2024 Swim & Dive Division 1 Championship

2024 Swim & Dive Division 1 Championship

The Suffield Academy Swim and Dive team wrapped up their season at the New England Prep School Swimming and Diving championships. The championships featured many best times, two new school records, and two New England swimming champions.

The divers hit the boards on February 28 to earn points for the team. Suffield Academy hosted the competition for the first time since 2017. Loisa O’Reilly ’27 competed on the girls’ side. In the final meet of her first season diving, Louisa showcased all her skills and earned 19th place with her best scores of the year. Captain Max Giugliano ’24 locked down 4th place in the boys’ competition. Diving Coach Joe Islam ’16 was delighted with the performances.

On March 1 the swimmers finished up their schoolwork for the winter trimester and departed for Phillips Andover Academy for their competition. Racing to secure a chance to score points in finals, preliminaries on March 2 featured season-best and personal-best times. Coaches and athletes were thrilled with the performances and even more excited for finals on March 3.

Every athlete competed in the finals. The Girls’ 200-yard medley relay teams set the tone for the day’s events. The B relay of Campbell Thomas ’27, Lauryn Piela ’27, Maeve Selvitelli ’25, and team captain Hadley Harris ’24 won 2nd place in their heat. The A team of Logan Hoang ’27, captain Nora Boino ’24, captain Mackenzie Headley ’24, and Iza Zajac ’25 earned 3rd place with an all-NEPSAC time of 1:47.59.

Attention then turned to the boys’ relay teams. The B relay of Shalin Patel ’25, Henry Boino ’27, M. Giugliano, and Bernardo Lujan Lalieu ’25 secured 8th place. The A team of captain David Bowers ’24, Parker Valero ’26, John Rusnock ’25, and Blake Wool ’26 won 6th place with a time of 1:34.80.

The first individual event of the session, the 200-yard freestyle came next. Campbell Thomas and Amelia Curtin ’26 placed in 15th and 7th places, respectively, notching personal best times. Kellen Booth ’25 and captain Joe Giugliano ’24 followed suit and finished in 13th and 16th place.

Suffield featured three competitors in the 200-yard individual medley finals. Nora Boino finished in 15th place and Mackenzie Headley finished 2nd with an All-NEPSAC time of 2:03.93. John Rusnock dove into the pool as the defending champion on the boys’ side. He put together an incredible race, finishing 1st with an All-NEPSAC, All-American, pool record, meet record, and New England prep school record time of 1:45.94. John’s time ranks him in the top 10 of all high schoolers in the country in 2024.

The excitement continued with the 50-yard freestyle. Sydney Amerson and Maeve Selvitelli finished 13th and 16th overall, then cheered on teammate Iza Zajac in the A final. Iza placed 7th. The boys’ final also featured three Suffield swimmers: David Bowers and Parker Valero finished 16th and 15th then Blake Wool bettered his preliminary time with a 21.01 second swim, earning 6th place.

After a short break Iza Zajac hit the pool again in the A final of the 100-yard butterfly. She finished 8th, below the minute barrier, one of her goals for the season. Up next was John Rusnock. Seeded 4th going into finals, John took control of the race early and showcased the value of strategy and strength. John again finished 1st earning an All-NEPSAC, All-American, pool record, meet record, and New England prep school record time of 47.56. John received his medal from Coach Rusnock, making a sweet family moment on the pool deck.

Amelia Curtin was up next in the 100-yard freestyle. She placed 14th place with a personal best time. Blake Wool competed for the boys, finishing 6th place.

The distance event of the meet followed, featuring Kellen Booth. Kellen put together his best swim of the year and finished 11th place.

Next were the 200-yard freestyle relays. The girls’ B relay team of Adrianna Bailey-Stewart ’25, Lauryn Piela, Hadley Harris, and Maeve Selvitelli finished 2nd in their heat. The A team of Iza Zajac, Sydney Amerson, Amelia Curtin, and Mackenzie Headley earned 2nd place with an All-NEPSAC time of 1:35.78. The boys’ B team of Bernardo Lujan-Lalieu, Weck Pool ’27, Alex Cha ’25, and Max Giugliano finished 6th. The A relay team of Blake Wool, Kellen Booth, David Bowers, and John Rusnock finished 4th with a time of 1:45.45.

Kaitlyn DeSiena ’26 battled through sickness and qualified for finals in the 100-yard backstroke. She earned 15th place.

Next, four Suffield athletes competed in the 100-yard breaststroke finals. Logan Hoang and Nora Boino earned points in the B-final, finishing 14th and 9th. In the A final, Mackenzie Headley took to the pool. Her prelims time was a new pool record. She won the event with an All-NEPSAC and All-American time of 1:01.67. Parker Valero won 7th place in the boys’ A-final, achieving his yearlong goal of breaking a minute in the race.

The final race of the evening was the 400-yard freestyle relay. The girls’ B team of Campbell Thomas, Lauryn Piela, Adrianna Bailey-Stewart, and Nora Boino secured 6th place. The A team of Sydney Amerson, Logan Hoang, Kailtyn DeSiena, and Amelia Curtin also secured 6th place overall. On the boys' side, the B squad of Weck Pool, Shalin Patel, Henry Boino, and Alex Cha earned 7th place. The boys A relay team of Kellen Booth, Parker Valero, Joe Giugliano, and David Bowers finished 5th with a time of 3:14.32.

After the final event, attention shifted to the individual and team awards. Junior John Rusnock won the Babcock Award, given to the swimmer who best represents the values of New England prep school swimming. The girls’ team finished 5th overall, and the boys’ team finished 6th.

The meet featured extraordinary swims from every member of the team. Head Coach Jem Bullock said on his team’s performance: “We are so proud of everyone who competed in a Suffield cap this weekend. The time drops all around represent the hard work that our athletes put in over the last four months. The team will miss their graduating class of 7 seniors but looks forward to new leadership and talent.”

100-yard Butterfly: John Rusnock
200-yard Individual Medley: John Rusnock

100-yard Breaststroke: Mackenzie Headley
200-yard Individual Medley: Mackenzie Headley
200-yard Freestyle Relay: Iza Zajac, Sydney Amerson, Amelia Curtin, Mackenzie Headley

All-NEPSAC Honorable Mention
1 meter Diving: Max Giugliano
50-yard Freestyle: Blake Wool
100-yard Freestyle: Blake Wool
100-yard Breaststroke: Parker Valero

50-yard Freestyle: Iza Zajac, Sydney Amerson
100-yard Freestyle: Amelia Curtin
200-yard Freestyle: Amelia Curtin
100-yard Butterfly: Iza Zajac

100 Butterfly: John Rusnock
200 Individual Medley: John Rusnock

Many swimmers and relay teams earned consideration for All-American honors. The list will be published when the final decisions are released.