Belmont’s Hubbard wins twice at Division II swimming championships
Coe Brown's Zach Wood swims the 200 yard IM during the Division II Swimming and Diving Championships at UNH Sunday. (Karen Bobotas/for the Concord Monitor)
Bishop Brady's Austin Schinlever competes in the 100 year Butterfly at UNH Sunday morning during the NHIAA Division II Swimming and Diving Championships. (Karen Bobotas/for the Concord Monitor)
Taryn Leach gives her team mate Molly Gibson the lap count during Gibson's 500 Yard Freestyle at the Division II NHIAA Swimming and Diving Championships at UNH on Sunday morning. (Karen Bobotas/for the Concord Monitor)
Swimmers watch girls 200 yard Freestyle Relay action during the Division II NHIAA Swimming and Diving Championships held at UNH Sunday. (Karen Bobotas/for the Concord Monitor)
DURHAM – The 2012 Division II swimming and diving championships were a success for Belmont’s Antony Hubbard. But the sophomore always knew he could do more.
So fresh off of placing second in both the 100- and 200-yard freestyles last year, Hubbard made the objective of his junior year to shave time off his personal bests in his return to the championships – and to climb that last elusive place.
“I changed my training compared to last year, I’m stronger, I started lifting and everything like that,” Hubbard said. “I was just looking forward to the next year, and seeing how I was going to stand.”
The results showed it was time well spent. Hubbard won both the 100 and 200 free at yesterday’s championships at UNH, becoming one of only two multi-event winners in a boys’ meet won by Souhegan, which ended Oyster River’s four-year reign. The Sabers totaled 196 points, and were followed by St. Thomas (which was led by Sam Haines’s wins in the 100 butterfly and 200 individual medley) with 170, Windham with 149, Oyster River with 127 and Hollis-Brookline with 125. Bishop Brady (81, seventh) was the top local team, followed by Bow (ninth, 73), Belmont (12th, 32) and Coe-Brown (14th, 24).
Oyster River (215) took the girls’ title, followed by Hanover (205), Souhegan (170), Monadnock (82) and Windham (76). Bow topped the locals with 61 points and a seventh-place finish, while John Stark (25) tied for 16th, Coe-Brown (22) came in 18th and Winnisquam (5) was 23rd.
Hubbard was the only local swimmer to win an event, and the victories came in the only events in which he competed.
“It feels amazing, after all that work is accomplished,” he said. “I finally did it, I’m excited. At the end of the race, I was really pumped.”
Hubbard was the top seed going into the 200 free and won with a time of 1:48.63, but his victory in the 100 free was more surprising. He trailed top seed Jack Gentes of St. Thomas before pulling even on the second to last lap, then built the lead on the final leg to win by .33 seconds.
His time was 49.92 – just below the 50-second goal he had going in.
“I just wanted to beat my time, I’ve been trying to beat that time for … two or three years now,” he said.
Coe-Brown’s Zach Wood had an impressive day as well, coming in fourth in the 200 IM (2:14.23) before turning around and coming in second in the 500 free at 5:16.03. Austin Schinlever was the top swimmer for the Green Giants, coming in fourth in the 200 free (1:58.18) and 100 fly (58.63), while teammate Michael Sokul was fifth in the 100 back (59.22) and sixth in the 50 free (24.17). Sokul and Schinlever also led successful relay teams, as they combined with Matt Fogarty and Alex Thompson to finish fourth in the 200 free and with Jacob Faretra and Fogarty to finish sixth in the 200 medley.
“I just didn’t leave anything in the pool. I gave it my all,” Schinlever said. “Throughout the season, I’ve been trying to break a minute in the 100 fly and two minutes in the 200 free and I did both of those. That was my main goal.”
Nicholas Weckstein (fifth 50 free, 24.15; seventh 100 free, 54.79) and Gregory Howard (fifth 100 fly, 59.66) led a Falcons squad that also performed well in the relays, as the quartet of Chris Barrington, Louis Miyara, Ross Cook and Weckstein was third in the 200 free and sixth in the 400 free.
Molly Gibson was the top individual on the girls’ side, as the Coe-Brown sophomore was fourth in the 100 breaststroke (1:09.10) and 500 free (5:21.05).
“I was seeded fourth coming in, so I was hoping to get that or better. I’m really happy with my finishes,” she said. “I was so nervous today. I don’t know why. I just said ‘I’ve got to get this, I’m going to win.’ You’ve got to say those things. Positive reinforcement.”
The Falcons were paced by Katrina Wiesner, who grabbed a pair of medals with sixth-place finishes and season-best times in the 50 free (26.8) and 100 fly (1:07.52). Wiesner, a senior, also helped Bow’s 200 free relay team, made up of Anne Kuenning, Jillian DeLand and Audrey Reed, place fifth at 1:54.63.
“I did not expect to get top-six in both of those events. If I could get one of them, I’d have been pretty lucky, but to get both, that was really great,” Wiesner said. “It’s very nice to wrap up my high school career with two top podium finishes.”
John Stark had a swimmer break into the top six as well, as senior Laura Anderson raced to a sixth-place finish and time of 2:09.89 in the 200 free. Teammate Madeline Ishak took eighth place in the 100 fly.
(Drew Bonifant can be reached at 369-3340 or firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @dbonifant.)