Kaitlin Harty gave the performance of the meet, as she led Beverly to two records at the 2016 Massachusetts Girls State Swimming and Diving Championship. Earlier in the season, Harty became the first girl in Massachusetts to swim under 54 in the 100 backstroke. In her final high school meet, Harty took the record even lower. Westford Academy won the team title in Division 1, while Marblehead knocked off defending champion Weston in Division 2.
Division 1 Highlights
Harty swam one of her three state records right off the bat. She led off with 24.94 backstroke leg on the 200 medley relay. With teammates Sarah Welch, Andrea Higgins and Grace Athanas, Harty tied Westford Academy’s 2014 record with a 1:46.39.
Next up for Harty was the 100 butterfly, which she won in her only non-record breaking swim. The foursome of Harty, Welch, Higgins and Nicole Welch would also set a 400 freestyle relay state record to finish the meet, recording 3:29.71.
Harty’s best performance came in her best event (in this format), the 100 backstroke. She swam a well paced 52.78, winning by nearly five seconds and lowering her own record by nearly a second.
Westford Academy, despite winning just one relay and no individual events, won easily. Their lone victory came in the 200 freestyle relay, where they set a meet record in the process. The team of Katherine Pawlak, Emily Rudman, Abby Edison and Ali Kea touched at 1:37.84. They also finished second to Beverly in the other two relay races.
Top three team scores from Division 1:
- Westford Academy 312
- Beverly 228.5
- Lincoln-Sudbury 156
Division 2 Highlights
While Weston High School’s Boys swimming and diving team has dominated Division 2, 2015 was their first girls championship. This year, Marblehead won nearly half of the events on the slate to prevent a repeat.
There were no state records in the competition, although there were a couple of close calls. Lynnfield sophomore Sabrina Bunar scored 558.70 in diving, setting a meet record in the process. The existing state record is 579.30. In the 100 freestyle, Longmeadow senior Jerrica Li swam 50.27. The swim was a meet record but just short of her 50.19 state record from two years ago.
Kylie Cronin was the top individual performer for Marblehead. She won both the 50 freestyle (24.05) and 100 butterfly (55.57). She also swam on Marblehead’s winning 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays.