Swimming: Area teams take advantage of biggest meet in 2 years

  • Hopkinton senior Cailey Stockwell competes in the 200-yard individual medley during a swim meet on Friday at the Concord YMCA. Stockwell, Hopkinton's only swimmer this season, won the 200 IM and the 100 breaststroke in a 10-team meet. Jeff Sullivan / SullivanEventPhotography.com

  • Hopkinton senior Cailey Stockwell competes in the 100 yard breaststroke during a swim meet on Friday night at the Concord YMCA. Stockwell, Hopkinton’s only swimmer this season, won the 200 individual medley and the breaststroke in a 10-team meet.

  • Bow freshman Lena Thompson swims the backstroke in the opening leg of the girls’ 200 yard medley relay on Friday night at the Concord YMCA. The Division II Falcons finished second to D-I Bishop Guertin in the race. Jeff Sullivan / SullivanEventPhotography.com

  • Concord junior Molly Nyhan (right) and Bow senior Sydney Mason swim the second leg of the girls’ 200 medley relay in a 10-team swim meet on Friday night at the Concord YMCA. Bow finished second and Concord finished third in that race. Jeff Sullivan / SullivanEventPhotography.com

  • Concord senior James LeMahieu swims to a victory in the 200 individual medley on Friday night at the Concord YMCA. LeMahieu also won the 100 butterfly. Jeff Sullivan / SullivanEventPhotography.com

  • Bow senior Sarah Guerrette swims the butterfly leg of the girls’ 200 medley relay on Friday at the Concord YMCA. The Falcons finished second in the race. Guerrette won the individual 100 butterfly and the 200 freestyle relay, and also finished second in the 100 backstroke. Jeff Sullivan / SullivanEventPhotography.com

Monitor staff
Published: 1/15/2022 5:44:06 PM

Concord High swim coach Bill Quinn tells his team that, this season, every meet is a gift. 

Friday night’s meet, hosted by Bow at the Concord YMCA, had 10 high school teams, the largest regular-season meet that area swimmers have competed in for the last two years. With excited athletes and coaches (masked) all along the pool deck and balcony, it had the energy to match.

It was Concord’s third meet of the season, only the second for Bow and Bishop Brady. But with the Division I and D-II championships looming on Feb. 12, the season is already half, or more than half, over.

It raises the stakes for every meet, every event, every stroke for athletes and teams that aim to compete at the state meet. So far, local teams are on track to meet those goals.

“We all had to stay in our spots; we weren’t allowed to (mix) with the other teams on the deck, so this year the energy is high and the atmosphere is great,” said Bow senior Sarah Guerrette, who will be competing at the Division I level for the University of New Hampshire next year.

“We can only do two individual events per meet, so that might be only time you swim in that event.”

The Falcons took advantage of the additional competition, finishing second out of nine girls’ teams, only losing to D-I runner-up Bishop Guertin.

Concord, Goffstown, Bishop Brady, John Stark, Pembroke, Merrimack Valley and Hopkinton rounded out the girls’ rankings.

Defending D-I runner-up Bishop Guertin topped the boys’ field, with Goffstown, Bow, Concord, Belmont, John Stark and Bishop Brady rounding out the team standing.

“I think it’s been a fantastic season,” Bow head coach Julie Guerrette said.

“The opportunity to have competition with (more than two) other teams is a bonus. We have a full team, enough for a men’s relay. We have seniors; we have freshmen coming up. It’s been a very well-rounded season so far.”

The Bow girls boasted their depth with the quartet of seniors Guerrette and Sydney Mason and freshmen Lorraine Schaeffner and Lena Thompson winning the 200-yard freestyle relay and finishing second in the girls’ 200-yard medley relay.

Schaeffner won the 50 free and the 500 free, while fellow rookie Thompson finished second in both the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly.

Guerrette won the 100 butterfly and the 100 backstroke and is the only returning girl D-II state qualifier for the Falcons, but she already will have more company than she did last year.

On the boys’ side, Ryan Thompson won the 100 freestyle and lost by just .11 seconds to Concord’s James LeMahieu in the 100 fly. 

Thompson is the only Falcon boy who competed in the Division II championships last year, but fellow senior Andrew Conley (first in 100 backstroke, first in 50 free) also qualified on Friday night. Freshman Ian Klements (fourth 50 free) also swam well.

Guerrette finished second in the 100 free and third in the 50 free at last year’s D-II championship, while Ryan Thompson finished fourth in the 100 free and fifth in the 100 fly.

“We have four freshmen who have qualified for states in more than one event, three seniors qualified for two events,” Julie Guerrette said.

“We only brought four people to states last year and we’ll be bringing a full team this year. They have a sense of pride in the team and are team-oriented. There’s no individuals, it’s all team. We have some contenders. We’re going to bring it.”

Quinn was forced to make cuts last year. But with expanded competition opportunities and new talent this year, Concord’s swim program has been “revitalized a little bit.” 

“We’re day-to-day because of close contacts and quarantining, but the kids are working really hard and we’re getting good results,” said Quinn, who has been the head coach of the Tide for seven years. “Planning is difficult, but we sort of go with it as the season develops. I’m trying to get them as physically fit as I can with two nights (in the pool) a week.”

Sophomore Lily Peterson (second 200 free, third 100 breaststroke), senior Rayya Burns (second 100 free) and junior Molly Nyhan (third 50 free) were the top individual finishers for the Tide girls, and were joined by Grace Qui to form the second-place 200 free and 200 medley relays.

The Tide boys were led by senior LeMahieu (winner in both the 200 individual medley and the 100 fly), who is looking for top-three finishes at the state level after finishing fourth in the 200 IM and fifth in the 100 fly at the D-I championships last year.

“It’s nice to see more than three teams and get wider competition,” LeMahieu said. “We lost a big crew last year and had to make cuts. This year, we’re welcoming a lot more people with less experience or who are new to the team, so we’re trying to build that team spirit again.”

David Wicks was Concord’s other victor, with a win in the 500 free.

Hopkinton senior Cailey Stockwell – another D-I bound senior who will swim for Fairfield University in Connecticut – won the 200 individual medley and the 100 breaststroke.

Other top area performers were: Belmont’s Kyle Dumais (first boys’ 50 free, first 100 breastroke) and Jake Dumais (second boys’ 100 breaststroke, fifth 50 free), Merrimack Valley’s Hannah Verville (third girls’ 100 free), Bishop Brady’s Cole Chaudhari (second boys’ 500 free, fifth 100 breaststroke) and Roisin Lawlor (fourth girls’ 50 free, fourth 100 free), Pembroke’s Joslynn Hurley (third girls’ 100 fly, fifth girls’ 50 free), and John Stark’s Seth Boden (third boys’ 100 breaststroke, seventh 50 free).

Details about the Feb. 12 state championships at the Salem Workout Club, such as whether or not relays will be contested (they weren’t in 2020-21) and if the teams will compete in morning and afternoon sessions separately with merged results, are expected to be announced soon.

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