Plenty to swim for at county individual meet
GREAT BARRINGTON -- There's no team win available, but that doesn't mean there's nothing on the table. Quite the contrary.
For those swimmers that have yet to qualify for the Western Massachusetts meet, the Berkshire County Individuals is the last opportunity. For those that already have a ticket to the postseason, it's a chance to better their seed time and/or secure a spot at states.
Saturday's meet had a little bit of everything, and it didn't take long for the dominoes to start falling.
The St. Joseph girls 200 medley relay (Jessie Tobin, Katie Nugai, Theresa Kirsimagi, Aileen Archambault) dropped more than 4 seconds off their seed time, finishing in 2 minutes, 6.32 seconds to qualify for Western Mass. and states all at once.
"That is huge because I don't even know the last time the school had that happen," coach Shannon McMahon said. "And not only that, just for my seniors. I don't think they've ever experienced that kind of success, and I'm not sure with the numbers at the school we're ever going to have that success again."
The time that surprised the crowd the most was turned in by Taconic's George Sommerville, which is a surprise by itself because fast times from Sommerville are nothing new.
The senior standout had already qualified for states in the 100 butterfly, but he had a new goal in mind. He wanted to finish in 54 seconds. His 53.99 accomplished that, nearly 2 full seconds faster than his seed time.
The mark, the fastest in the league this season, set a new school record.
Did his coach think he was capable of the time?
"You never know with him," coach Marisa Plant said. "He's one where he sets his mind to it, he's going to do it.
"Right before the race, I went to talk to him and he said ‘I want to do a 54.' I said all right, you need to do this and this."
Sommerville, who also posted the fastest time in the 100 breast (1:02.52), wasn't alone in setting league marks. Others included: the Braves' 200 medley relay team (Benjamin, Sommerville, Davila, Haven in 1:54.43), Hoosac Valley's Ellie Field in the 200 free (2:01.65) and Tobin in the 200 IM (2:18.17).
The meet also provided swimmers an opportunity to focus on the events they'll be competing in during the postseason. They don't always have that opportunity during the regular season when they're often placed in an event that best suits the team.
"This kind of meet is exciting for everybody," Plant said. "All the fastest people are here; you're in a heat where you're with people that are around your same time. Whereas the regular season, it's where you're needed. So this is kind of almost like a warm-up to Western Mass. and states."
It also allowed for some last-minute changes in the postseason roster, particularly for the relay teams that have more moving pieces to put together.
"Today's meet was mostly for the splits, to see who was going to states and Western Mass. on [the] relay," Monument freshman Brandon Louison said. "But also, it was just to become faster as a team, as a whole. It's called individuals because we all do individual events [and] points don't apply, but we all try to get faster constantly; it doesn't matter what meet."
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200 medley relay -- 1. Taconic (Benjamin, Sommerville, Davila, Haven), 1:54.43; 2. Monument Mountain (Collingwood, B. Wyatt, Gray, Richardson), 1:57.86; 3. Pittsfield (Godwin, Fournier, Coty, Williams), 1:59.39.
200 free -- 1. Brandon Louison (MM), 1:57.33; 2. Dominic Roy (MM), 2:04.26; 3. Ted Koch (TH), 2:15.33.
200 IM -- 1. Derrek Rueger (MM), 2:16.64; 2. Ryan Spencer (MAU), 2:20.83; 3. Greg Fournier (P), 2:26.98.
50 free -- 1. Will Palmer (MM), 23.56; 2. Zach Richardson (MM), 24.83; 3. John Collingwood (MM), 24.96.
100 fly -- 1. George Sommerville (T), 53.99; 2. Louison (MM), 59.71; Steven Davila (T), 1:15.64.
100 free -- 1. Palmer (MM), 52.76; 2. Richardson (MM), 56.97; 3. Coty (P), 57.28.
500 free -- 1. Quinton Cookis (T), 6:12.37; 2. Lucas Benjamin (T), 6:22.47; 3. Max Spence (P), 6:27.24.
200 free relay -- 1. Monument Mountain (Roy, Louison, Collingwood, Palmer), 1:38.41; 2. Taconic (Haven, Benjamin, DeBaggis, Sommerville), 1:42.72; 3. Pittsfield (Godwin, Salvie, Desrosiers, Spence), 1:51.76.
100 back -- 1. Spencer (MAU), 1:03.06; 2. Rueger (MM), 1:04.15; 3. Roy (MM), 1:06.66.
100 breast -- 1. Sommerville (T), 1:02.52; 2. Ben Wyatt (MM), 1:13.99; 3. Fournier (P), 1:14.61.
400 free relay -- 1. Monument Mountain (Rueger, Roy, Louison, Palmer), 3:44.59; 2. Pittsfield (Fournier, Desrosiers, Coty, Williams), 3:57.03; 3. Monument Mountain (Richardson, Abrams, Gray, Moeini-Feizabadi), 4:20.07.
200 medley relay -- 1. Monument Mountain (M. Wilber, Rice, E. Wilber, Bissaillon), 1:57.69; 2. Hoosac Valley (E. Whitney, Ghidotti, Bush, Field), 1:57.70; 3. St. Joseph (Tobin, Nugai, T. Kirsimagi, Archambault), 2:06.32.
200 free -- 1. Ellie Field (HV), 2:01.65; 2. Liz Bernardy (HV), 2:07.21; 3. Alyssa Bush (HV), 2:10.26.
200 IM -- 1. Jessie Tobin (SJ), 2:1817; 2. Maeve Wilber (MM), 2:19.27; 3. Phebe Hall (MAU), 2:23.64.
50 free -- 1. Emma Whitney (HV), 26.69; 2. Mia Modafferi (TH), 26.73; 3. Michaella Vecchiarelli (HV), 27.05.
100 fly -- 1. Field (HV), 1:04.10; 2. Bush (HV), 1:05.42; 3. Theresa Murphy (P), 1:06.94.
100 free -- 1. Tobin (SJ), 57.21; 2. Cori Ghidotti (HV), 58.74; 3. Kate Ahearn (MAU), 59.45.
500 free -- 1. Hannah French (NL), 6:04.65; 2. Kayla Dillon (MM), 6:18.06; 3. Mary Kirsimagi (SJ), 6:28.89.
200 free relay -- 1. Hoosac Valley (Vecchiarelli, Bernardy, Bush, Ghidotti), Monument Mountain (Rice, E. Wilber, Dillon, Bissaillon), 1:52.17; 3. St. Joseph (Archambault, Nugai, M. Kirsimagi, Tobin), 1:52.87.
100 back — 1. M. Wilber (MM), 1:03.07; 2. E. Whitney (HV), 1:03.37; 3. Gillian Campbell (T), 1:08.34.
100 breast — 1. Ghidotti (HV), 1:13.91; 2. Bernardy (HV), 1:13.95; 3. E. Wilber (MM), 1:16.05.
400 free relay — 1. Monument (Rice, E. Wilber, M. Wilber, Bissaillon), 3:56.07; 2. Hoosac, 3:58.11; 3. New Lebanon, 4:24.97.
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