MVRHS swimmers feature lots of rookies and a new league

Solid finish in season premiere bodes well.

Gabby Carr, shown here at a practice, helped the MVRHS swim team record its first points in the state championships. — Ralph Stewart

The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School varsity swim teams, though short on experience, have solid numbers. Saturday, the Vineyarders dove into the deep end of the pool to begin their 2018–19 season, and emerged with a solid middle-of-the-pack finish in the Bay Colony Conference (BCC) Relay Carnival in Sandwich.

After two years in the Eastern Athletic Conference, the Vineyard has returned to the Bay Colony Conference (BCC). The Vineyard placed sixth out of nine teams in the BCC event on Saturday. Nantucket won the overall team score, with 211 points in the 12-event relay competition. Most of the relays were mixed-gender events (two girls and two boys on each relay). The top eight relays scored points. In the first event, the girls 200 medley relay, the Vineyard (Yayla DeChiara, backstroke; captain Abigail Hammarlund, breaststroke; Gabby Carr, butterfly; and Eleanor Hyland, freestyle) took fifth with a time of 2:12.99. The girls 200 freestyle relay team of Jasselle Wildanger, Olympia Hall (seventh grade), Delilah Hammarlund, and Eleanor Hyland took seventh with a time of 2:03.97. The next relay to score was the mixed 400 medley relay. Oliver Dorr (back), Abigail Hammarlund (breast), Gabby Carr (fly), and Greg Clark (free) finished fifth with a time of 4:45.87. In the mixed 500 freestyle relay, Greg Clark (50 yd), Jasselle Wildanger (100 yd), Simon Hammarlund (seventh grade, 150 yd) and Gabby Carr (200 yd), finished sixth with a time of 6:01.07. The Vineyard saved their best, a fourth-place finish, for the last event, the 400 freestyle relay. Oliver Dorr, Yayla DeChiara, Greg Clark, and Gabby Carr finished in 4:03.08. Vineyard opens its dual meet season on Thursday, Dec. 13, hosting Sandwich at the YMCA on the Vineyard.

“It was a great first meet for the team. For many swimmers, it was their first-ever competitive meet,” Head Coach Jon Chatinover said. Assessing the team last week before the meet, Chatinover said a .500 season was the goal. The girls squad is coming off a 4-9 season, and the boys were 5-8 in 2017–18.

Chatinover has some returning trump cards for his confidence. Sophomore Yayla DeChiara made sectional competition, Gabby Carr was the first Vineyarder to score at the state level as a freshman, and seventh graders Eleanor Hyland and Annabelle Brothers competed at the state level.

And with a roster of three dozen swimmers, he has a larger boys’ contingent than usual. “Typically, girls’ teams have bigger numbers than boys in the sport, but we’ve had a bubble come through the Makos this year,” he said. The Makos are a swim team organized and coached by Rainy Goodale at the Island Y pool.

Also, the 2018–19 schedule is less exhausting, particularly in January: “We had 13 dual meets last year, compared with 10 (six home, four away) this year. January is packed with meets, but it’s more manageable,” he said.


Girls swim team roster

Middle school seventh graders Olympia Hall and Grace Robinson and eighth grader Annabelle Brothers join freshman Delilah Hammarlund and sophomores Yayla DeChiara, Gabriella Carr, Eleanor Hyland, Margaret Sykes, and Madeline Youmans. Upperclass swimmers are juniors Abigail Hammarlund (captain), Kathryn Cuthbert, Maria Strogonova, and Indigo Giambattista, and seniors Charlotte Rooney, Jillian Pyden, Raven McCormack, Gabby Wilbur, Jennyfer Balbino, and Jaselle Wildanger.


Boys swim team roster

It includes six middle schoolers, three freshmen, one sophomore, one junior, and two seniors. Seventh graders are Andrue Carr, Everett Dorr, and Simon Hammarlund, and eighth graders Jack Crawford, Nathan Cuthbert, and Christian join freshmen Oliver Dorr, Ruairi Mullin, and Noah Lawry and sophomore Nicholas Lytle, junior Greg Clark, and seniors Ryan Laslovich (captain) and Enrique Contreras.

Leslie Craven, Tara Nitardy, Jen Passafiume, and Rainy Goodale are the assistant coaches.