Big Day for Relays as Pittsfield Boys, Girls Sweep New Lebanon

By Rick Sports
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PITTSFIELD, Mass -- Coming into the season, the Pittsfield Generals’ 200-yard medley relay team set a goal to qualify for the state tournament. In just the team’s second meet of the year the group accomplished that goal, in the opening race of Friday’s dual with the New Lebanon Tigers at the Pittsfield Boys and Girls Club.
The relay team of  Jordan Bradford, Szofia Lewis, Caitlin Hall and Jackie Roccabruna combined for a time of 2 minutes, .73 seconds. 
In the team competition, Pittsfield picked up a pair of wins, with the boys posting a 68-22 victory and the girls winning with a 77-16 decision.
“These girls have been talking about this,” Pittsfield head coach Jim Harrington said said of the MR squad. “They are led by two senior captains in Jordan Bradford and Szofia Lewis, and they have been to states as individuals. But we have waited a long time to have a team to go to states, and in a relay it is going to make a big difference in their season, their mental outlook when they go to a meet like that having teammates with them, and having more events to swim at the state meet. 
“So it is great leadership by them. This was their goal from the start of the season and it only took them to their second meet to get it, so now on to bettering that time and bettering their place and seed time at states.”
The Generals added to the big day when the girls 200 freestyle relay team also qualified for the state meet, with a time of 1:59.81. That group was comprised of Emily Bradford, Norah Miller, Yael Snowise and Kiera Divine.
“So now we have two state-qualifying relay teams to go along with Szofia Lewis, who qualified yesterday in the individual 100 breaststroke,” Harrington said. “We have a few down now. Our goal is to have at least six qualifying times in the state meet. I think we will make it and maybe even surpass it, since we already have three down.”
Freshman Jackie Roccobruna also qualified for the Western Mass Championships in the 100 freestyle, with a time of 58.67. Her time was nearly three seconds ahead to earn her first place in the event, with Kiera Divine next, finishing at 1:01.53.
The Generals had a boy place first in every event to lead to victory. Connor Hayford placed first in both the 200 individual medley with 2:34.01 and the 100 freestyle at 1:00.46, while also helping pace the 200 medley relay team to a finish in 2:00.41, along with Christian Marchbanks, Asa Chard and Conor Mooney. James Swanton finished first in the 200 freestyle with a mark of 2:20.63 and also placed first in the 100 butterfly in 1:09.32.
Jordan Bradford helped pace the girls, who took first place in nine of the 11 events. Bradford placed first in the 200 IM at 2:38.74 and again in the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:08.83
As is the goal of every meet, many swimmers also improved on their personal best times. The excitement and energy of each accomplishment sent ripples throughout the roster, as each swimmer fed off the encouragements from their teammates. Harrington noted many who improved on their times, which was very encouraging to see so quickly coming off of Thursday’s meet.
“Caitlin Hall had her personal-best time in the butterfly, and it was a second faster than just yesterday,” Harrington noted. “Jackie Roccobruna is just a freshman and she also had a great day today.”
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