Suffield’s Swimming & Diving teams were finally able to showcase this year’s teams’ talent and efforts, which for many Tigers has included training since September, even if often limited by lengthy off campus remote periods and state limitations on pool time.
The Academy squads featured our “in person learners,” and the downsized groups managed to compete at a highly competitive level across an afternoon that included two diving competitions and the full slate of high school events.
The divers started things off with an 11-dive invitational meet, competed in by diving record holder Emma Krasemann ’21 and Avery Rappaport ’22. Avery took gold in the event, followed by Emma. They reversed positions in the 6-dive competition that followed: the 6-dive event was part of the virtual meet with Convent of Sacred Heart (CSH – Greenwich) and Brunswick. In the 6-dive, Krasemann earned 235.85 and Rappaport 221.35, followed by first year diver Hannah Cote (156.35). For the boys, freshman Nick Prescott soared to 157.45 points, followed by fellow freshman Max Giugliano, who scored 123.90 in his inaugural diving competition.
Orange medley relays, always strong out of the gate in the opening event, swam to fine all-time top 25 postings, and the foursomes recorded many PBs in their outings, with leadoff backstrokers Cambell Rosow ’23and senior captain Joe Rusnock blazing to PBs 27.77 and 23.29 to give the relays an excellent start. Rosow was joined by sophomore Anna Calkins, freshman Mackenzie Headley, and senior Nicole Boutry, a regular fixture as anchor swimmer on the relay, helping the girls to a strong sub-1:50 time (1:49.65). Rusnock was followed by sophomore Chase Stevens, and juniors Trent Hieber and Nico Menendez-Featherston in a 1:36.92. posting.
In the 200 freestyle, junior distance aces Sophia Tosone (PB) and Karrah Hayes swam stroke for stroke in a pair of fine 2:02 efforts, and Emilia Boino closed out the race in 2:22.03. A youthful pair represented the Tigers for the boys, led by sophomore Connor Booth and Joe Giugliano, who both challenged PB times, as did another sophomore, Ryan Piela.
The 200 IM, often a strong event for the Tiger swimmers, a mark of versatility, as all four strokes are swum in the event, continued to show strong for Suffield. Last year’s consolation finalist, Anna Calkins, swam impressively to a near PB 2:16.13, and close behind was talented freshman Nora Boino, who clocked 2:17.68, a PB by nearly 10 seconds and new all time top 25 time! Day students who represent the same club team, Hieber and Stevens, off of short rest, also swam to PBs in the event, with Hieber coming in at 2:03.18 (all time top 25 at Suffield) and Stevens clocking 2:08.58.
The 50 free sprint gave rise to plenty of fireworks, with relay mates Boutry and Rosow swimming to respectable low 25s (25.0 2and 25.33), and relay buds Rusnock and Menendez blazing fast in 20.79 and 22.02, new PBs for the speedsters, and earning a likely All America honor for Rusnock. Freshman Hadley Harris swam to a lifetime best 26.68, another promising development for the hopefuls. Hope Clark and Catherine McCarthy also posted strong times in their swims in the 50.
After a short break, the butterflyers took to the blocks, and multiple PBs were achieved. Most notable was Mackenzie Headley’s 54.63 swim, earning her school and pool records, and certain All America recognition. Her swim only fell .4 short of a longstanding N.E. prep record in the event and ranks her 2nd all time among N.E. girls in the event. Hieber won the boys’ fly, in a fine swim, with a PB of 53.05. Sophomore Nate Morrin registered an excellent 57.17, a PB.
Boutry came back to win her 2nd race of the day, the 100 free. Menendez slipped under the 48.0 barrier to win in 47.97, a top 25 posting, and Booth enjoyed a PB with a 50.52 swim. Tosone and Hayes swam to another commanding 1-2 finish, with Tosone eclipsing the 5:20 barrier for the first time in her career (5:19.69). The Giugliano-Piela pair impressed with PBs in their outing, as well.
Swimmers were tiring a bit in the latter part of the meet, their first racing endeavor in a year. But many of our athletes mustered the strength for some memorable efforts late in the meet. The 200 free relays saw similar foursomes battling for PBs. Newbies Headley and Menendez-Featherston both swam to PBs in their leadoff legs, but Headley could also claim her second pair of school and pool records with her 23.11 swim, once again sure to qualify for All America recognition. Rusnock closed with a top 5 all time split of 20.36 for the boys’ swim. In the backstroke, Rosow managed yet another PB (1:00.65) , lifting her rank in the 100 back all time at Suffield to 9th, and Boino clocked a PB 1:06.40. Morrin claimed first place in a strong 58.89, matching a PB in the race.
The final individual event, the 100 yard breaststroke, did not disappoint the small student group cheering the swimmers on from above, in the stands, as Headley stroked to New England, school, and pool records in yet another All America posting, 1:02.32. What’s interesting about this event is that Suffield female swimmers hold four of the top 5 all time performances in N.E. prep history, with Headley breaking Eva Crouse’s 2017 record, one that was only .07 ahead of teammate Sydney Winters’ swim in the event that year, and a bit ahead of Becca Titterton’s multiple 1:04 N.E. title swims. Equal to the task, Rusnock blazed a furious first 50 in 26.1, and set a new school and pool record in the breaststroke in 55.39, narrowly missing the N.E. prep record (55.00), a fitting final breaststroke swim for the 4-year sensation who hails from the same club team as Headley.
The teams conclude their mini season on Wednesday, with another “virtual” against Deerfield for the girls and time trial racing for the boys. Results of the team scores in the virtual vs. CSH and Brunswick were not yet available as of the writing of this report.