Vineyard swimmers place 16th at state meet

Boys team places despite losing a main relay swimmer.


The Vineyarder boys relay swim team capped a stellar season Sunday with a 16th-place finish at the state championship meet in Boston.

The relay team finished at 1:39.15 — without one of its main participants. The team was able to persevere to its top 20 finish after losing junior Nathan Cuthbert, who tested positive for COVID the Friday before the meet. Head Coach Jen Passafiume told The Times that while it was unfortunate, the team was prepared, and freshman Kaua DeAssis stepped up to help the team. 

The team had been running at peak performance with a conference championship win against Nantucket last month, ending the rival island’s seven-year win streak. 

The Vineyard team has five graduating seniors, four boys and one girl. Three of the seniors had never been on the swim team, which Passafiume said was a welcome boost this season. So far, it’s hoped there are nine boys and five girls returning next year. Passafiume also coaches the YMCA Makos feeder team, which introduces kids to competitive swimming and gets them involved in the high school swim team when they’re older. 

In individual races, co-captains Christian Flanders and Mullin did well. Flanders placed 26th in the 50-meter freestyle, and Mullin placed 18th in the 200-meter freestyle, as well as 24th in the 100-meter freestyle.

“I’m just so thrilled with the season we had this year. The two biggest highlights were winning the championship meet and Ruairi placing in the 200 free,” Passafiume said. “We had a really awesome season.”