Vineyard swimmers qualify for sectionals
Three Martha’s Vineyard swimmers qualified and competed at Sectional Championships at Milford High School over the weekend.
On Saturday, Sophomore Co-Captain Olympia Hall represented the girls in the 50 (27.48) and 100 free (1:01.18).
“She went on to swim a USA meet on Sunday with her club team, and qualified for silvers in the 200 breast! Go Olympia!” head coach Jen Passafiume wrote in an email to The Times.
On Sunday, Senior Co-Captain Ruairi Mullin and Junior Co-Captain Christian Flanders represented the boys.
The biggest accomplishment was achieved by star swimmer Ruairi Mullin in the 200 free. He smoked his heat, leading by over a body length after the first 100, and held onto it until the end. He not only took almost a full second off his own school record, setting a new one, he also placed seventh overall, making him the first Vineyard boy to ever place top 8 individually at the south sectional championship.
Christian Flanders was up next in the 50 free (24.02). Then Ruairi got back in to swim the 100 free (52.07). Despite some fast swimming, with some very tough competition in the pool, neither swimmer placed in that event.
Ruairi and Christian will be joined by their relay teammates, Emmett and Nathan, at the State Championship at Boston University Sunday on February 27.
Boys hockey keeps rolling
The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School boys hockey team had two impressive wins — one a dominating 9-1 win over Bourne and the other a thrilling 3-2 victory over Nauset Regional High School.
In the game against Bourne last Wednesday, nearly everyone scored a goal or an assist with every line contributing to the win. Notably Chase Grant got his first two goals as a varsity player, senior Jake Cleland had two goals and an assist, and Richie Combra had his first goal, Coach Matt Mincone told The Times.
Coming off that win and their dramatic win in OT the previous week, the boys hockey team was gearing up for a big test against Nauset. The Vineyarders eked out a win in the first matchup 2-1 on a bit of a fluke goal. “I thought we snuck one by them in the first game. That game could have gone either way,” Coach Mincone said.
Ahead of the game, the Nauset coach was terminated and Nauset players let the Vineyarders know they were going to do something in the first 30 seconds in solidarity for the coach. MVRHS went along with the team’s decision to not play the first 30 seconds, then it was game on.
Playing with a lot of emotion, Nauset jumped out to a 2-0 lead. “I told our guys we’re going to have to withstand this in the beginning. They’re going to be passionate about what’s going on,” Coach Mincone said.
The 2-0 lead held until 9 minutes to go in the second period. That’s when Jake Scott scored to get the Vineyarders on the board, followed by a goal by Will Brugiere to tie the score. “Nate Averill got flattened, but he did his job to advance the puck. We were on a line change and Will got it and scored to tie the game,” Coach Mincone said.
Tied 2-2 in the third period, the Vineyarders kept their composure, kept up their pace and ultimately Hunter Johnson scored to give MVRHS the lead 3-2. His goal was assisted by Frankie Paciello and Nate Averill. “We did it again and came back and beat them 3-2,” Coach Mincone said. “These games are so exciting this year because we don’t quit.”
The coach also praised his goalie Graham Stearns for his leadership. He said the team’s defense doesn’t get on the stat sheet, but has come up big in keeping pucks away from the net.
The team has a whirlwind few days. They were scheduled to play a rescheduled game against Hopkinton Tuesday and as The Times went to press they were headed to Nantucket for a game pushed up ahead of Thursday’s strong winds.
The Vineyarders play Friday at Plymouth and Sunday at home and finish out the regular season next Wednesday and Thursday.
At 10-1 they’re in good shape headed toward the postseason.