By Daniel Kane
MARBLEHEAD — The Marblehead swim team remained undefeated after swimming to a 100-81 victory over Danvers Thursday night at the Lynch/van Otterloo YMCA.
With the win, the Magicians have clinched a Northeastern Conference title.
“It feels great,” Marblehead coach Susan Guertin said. “Now we have another week to put together the conference meets, the championship meets. That really helps to have the meets over with. It’s been great this year.
“We just have some amazing kids,” Guertin added. “I say this every year and we picked up three boys, Nate Pulido, Morgan Taylor and Cooper Caldwell, that are all swimmers and good swimmers. It has helped bring everybody up. The other kids want to live up to it and it creates some healthy competition in the pool. It has helped us immensely.”
Marblehead placed first in 10 of 12 events with Theo Chemel, Amanda Wager and Brian Coleman each winning two events. Chemel won the 200-yard freestyle (1:59.49) and the 500-yard freestyle (5:12.70), Wager won the 200-yard individual medley (2:14.99) and the 100-yard breaststroke (1:10) and Coleman won the 100-yard butterfly (57.04) and the 100-yard backstroke (55.75).
Pulido (54.06) just outreached Danvers’ Raphael Hicaro (54.34) to win the 100-yard freestyle and Cara Grazado scored a 214.50 to win the one-meter diving.
The group of Chemel, Lucas Perez, Coleman and Pulido won two out of three relay events, the 200-yard medley relay (1:51.82) and the 400-yard freestyle (3:47.99).
Despite the loss, the Falcons were still able to finish first in two events while competing against some of the best competition in the NEC.
“Marblehead is an unbelievable team,” Danvers coach Meghan Symmes-Beaulieu said. “But the fun part about coming into this meet is that you’re going to face the best competition in every race. The kids have a chance to get the best times.”
Hicaro was able to place first in the 50-yard freestyle (23.96) and the group of Ethan McGrath, John O’Neill, Jared Casey and Hicaro placed first in the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:42.02). O’Neill also qualified for both states and sectionals after finishing second in one-meter diving with a score of 208.
“We were looking to qualify some things,” Symmes-Beaulieu said. “Our diver John actually qualified for sectionals and states tonight which is really great. He’s a senior and he has been working on it for a couple years, he had goals set and he made it happen today. That was one of our biggest takeaways.”
Along with O’Neill, Symmes-Beaulieu was happy to see improvements from the Falcons’ relay teams.
“Our boys 200 free relay had a great race,” Symmes-Beaulieu added. “We are trying to make a sectional cut for that so that was a great race too. They just missed it but it was their fastest race of the season. They took off two seconds so they’re just one second away from making the time. Raphael Hicaro is a great swimmer. He’s already made sectionals and states as well as Jared Casey in the 100 backstroke.”
Both teams will now have a week off in preparation for NEC boys and girls meets at Salem State University. NEC boys/girls diving championships (4) and boys swim championships (6) are on Tuesday Jan. 29th. Girls swim championships are on Jan. 30th (5).
“Everyone is really committed right now between double practices and everything else,” Guertin said. “I don’t like to lay down expectations going forward, the kids do it for themselves.”