MVRHS girl swimmers rock at states

Gabby Carr puts Vineyarders on the board.

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Gabby Carr helped the MVRHS swim team record its first points in the state championships. — Zach Chew

Sophomore swimmer Gabby Carr took ninth place in the 200-meter freestyle and placed 13th in the 500-meter freestyle in the state Division 2 swimming and diving championships on Saturday night.

Her 13 points were the first points ever recorded by a Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) swimmer at the state finals. The top 16 finishers in each of the 12 events earns points. Carr swam the 200 in 2:01.27, and the 500 in a best personal time of 5:30.27 minutes.

The Vineyarder 400-meter relay team placed 20th in the state, and the 200-meter relay team placed fourth in their heat, and 27th overall. The team finished 33rd in the state among 51 registered teams at the finals held in a super-raucous Boston University pool.

Coach Jon Chatinover is a quiet coach, but he was ebullient Saturday night. “Tonight is by far our best performance. We’ve been here maybe a half-dozen times, but this is the first time we’ve scored. And these kids are young!” he said, as Assistant Coaches Jen Passafiume and Rainy Goodale savored the moment.

Passafiume, for whom ebullience is a normal state, offered perspective. “You know what? Just getting here is fantastic. Qualifying for the state championships is the achievement,” she said, noting that only 41 of the 51 qualifying schools actually scored points in the tourney.

And they are young. Annabelle Brothers, an eighth grader, swam the first leg of the 400-meter relay along with sophomores Carr and Yayla DeChiara, and steady senior Jasselle Wildanger. Sophomore Eleanor Hyland swam in the 200-meter relay with Carr, Brothers, and DeChiara.

The Vineyarders kept their cool in an insane environment — three-plus hours of high-decibel nonstop noise generated by an estimated crowd of 1,000, including swimmers, coaches, and fans.