English swim team tops Classical

Lynn English's Peter Phelan swims the butterfly during the 200 yard IM. (Spenser R. Hasak)

LYNN — Another down-to-the-wire meet between the Classical and English swim teams took place Thursday night at Tech’s Field House. This time it was the Bulldogs that escaped with a 97-87 win with first-place finishes in seven of 12 events.

“The best part about it is that it’s Lynn English versus Classical,” English coach Lisa Trahant said after the meet. “They go in and all the kids know each other, but the whole team just gave it their all. I swam every person tonight, it was a team effort. Every swimmer on the team made a difference so to even list one name would be hard. It wasn’t just the people who got first (place), every point was huge.”

Individual first-place finishers for the Bulldogs included Caroline Zuffante (2:13.84) in the 200-yard freestyle and Peter Phelan (1:16.33) in the 100-yard breaststroke. Cole Story placed first in the 50 yard freestyle (26.82) and the 100 yard freestyle (1:02.83) while Hannah Trahant took first place in diving with a season-best score of 219.85.

The group of Story, Tarahant, Zuffante and Andy Nhiv won the 200 yard freestyle relay (1:55.88). Zuffante, Phelan, Amanda Fabrizio and Mary Lawlor won the 400 yard freestyle relay.

“Every point was huge tonight,” Lisa Trahant said. “I had a swimmer in the backstroke that was trying for me and she was nervous but she got a point and those things make the difference. You have experienced swimmers and then swimmers that have never done there events and then they do it.

“We had two people in the 500, Erik Whittier and Carlie Harris, they volunteered to do it,” she added. “All season we had only had one swimmer doing that race but we needed the depth. That’s what we did different this time, we filled all the lanes and we got those points for the depth.”

The Rams may fell shot but put together a solid effort. Classical and English were separated by just three points before the final race of the night.

“We didn’t win at the end of the meet on the final tally but it was very competitive going throughout the entire meet,” Classical coach Denise Silva said. “I would stand with these kids no matter what all the time. They’re great kids. They worked hard and will do anything that you ask of them. We are 47 strong, we had a couple who were out with illness, but everybody competed and everybody made a difference.”

Classical’s Jacob Lang and Carly Mendonca each won two individual races. Lang finished first in the 200-yard individual medley (2:18.97) and the 500-yard freestyle (5:42.95) while Mendonca won the 100-yard butterfly (1:02.85) and the 100-yard backstroke (1:02.72).

The group of Mendonca, Lang, Adam Mariano and Cristian Flores placed first in the 200-yard medley relay.

“I saw lots of individual bests in strokes,” Silva said. “I had to swim a couple of kids out of their routine because of swimmers who were out. Carly Mendonca has just been out of this world for us all her four years but especially as a senior. She won both the 100 fly and the 100 back against teammates that she swims against on a regular basis.

“I’m incredibly thrilled,” Silva added. “When you can look down the end of the pool and see everybody else down there cheering for everybody in the water, thats huge. We’re a family and they made Lynn Classical very proud.”

The Rams will look to gain revenge in the Lynn City meet (February 2nd) but for now the Bulldogs are happy to have bragging rights.

“The kids came in excited, they had been working hard all week for it and we came out with the win,” Lisa Trahant said. “I’m so proud of my team right now. They’re a great group of kids that give 100 percent and today it just showed. They wanted it and they went out and got it.”

Classical’s next meet is Monday at home against Medford. English will dive back into the pool January 24 at Salem.

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