Tigers fall on Senior day...
Suffield Girls 89 Williston 97
Suffield Boys 91 Williston 71
In front of a large Senior Day crowd, Suffield hosted competitive and feisty Williston squads, treating the spectators to high octane racing and soaring diving performances. Suffield captured the opening medley relays, with Shaun Johnson, Sydney Winters, Samantha Hagberg, and Dasiy Fauver pacing the Tigerwomen, and all senior quartet CIan Beaulieu, Max Miranda, Wes Bartlett, and Matt Titterton powering the boys over the Wildcats. Winters and Miranda returned to the blocks only a few minutes later to wow the crowd with speedy swims in the 200 free. Winters outtouched former club teammate and distance ace Sydney Joyce in a "first to final" stroke duel, 1:54.31 to 1:54.42. The next race was a one man affair, with All American Miranda racing out to a blazing 47.5 first 100 en route to a new New England prep, pool, and school record 137.93. It is highly unusual to see a national level swim from an unrested swimmer in dual meet competition.
Another barnburner race followed, as sophomore high-flyer Sam Hagberg raced WNS's versatile Ava Larkin. For eight lengths and across four strokes, the two girls battled, and the 200 IM race only separated by .05 with a 50 to go. Larkin got to the wall first, but Hagberg earned a PB in a fine 2:12.27 effort (to Larkin's 2:11.91). Caitlin Lally swam to a respectable 2:26.81, while battling for third place. In the boys' race, Joe Rusnock and Marco Secchiaroli chased WNS star Sam Haddad, not finding quite enough premium fuel to overtake him at the end of the race. Mike Giugliano swam to a lifetime best for fourth place. Tigerseniors dominated the sprint free. Johnson and Devina Bhalla sped to fine 24.81 and 25.02 performances for 1-2, and Amanda Kikonyogo grabbed the 5th place point. For the boys, it was Beaulieu and Bartlett also grabbing 1-2, and fellow senior Walter Kress securing fourth place.
The diving competition on Senior Day is perennially one where records are broken and PRs are achieved. This was again the case today. Senior Carlin Molander, after witnessing the school record being broken during Senior Day in her freshman year, was able to repeat the feat she had witnessed, earning a score of 246.95, breaking the record by 5 points, and adding 17 points to her previous PR. Freshman Emma Krasemann, however, was right on her heels, also breaking the record and setting a PR, scoring a 243.35. Fast improving first-year diver, junior Anna Wilcox, set a huge PR with a 171.6, good enough for fourth place. Sophomore Grace Reeves, diving exhibition, also earned a PR with a 165.15. Junior Becca Bauer and freshman Julia Cotteleer also dove very well in exhibition efforts. With sophomore Alec Wright out with an injury and Williston fielding no boy divers, senior Kevin Kuzmeski and junior Charlie Tilney-Volk were the only male competitors, springboarding to excellent scores of 238.45 and 293.3, respectively.
In a return to swimming, the first event staged was the 100 fly. Here, Hagberg again had to face a challenge from the Blue, this time mounted by two Wildcats, Sally Alrutz and Molly Kinstle. The three girls turned even at the 50, and it was off to the races for the second 50, with the lead changing hands several times. At the finish wall, it was Alrutz, Hagberg, and Kinstle, earning times of 59.86, 1:00.36 and 1:00.57. In the boys' race, Titterton swam to easy victory, followed by Giugliano, who grabbed second place. Bhalla paced the 100 freestylers, winning easily, followed by Fauver (5th) and Cecile Meier Scherling (6th) in PB swims, while in the boys' race, sophomore Brett Smith challenged the veteran Bartlett, with Bartlett winning in 50.57 and Smith swimming to a PB 51.06. Max Bass finished in fourth place in the event. The Wildcat's Joyce captured the 500, Lally was second, and freshman Jenna Daly improved by nine seconds in a fifth place effort. Miranda, again eying records, swam to a crowd pleasing 4:27.67, just shy of the N.E. record (4:26.05), but was well under his own school and pool records. Fine swims were recorded by Andrew Budge and Kress, who grabbed second and third places.
In the sprint relay, Suffield (Kikonyogo, Hagberg, Polidoro, Bhalla) could not quite get by Williston's girls' quartet, despite a blazing lifetime best 23.72 anchor leg, delivered by Bhalla. WNS swam to 1:44.36, ahead of SA's 1:44.89. The boys' quartets swam to a 1-2-4 finish. Backstroke found Johnson in her last at home individual race, and she did not disappoint, swimming to an unrested best 58.52, ahead of Alrutz's impressive 59.06 Abby James and Meier Scherling swam to season bests in the event. Secchiaroli and Rusnock were the class of the field in the boys' backstroke, racing to new top 25 times, 55.85 and 56.20. James Muslu also bested the Wildcat backstrokers, swimming to a new PB. Winters extended her undefeated streak by winning the 100 breaststroke in a new pool record 1:05.11, ahead of former teammate Eva Crouse's 1:05.56 mark. Polidoro cruised to third place, and Fauver to fifth, in the strong finish for Suffield. Maya Grant and Blaire McGavin each swam to 1:44s (PBs for both of them) in a photo finish in heat two (H2). Beaulieu and Titterton raced each other and WNS's Haddad in an entertaining race, as all three swam in lockstep fashion to the final touch. The scoreboard read Haddad (1:04.06), Beaulieu (1:04.21), and Titterton (1:04.35); for Beaulieu, it was a lifetime best, and for Titterton, a season best time. Neil Budge and Oscar Ceria eclipsed several seconds from their PBs each in H2, swimming to 1:17.15 and 1:19.34, respectively.
Suffield captured the final freestyle relays in convincing fashion. While the girls' team score, against the powerful 2017 D2 championship titleists Williston, did not come out in the Tigerwomens' favor, the meet was a good test for them, helping them to prepare for the D1 championship meet three weeks away. The Tigermen seem to be gaining momentum, and should be a serious force to be reckoned with, at Exeter, in early March.