State Swimming: Tobin fifth in 500, Hoosac Valley girls 9th and Monument girls 14th


CAMBRIDGE - They just keep getting better and better.

The Hoosac Valley and Monument Mountain girls swim teams and St. Joseph's Jessie Tobin continued their postseason success at the MIAA Girls Division I and II Swim and Dive Championships held at Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Saturday.

Tobin came away with the best individual result of the county swimmers. She took three seconds off her 500 freestyle time and finished in fifth place in the D-II meet.

"It was more than I was expecting," the freshman said. "I didn't think I was going to do that good because there's a lot of fast girls here and their a lot older than I am. ... I'm happy with how I came out."

The Hurricanes nearly matched their Western Mass. finish with a ninth-place result at states, and the Spartans accumulated points at every turn to finish 14th out of 47 teams. Both competed in the D-I meet.

"I'm so happy wit them today," Hoosac coach Eryn Brewer said. "They dropped time on all the relays."

The two teams combined for 21 individual events and five relays. Twenty-three of those performances bettered their seed times, many of which were also personal bests.

The Hurricanes tapered for Western Mass., but not as much as they did for states. It paid off with a pair of ninth-place finishes from Emma Whitney in the 100 butterfly and Cori Ghidotti in the 100 breast. Whitney was in the second of four heats, but dropped more than two seconds to finish just off the podium.

"I was really happy with [the 100 fly]," Emma Whitney said. "I stopped swimming butterfly for a while, so I think the rest helps, and I was kind of excited."

Hoosac gained points on six occasions in the individual events and from all three relays. Their 200 medley relay and 200 free relay placed fifth and sixth, respectively. Their relay with the biggest time drop came from the one with the worst finish of the three. Their 400 free relay (13th) finished off the season by cutting nearly five seconds.

"I knew they were capable of it, though," Brewer said. "Some of the girls weren't going their best times before that. I knew they were capable of dropping at least four seconds in it today, just what Ive seen from the season. So them doing it, and dropping more than I thought was amazing."

For the Spartans, the highlight of their day came in the final heat of the final event (400 free relay), much as it did at Western Mass. Only this time, they earned the school record.

Monument had already dropped almost nine seconds at Western Mass. and was able to drop another two seconds at states to finish in 3:47.21 and beat the old mark set in 2007.

"Rowan [Rice] and Emma [Wilber], they were the ones that got best times, so they were the main source [of the time drop]," said Maeve Wilber, neglecting to mention a strong swim for herself. "We're like we're just going to go out and get this school record and have fun, so that's pretty much what we did."

Until that point, Maeve was a one-man wrecking crew for the Spartans, earning an eighth- and 10th-place finish. The better of the two came in the 100 backstroke where she dropped .28 seconds off her seed time; the 10th-place result was in the 200 IM. Caroline Bissaillon was the other Spartan to place in the top 16. She did so by shaving .48 seconds off her time in the 50 free.

"I was just not thinking about it, not stressed about it," Bissaillon said. "This is a really fast pool; it feels really great. So I just got in, didn't think and just went. That's all it is, just not thinking about it."

In the Division II meet Saturday evening, Pittsfield's Theresa Murphy stay at states was short-lived. Not because she was disqualified or anything like that, but she got her events out of the way in a hurry.

She swam the 50 free, waited four heats and a 10-minute break before diving back in for the 100 fly. Her time of 26.62 seconds in the 50 was .09 better than her seed time.

She doesn't put herself in that position too often, but doing it in the postseason seems to be a trend.

"Last year at Western Mass.and states, I did the same thing," she said. "But I usually have some time between events. Here you could've used a little more time, but it was good."

Taconic's Gillian Campbell accomplished her goal of not finishing last in her 50 free heat. She missed matching her seed time by .05 seconds.

The Crusaders also had a pair of relays in the D-II meet and both bettered their seed times.


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