Two wins for Pribis highlight Concord’s day at swimming championships
Alaina Pribis of Concord won the women's 500 freestyle and set a personal best time during the Division 1 State Swimming and Diving Championships on Saturday, February 15, 2014 in Durham.
(JOHN TULLY / Monitor Staff)
Concord's Logan Lamb competes in the men's 500 freestyle during the Division 1 State Swimming and Diving Championships on Saturday, February 15, 2014 in Durham.
(JOHN TULLY / Monitor Staff)
DURHAM – Alaina Pribis has been beating everyone throughout her high school swimming career. Now she can add herself to the list.
Pribis won her third straight 200-yard and 500-yard freestyle titles in impressive fashion at the Division I championships at UNH yesterday, surpassing her previous tournament times and carrying the Crimson Tide girls to 46 points and 10th place, behind winner Bedford (246) and Bishop Guertin (180.5), Dover (175.5), Alvirne (111) and Timberlane (110.5).
On the boys’ side, Logan Lamb had fourth-place finishes in the 200 and 500 freestyle to lead Concord to 84 points and sixth place behind Exeter (232), Bishop Guertin (230), Bedford (196.5), Pinkerton (136) and Londonderry (101.5).
Few swimmers at the meet had as successful a day as Pribis, who improved to 6-0 for her career in individual events and also swam on a 200-free relay team along with Kaelin Willette, Delia Barry and Mackenzie Witham that finished seventh.
“I was really excited with (the results),” she said. “I haven’t hit times even close to that for a really long time now. That was incredibly exciting.”
February domination is becoming commonplace for Pribis, and Crimson Tide Coach Karen Jenovese said she never worries about how her star will handle the year’s big stage.
“We pretty much give Alaina a high five and say ‘You go, girl,’ ” she said. “And then we just watch her.”
The first event Jenovese and the rest of the team got to watch her in was the 200 free, which Pribis won in 1:55.22, besting her seed time of 2:02.06 and previous best tournament time of 1:55.96, set last year. The win wasn’t a surprise, but the time was.
“I was kind of hurting in the (200) free, so I was like ‘Ooh, this could be going either way,’ ” she said. “Just as soon as I touched the wall and looked up, it was such a relief to see those times.”
The 500 free was a similar story. Pribis again blew away previous marks, topping her past tournament best of 5:09.73 from her freshman year and 5:20.74 seed time while also achieving a personal goal of besting 5:06 with a time of 5:03.85.
“We’ve been training specifically for this meet,” she said. “We were really prepared for it.”
“We can always count on her,” Jenovese said. “She swims kinda so-so throughout the season, and then you know at the end of the season she’s going to pull it off. … I just think she’s so powerful, she’s so strong.”
The Tide boys rode a strong day from Lamb, who was fourth in the 200 free at 1:54.01 and 500 free at 5:05.82 in his second state championship meet and who improved on his freshman 500 free time by nearly 16 seconds.
“I’m happy with it. It’s a lot better than I did last year,” Lamb said. “Being more focused has definitely helped me. … (My goals were) mostly time, just to either get best times or around best times. I was happy with that.”
Jenovese was pleased with Lamb’s maturation, which became necessary as he was thrust into the role as Concord’s top swimmer in only his second year in the program. That responsibility was evident yesterday, as Lamb also competed with Elden Gray, Kevin Hayes and Max Cross on the fifth-place 200 free relay team (1:38.37) and with Hayes, Christian McDermott and Cross on a 200 medley relay team that was sixth at 1:53.35.
“He’s just kind of growing into believing in himself,” she said. “I think as we move into the next couple of years, when he becomes a junior and a senior, he’s going to have a lot more confidence going into each race and we’ll be seeing more amazing things out of him.”
Lamb’s performance was one of a few strong efforts from Concord’s youngsters. Freshman Cross was fifth in the 500 free (5:08.59) and eighth in the 100 backstroke (59.88), sophomore Stephen Moran was 12th in the 100 fly and 16th in the 200 IM and sophomore Denys Bowen was 13th in both the 100 breaststroke and 200 IM. Seniors Hayes (11th 100 backstroke) and Gray (19th 50 free) also placed, as did sophomore Ryan Quinn (19th 100 backstroke), and McDermott, Quinn, Bowen and Moran also made up the 10th-place 400 free relay team.
The Crimson Tide actually slid back a position from a fifth-place result last year, but Jenovese dismissed that as “just numbers,” focusing instead on the progress the team made.
“They all work very hard together and they all care about swimming,” she said. “I think going forward, it’s a very young team, and they’ll do very well in the future.”
(Drew Bonifant can be reached at 369-3340 or at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @dbonifant.)