High School Swimmers Battle Mother Nature, One Another

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires.com Sports
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HUDSON, N.Y. -- The day did not start out the way Mount Anthony swimmer Emily Tibbetts may have wanted.
And it did not end perfectly.
But in between, the MAU ninth-grader was one of the fastest swimmers in the pool at the Berkshire County League Individuals meet at Hudson High School.
Tibbetts was a double-winner as an individual and swam backstoke on the Patriots’ winning medley relay quartet.
Not bad for one of the many athletes who had to roll with updated travel plans after subzero temperatures shut down their buses.
“It was minus-21 or whatever,” Mount Anthony coach Jody Driscoll said. “They sent a bus out to one event, and it got there and basically stalled. They couldn’t get it going again, because they didn’t have the heaters to keep the engines working. They said, ‘We can’t send you on a bus, because, if it stops, it’s not going again.’
“We don’t want to leave 22 kids stranded somewhere in a tin can.”
So, like their counterparts from Pittsfield and Taconic in Massachusetts, the Mount Anthony swimmers went with Plan B.
“At 6:30 in the morning, we called the parents, told everyone to be at the school at 8 o’clock,” Driscoll said. “Everybody picked up a kid or two, and we all came down.”
Tibbetts alone made it worth the trip for the Pats, winning the 200-yard individual medley in 2 minutes, 20.19 seconds and the 50 free in 26.18.
In the former, she was seeded second in the field. In the latter, she was seeded fourth. Her 26.18 shaved nearly a full second off her 27.11 seed time.
Dropping times is nothing new for Tibbetts, who set a school record in the 100 backstroke last month.
“She swam for the Bennington Marauders,” Driscoll said. “She’s been swimming since she was, I don’t know, 7, 8 years old. And she also plays soccer and does cross country skiing.”
In fact, Driscoll said, because swimming is not a sanctioned sport in Vermont (the Patriots are the only varsity squad), Tibbetts on Sunday will turn her direction full-time to MAU’s Nordic ski team, in time for the state championships later this month.
Tibbetts nearly ended her swim season with a 4-for-4 performance.
In the last race on her program, the 200 free relay, she swam the fastest split in the field, 25.37 seconds, but the Patriots finished in second place, 1.4 seconds behind champion Monument Mountain.
The Spartan girls took home two individual titles on Saturday, getting wins from Zoe Holmes in the 100 butterfly (1:02.71) and Helen Thorp in the 200 backstroke (1:07.37).
Monument Moutain’s boys won the medley relay and 200 free relay.
The Spartans also got individual wins from Vincent Dragonetti and Quinn Dillon.
Dragonetti edged teammate Tomas Ceola in the 100 free by .37 seconds.
Dillon was the only double winner in the boys meet, taking first in the 100 butterfly (59.77) and the 100 backstroke (1:10.67).
It was another solid day for the Spartans, who dominated the league’s dual meet schedule with undefeated seasons by the boys and girls.
And Monument Mountain’s success went beyond the podium finishes.
“Ninety percent, 80 percent of our team or whatever is done after today,” Spartans coach Jill Svirida said, referring to the swimmers who have not made cuts for next week’s Central/Western Massachusetts Championships at Springfield College. “For them, this is a showcase of all the work they’ve done.
“We had so many great swims today. Lots of big time drops, like Jayden [Dolby-Capele] in the 500, one of my freshmen, he dropped 31 seconds in the 500. That’s thrilling. But the huge grin on his face, the pride, that’s what it’s all about. We want them to feel that way when they finish up their season.”
Speaking of the 500, the sport’s marathon event provided two of the day’s most exciting finishes.
In the boys race, Pittsfield’s Joseph Kearns outkicked Mount Anthony’s Keegan Avienu, touching in 5:48.35 to win by .21 seconds.
It was even closer in the girls 500, where Kearns’ teammate Kiera Devine touched in 5:38.32 to edge Mount Anthony’s Shay Callahan by .04 seconds.
“I’ve had a few [tight races], but this was the closest one this season,” Devine said. “It was crazy, down to the last second. My heart was racing. But it was a really good race, and it was one of the main reasons I was able to pull out one of my best times.”
A good enough time to make the cut for the State Championships later this season at MIT Boston University.
The win also made a double-winner of Devine, who took first in the 200 freestyle (2:08.32) earlier in the day. She swam legs on Pittsfield’s winning 200 free relay quartet and 200 MR quartet to give the Generals’ senior three golds and silver on the day.
200 medley relay: 1. Mount Anthony (Tibbetts, Callanan, Poole, Zazzaro) 2:05.16; 2. Pittsfield, 2:07.01; 3. Taconic, 2:12.21.
200 freestyle: 1. Kiera Devine, PHS, 2:08.32; 2. Lily McDonald, MM, 2:10.26; 3. Sarah Curti, W, 2:34.20.
200 individual medley: 1. Emily Tibbetts, MAU, 2:20.19; 2. Zoe Holmes, MM, 2:24.23; 3. Hailey Rumlow, PHS, 2:34.41.
50 freestyle: 1. Emily Tibbetts, MAU, 26.18; 2. Mia Zuccalo, Tac, 26.41; 3. Jackie Roccabruna, PHS, 26.84.
100 Butterfly: 1. Zoe Holmes, MM, 1:02.71; 2. Keaghan Kline, MM, 1:06.72; 3. Leo Plaza, TH, 1:07.27.
100 freestyle: 1. Jackie Roccabruna, PHS, 58.44; 2. Lily McDonald, MM, 1:00.19; 3. Zoey Zazzaro, MAU, 1:01.23.
500 freestyle: 1. Kiera Devine, PHS, 5:38.32; 2. Shay Callahan, MAU, 5:38.36; 3. Sarah Curti, W, 7:04.92.
200 freestyle relay: 1. Pittsfield (Steinman, Rumlow, Devine, Roccabruna) 1:48.96; 2. Mount Anthony Union, 1:49.56; 3. Monument Mountain, 1:50.97.
100 backstroke: 1. Helen Thorp, MM, 1:07.37; 2. Shay Callahan, MAU, 1:07.79; 3. Riley Steinman, PHS, 1:08.94.
100 breaststroke: 1. Mia Zuccalo, Tac, 1:11.33; 2. Hailey Rumlow, PHS, 1:23.50; 3. Ella Reardon, W, 1:24.94.
400 freestyle relay: 1. Monument Mountain (Thorp, Becker, McDonald, Holmes) 4:01.87; 2. Taconic, 4:33.52; 3. Pittsfield, 4:47.66.
200 medley relay: 1. Monument Mountain, 1:58.93; 2. Taconic, 2:01.80; 3. New Lebanon, 2:03.12.
200 freestyle: 1. Lance Schroder, NL, 2:12.02; 2. Jonathan Bradway, Tac, 2:20.24; 3. Colin Joyce, MAU, 2:36.01.
200 individual medley: 1. Allison Slater, NL, 2:26.93; 2. Keegan Avienu, MAU, 2:33.44; 3. Liam Buckenroth, NL, 2:37.74.
50 freestyle: 1. Braeden McManus, MAU, 25.12; 2. Gage Statley, Tac, 25.14; 3. Tomas Ceola, MM, 25.48.
100 butterfly: 1. Quinn Dillon, MM, 59.77; 2. Alex Sotek, NL, 1:01.89; 3. Braeden McManus, MAU, 1:02.41.
100 freestyle: 1. Vincent Dragonetti, MM, 56.41; 2. Tomas Ceola, MM, 56.78; 3. Lance Schroder, NL, 58.25.
500 freestyle: 1. Joseph Kearns, PHS, 5:48.35; 2. Keegan Avienu, MAU, 5:48.56; 3. Liam Buckenroth, NL, 6:16.90.
200 freestyle relay: 1. Monument Mountain A, 1:43.76; 2. Mount Anthony Union, 1:45.20; 3. Taconic, 1:45.92.
100 backstroke: 1. Alex Sotek, NL, 1:03.58; 2. Allison Slater, NL, 1:07.24; 3. Isaac Schultz, MM, 1:10.98.
100 breaststroke: 1. Quinn Dillon, MM, 1:10.67; 2. Scott Langlois, Tac, 1:13.92; 3. Riley Gladu, W, 1:15.72.
400 freestyle relay: 1. New Lebanon (Schroder, Buckenroth, Slater, Sotek) 3:58.66; 2. Pittsfield, 4:13.39; 3. Mount Anthony Union, 4:14.11.
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