Mountain swimmers stay undefeated, top Mount Anthony


BENNINGTON, VT. — The thing that Monument Mountain swim coach Jill Svirida likes most about her team isn't just that they win — it's that they keep getting better while doing it.

The Spartans topped Mount Anthony on both sides Wednesday to move the boys and girls to 7-0 on the season, inching both units even closer to consecutive undefeated Berkshire County League seasons.

The girls won 122-44, while the boys won 91-52.

"I'm feeling really good [about the result]," Svirida said. "We are undefeated but we take every single meet very seriously. This team is really tight-knit, and they always swim for the team."

The girls took sweeps in all three relays, while Emma Wilber took first in the 100-yard butterfly (1 minute, 2.17 seconds) and 500 freestyle (5:40.01) in addition to relay wins in the 200 free and 400 free. Caroline Bissaillon also won two relays (200 free, 400 free) and two individual events in the 200 free (2:09.65) and 100 free (0:57.12).

The Spartans also got individual wins through Sophie Burnell (200 individual medley), Kathleen Bissaillon (50 free) and Aubrey Blanchard (100 breaststroke).

MAU took one individual win on the girls' side, with Phebe Hall edging out Kate Nourse in the 100 backstroke.

"It was just good practice racing," Monument's Kayla Dillon said of the meet. "We've been having some tough practices getting ready for Western Mass., so it was good to come in and get to race and compete."

The MAU boys were able to take two event wins against the Spartans at the Bennington Rec Center, but the overall strength of Monument was too much for the Patriots to handle.

Brandon Louison and Nick Gray won all four events they competed in, with the two joining forces on a 200 free relay win and a 200 medley relay win. Louison added individual wins in the 100 back (0:58.34) and the 100 free (0:50.23), while Gray won the 200 IM (2:16.86) and the 100 fly (1:00.28).

Ben Wyatt won the 100 breast and Nick Dillon took a win in the 200 free.

Mount Anthony's wins came in the 400 freestyle relay and in a photo finish for the 50 freestyle. Wyatt was clocked with a faster time than MAU's Zach LaForest, 0:24.90 compared to 0:25.05, but the decision went to the judges, who ruled that LaForest touched the wall before Wyatt did.

The win puts Monument in a good place going into the final weeks of the regular season. The Spartans race Pittsfield on Friday at the Boys & Girls Club, then host Taconic and St. Joseph next week. With a majority of the team qualified for postseason meets, the team is focused on taking care of the basics to wrap up the season.

"It's really just about getting in the pool and racing every time you swim, even if you know you're going to win by a lot," Dillon said of the team's attitude at meets. "And also, just supporting your teammates, because there are people that don't swim all year round, so this is the time they have to get their best times. It's about coming in, supporting them and just going for it."

Louison also noted that, even though qualification for the Western Mass. meet might be set for some, getting final times down is important over the final stretch.

"Really it's just working on everything overall," Louison said. "Best times is actually a great thing to have going into Western Mass., because it will help with your seeding and where you're ranked. And if you can race against faster people, hopefully you can go faster at Western Mass."

And for Svirida, the push to keep her athletes doing better is there, but she's also enjoying watching the team enjoy themselves.

"We have really great leadership, I can say that my captains are really caring, wonderful, hard-working individuals," Svirida said. "I feel like they draw everyone together with their positivity and their willingness to make sure everyone is comfortable. They really take care of the team, and I think that has lent to the team taking care of each other."



Monument Mountain 122, Mount Anthony 44

200 medley relay — 1. Monument (A. Rubino, Blanchard, Burnell, O. Rubino), 2:07.49. 2. MAU (Ahearn, Spencer, Hall, Robson), 2:13.06. 3. Monument (Nourse, Dillon, Haftl, Jordan), 2:17.23.

200 freestyle — 1. C. Bissaillon (MM), 2:09.65. 2. Flynn (MM), 2:34.34. 3. M. Phair (MM), 2:48.82.

200 IM — 1. Burnell (MM), 2:32.35. 2. Dillon (MM), 2:32.63. 3. O. Rubino (MM), 2:41.16.

50 freestyle — 1. K. Bissaillon (MM), 0:26.76. 2. Ahearn (MAU), 0:27.30. 3. Haftl (MM), 0:29.59.

100 butterfly — 1. Wilber (MM), 1:02.17. 2. Hall (MAU), 1:11.58. 3. O. Rubino (MM), J1:20.09.

100 freestyle — 1. C. Bissaillon (MM), 0:57.12. 2. Ahearn (MAU), J1:01.24. 3. A. Rubino (MM), J1:01.23.

500 freestyle — 1. Wilber (MM), 5:40.01. 2. Dillon (MM), 6:02.95. 3. Burnell (MM), 6:34.21.

200 freestyle relay — 1. Monument (K. Bissaillon, Wilber, A. Rubino, C. Bissaillon), 1:49.30. 2. MAU (Spencer, Ports, Hall, Ahearn), 1:57.40. 3. Monument (O. Rubino, Cade, Haftl, Blanchard), 2:03.81.

100 backstroke —1. Hall (MAU), 1:08.81. 2. Nourse (MM), 1:13.01. 3. Robson (MAU), 1:18.43.

100 breaststroke — 1. Blanchard (MM), 1:19.62. 2. Spencer (MAU), 1:26.44. 3. M. Phair (MM), 1:29.41.

400 freestyle relay — 1. Monument (Wilber, K. Bissaillon, A. Rubino, C. Bissaillon), 4:02.65. 2. Monument (Burnell, Nourse, Flynn, Blanchard), 4:38.97. 3. Monument (Cade, Dodds, Jordan, M. Phair), J5:04.68.


Monument Mountain 91, Mount Anthony 52

200 medley relay — 1. Monument (Dillon, Wyatt, Gray, Louison), 1:49.78. 2. MAU (Gorry, Spencer, LaForest, Watson), 2:15.74.

200 freestyle — 1. Dillon (MM), 2:09.57. 2. Gorry (MAU), J2:34.94. 3. Denue (MAU), J2:34.75.

200 IM — 1. Gray (MM), 2:16.86. 2. Annand (MM), 3:00.74. 3. Spencer (MAU), 3:03.03.

50 freestyle — 1. LaForest (MAU), J:0:25.05. 2. Wyatt (MM), J0:24.90. 3. Moeini-Feizabad (MM), 0:26.81.

100 butterfly — 1. Gray (MM), 1:00.28. 2. Chassi (MM), 1:11.31.

100 freestyle — 1. Louison (MM), 0:50.23. 2. LaForest (MAU), 0:58.73. 3. Watson (MAU), 1:06.12.

200 freestyle relay — 1. Monument (Gray, Dillon, Wyatt, Louison), 1:40.17. 2. Monument (Stein, Tousey, Harrington, Annand), 2:08.62. 3. MAU (Sampsell, Williams, Thomas, Denue), 2:14.08.

100 backstroke — 1. Louison (MM), 0:58.34. 2. Gorry (MAU), 1:16.27. 3. Chassi (MM), 1:17.15.

100 breaststroke — 1. Wyatt (MM), 1:09.26. 2. Dillon (MM), 1:13.67. 3. Harrington (MM), 1:26.30.

400 freestyle relay — 1. MAU (Gorry, Denue, Watson, LaForest), 4:15.68. 2. Monument (Chassi, Annand, Harrington, Moeini-Feizabad), 4:24.51. 3. MAU (Sampsell, Spencer, Williams, Thomas), 5:33.82.


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