Vineyarders shine in Island's first swim meet
Photo by Ralph Stewart
The Martha's Vineyard Regional High School swimming club hosted Blue Hills Regional Vocational Technical School in the Island's first swimming meet at the new YMCA pool Monday.
The Blue Hills Warriors gathered enough points to win a narrow 140-134 decision. However, the victory did little to dampen the Vineyarder's enthusiasm in their first official competition. The fact that the Vineyarders placed first in seven of the eleven events, made the day all the more memorable.
At the conclusion of the meet, both teams gave enthusiastic cheers and shook hands.
Vineyard coach Robin Tuck was pleased with what she saw from her rookie team.
"It is not often a coach can say that every single swimmer did their best times. It was really great. It was beyond what I ever imagined," coach Tuck said. "They were really nervous and they rose to the occasion."
She also took note of her team's sportsmanship. "What was nice was that they followed their swimmer's etiquette and they showed their appreciation for the competition from the other team," coach Tuck said.
The Vineyard team provided great performances throughout the afternoon.
Paige Nitardy was first in both the 50 and 100 meter freestyle events with times of 25:76 and 56:48. Zach Lammie was second in both races, and Luke Sederholm took home third in the 50m.
Bennet Schwab won the 50m butterfly in a time of 34:69. Kaija Nivala was second.
The meet reached the mid-way point with the grueling 20-lap 500m race. Zach Lammie won in a thriller as he dueled neck and neck with his Blue Hills counterpart for several laps, fell behind by three lengths with three laps to go, and claimed first by a single stroke in 6:35.19.
The final individual honor went to Teo Azzollini, who won the 100m breaststroke. Lucas Thors placed second.
In the team events, M.V. captured two. Jack deForest, Niki Alexander, Paige Nitardy, and Zach Lammie won the 400m freestyle relay in 4:20.71.
Two Vineyard teams placed in the 200m freestyle relay. Luke Sederholm, Niki Alexander, Alex Guest, and Bennet Schwab took top honors, followed by Justice Yennie, Julia Duart, Reid Yennie, and Tony Breath in third place.
Coach Tuck praised her staff and volunteers, including assistant coach Kim O' Callaghan, peer coach Julia Duart, her father James, who helped with the scoring, and the team's yoga instructor Claire Parkhurst, who designed a specific program for the swimmers. She also praised MVRHS athletics director Mark McCarthy for his hard work in finding opponents who match up well with the fledgling team's skill levels.
The Vineyarders travelled to Nauset late yesterday. They swim against Bridgewater-Raynham at the YMCA pool this Saturday at 2:30 pm.