MHS girls swim/dive team wins state championship, boys finish in top 10

The Marblehead High girls swim/dive team captured the state championship on Saturday, Feb. 18, at MIT. 

“(Our girls) worked hard to get here,” said veteran coach Sue Guertin. “We were down before the 500-yard freestyle, but thanks to Clementine Robins, who won the event, we were up by four points.

“Amherst-Pelham won the West Sectional, and was slated to win the state championship, which they won last year,” added Guertin. “Amherst had two girls in the backstroke, who scored ahead of us. But in the breaststroke, we always have had great swimmers in that event, and we had three this year that scored valuable points, and Amherst had none, which gave us a good lead going into the 400-yard freestyle relay, the last event. Our girls – Anna Coleman, Sophia Weiner, Bella Takata and Robins – were seeded fifth in the final heat. Amherst was seeded to win it. The girls just had to hold their spot, because we were far enough ahead. However, we still could not make any mistakes. The relay team ended up placing first, while dropping seven seconds to establish a new personal berth. It was unbelievable.”

Marblehead High swimmers Sophia Weiner, Clementine Robins, Anna Coleman, Finn Bergquist, Cecelia
Robbins, Brinleigh Callahan and Bella Takata proudly hold the state championship banner, while posing
with the first-place trophy after finishing first at MIT on Saturday, Feb. 18. COURTESY PHOTO

For the record, the Marblehead girls were credited with 241 points, easily outdistancing second-place Amherst-Pelham, who ended up with 196.5 points.

“It was a great weekend for the Marblehead swim program,” said Guertin. “The girls represented their community, school and teammates well as talented, dedicated and committed student-athletes, who should all be extremely proud of their accomplishments, while the boys, with only five competing, finished ninth in the state, two places better than last year.”

The 200-yard medley relay team of Song Waitekus, Bella Takata, Finn Bergquist and Anna Coleman (1:54.6) kicked the states off right with a third-place finish.

Robins (1:52.58) was also No. 1 in the 200-yard freestyle. Sophia Weiner (2:02.76) was 11th.

Waitekus (2:14.18) took fifth in the 200 IM. Bergquist (2:20.76) finished 22nd overall. Coleman (25.79) was 16th in the 50-yard freestyle.

Bergquist (1:03.6) was 20th in the 100-yard butterfly. In the 100-yard freestyle, Takata (55.76, sixth) and Coleman (55.87, eighth) had top 10 performances.

Robins (5:06.8) did her part to ring up the first-place points, this time in the 500-yard freestyle. Brinleigh Callahan (5:31.31) was 12th overall in the entire state.

The 200-yard freestyle relay of Waitekus, Cecelia Robbins, Sophia Weiner and Robins (1:41.33) recorded a second-place finish. Weiner (1:01.80) came back to end up seventh in the 100-yard backstroke.

In that critical 100-yard breaststroke event, Takata (1:07.25) picked up second place points. Waitekus (1:10.27) was sixth, and Cecelia Robbins (1:12.94) 14th.

Now comes the most clutch performance of last Saturday’s state meet, and the likes of Coleman, Weiner, Takata and Robins (3:39.89, just one second shy of the school record) did not disappoint to come out on top to secure the top prize in the state.

Determined effort by the boys 

Again, with only five participants, the Marblehead boys finished ninth in the state. They were 11th last year. The 200-yard medley relay quartet of Cale Nelson, Gregory Podstrelov, Cole Brooks and Logan Doody (1:44.61) started off Sunday’s state meet right by coming in eighth.

In the 200-yard freestyle, Brooks (1:43.80) accounted for a second-place finish. Doody (22.45) was eighth in the 50-yard freestyle.

Brooks (52.00, fifth) and Podstrelov (56.61, 16 th ) did a good job in the 100-yard butterfly. Doody (49.76) was seventh in the 100-yard freestyle. Nelson (5:15.8) was 16th in the 500-yard freestyle. Nelson (59.22) experienced similar results in the 100-yard backstroke. The 400-yard freestyle relay team of Doody, Nate Rosen, Nelson and Brooks came in sixth.

Guertin is graduating five seniors this year, and what a way it was to go out, before they embark on college careers. On the girls side, Robins is heading to Williams College, Coleman is committed to Colby and Robbins chose Union. The boys will be sending off Brooks, who is going to attend UMass-Amherst. Grady at this moment is undecided about his college plans.

Joe McConnell | + posts

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