January 5, 2017
PHOTO BY BOB ROCHE
Mae Caldwell swims the backstroke in the 200 individual medley for Marblehead.
By TREVOR WENNERS
MARBLEHEAD – There could be a strong argument in favor of the Marblehead High swim team being a dynasty.
The Magicians (5-0) continued their perfect season by earning nine first-place finishes during a 112-74 victory in dual-meet action against Classical on Thursday evening at the Lynch/van Otterloo YMCA in Marblehead.
The squad also went undefeated last season in dual meets, as the girls earned Division 2 state champion honors with 271.5 points.
“The team is doing well,” Marblehead coach Sue Guertin said. “We still have five key meets, and some of them we have left are the strongest meets.
“We are probably not as strong as we were last year, particularly on the boys side, because people graduated. I think some of the other teams have some strong boys so it is a little more even this year.”
Thursday, junior Meagan Hathaway finished first overall in the 200-yard freestyle (2:00.96) and the 100-yard butterfly (59.77) for the Magicians.
Senior Thomas Rockett earned first-place honors in the 50-yard freestyle (24.79) and the 100-yard freestyle (57.85), while senior Ellie Ronan took home first-place recognition in the 200-yard individual medley (2:12.70) and the 100-yard backstroke (1:05.23), while sophomore Amanda Wager finished first in the 500-yard freestyle (5:35.48) and the 100-yard breaststroke (1:10.90).
The unit of junior Grace Maguire, Wager, Hathaway and Ronan garnered first-place accolades in the 400-yard freestyle relay with a time of 3:54.38.
For the Rams (1-3), Harrison Seitz, Eric Macorri, Carly Mendonca and Alex Pedro earned first-place honors in the 200-yard medley relay (1:58.81), while Pedro, Elias Bakas, Macorri and Jacob Lang finished first in the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:46.89).
Senior diver Katie Walker has been an enormous reason behind the success of the Magicians over the last few years, as she has been the Northeastern Conference champion the past two seasons and will compete at Villanova University next season. Walker placed fourth in diving at the state championship last season with 483.25 points.
Depth has not been an issue at all for this version of the Magicians. Other strong divers for the team are Ryan Driscoll, a sectional and state qualifier, and sectional qualifiers in freshman Carter Murray and Carly Sontz, along with strong performances from George MacDonald and Bennett Zurn.
Ronan, who will take her talents to the University of Richmond next season, has been a force for the Magicians.
“Ellie Ronan is very, very versatile,” Guertin said. “She can really swim anything. Her best swim is the freestyle and the backstroke.”
Hathaway (butterfly, freestyle), Wager (breaststroke, individual medley), Maguire (backstroke, distance freestyle, 200 free), Rockett (butterfly, 1,500 freestyle), junior Lucas Perez (butterfly, freestyle) and junior Mae Caldwell have all been vital components to the success of the program.
Ronan, Wager and Hathaway were all a part of the Magicians’ 200 medley relay team, which placed first overall at the state championship last season, while Ronan, Hathaway and Maguire were vital reasons the squad took home first-place honors in the 400 freestyle relay at the state meet.
The Magicians will be tested over their next trio of meets, with matchups against Peabody and Beverly next week, and an upcoming tilt against Danvers.
“Those are going to be key swim meets for the season,” Guertin said.
Junior diver Sarah Sirois has been nothing short of tremendous for Lynn Classical (1-2), as she has qualified for the sectional and state meets. The squad’s 400 freestyle relay group, featuring Gabriela Marquez, Alaina Gridley, Rachel Brennan and Mendonca, qualified as a unit for the sectional championship.
Mendonca has additionally qualified on the individual side for the sectional meet in the 50 freestyle, 200 individual medley, 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke, while senior Macorri has contributed with a great deal of versatility.
Lang and Brennan have stepped up as first-year, high school swimmers, while Bakas, Emily Tardiff and Krista Bucko have made tremendous strides this season.
“I have a terrific team with great camaraderie,” Rams coach Denise Silva said. “We show tremendous sportsmanship, as we are constantly complimented on that by other teams, other parents and our own. We are learning. We are getting personal bests in each and every meet by leaps and bounds. We have a couple new freshmen, who have stepped right into some open spots. I am incredibly proud of what we have been able to accomplish.”