Marrkand breaks three state records at Massachusetts High School state meet

Westford’s Jen Marrkand broke three state records in leading the Westford girls to the Division I title at the Massachusetts Winter State swimming and diving championships. Westford’s boys team won multiple events, but wound up second to St. John’s Prep in the boys DI meet.

In DII, the Wayland girls and Weston boys emerged as the victors. Other overall state records went to the Westford boys 400 free relay and Nauset’s Marie Chamberlain in the 100 back from the Division II meet. The state keeps separate records for each Division as well, with many of those meet records going down in the 2014 edition.

Division I

The boys of St. John’s Prep had to overcome six wins by rival Westford in order to claim the team trophy. St. John’s won just three races, but picked up lots of depth points en route to a 98-point team win.

St. Johns won the 200 medley relay at the meet’s opening, going 1:34.82 to blow away the field. The team of Alexander Swaim, Andrew Gillie, Joseph Turk and Anthony Petrozza were just about a second off the overall state record in the event.

Swaim and Turk were the other winners for the St. John’s boys. Turk won the 100 backstroke, going 50.98 to nearly break the Division I state record. Swaim tied for the 100 butterfly win, going 51.25. Also 51.25 in that race was Westford’s Jack Koravos, making the event a fitting indicator of the very prominent two-team battle that dominated the boys meet.

Westford swept the other two relays, going 1:26.04 to break the meet record in the 200 free and putting up a state-record 3:08.24 in the 400 free. Swimming on both of those relays were Jason Jung, Jack Koravos and Brian Poon. Henry Jiang joined them on the 200 and Kyle Pilachoswki on the 400.

Jung and Poon each won two individual events for Westford. Jung took the 200 free (1:40.58) and 100 free (45.66) combo, while Poon manned the 200 IM (1:49.37) and 500 free (4:32.29).

One more meet record fell, in the 50 free to Acton Boxboro’s Corben Miles. His 21.12 won by two tenths over Westford’s Koravos.

Other boys winners were Gabriel Bamforth of Cambridge in diving (510.80) and Thomas Normoyle of Minnechaug in the 100 breast (58.40).

On the girls’ side, Westford continued to win events, but this time wound up emerging victorious in the team battle as well. They were led by Jen Marrkand, who picked up 4 wins on the weekend. She broke the state record in the 200 IM, going 2:01.56, and added another state record later in the 100 back at 54.08.

The future Virginia Cavalier also swam on two winning relays. Her 200 medley went 1:46.39 to set another state record, and she also anchored the winning 400 free relay, which went 3:34.65. Joining her on the rec0rd-setting medley were Emma Gosselin, Courteney Martin and Ali Kea, while Martin, Tori Weinstock and Mara Tynan swam the 400 free event.

Multiple Division I meet records went down, including three in a row following Marrkand’s IM win. First, Algonquin’s Dorian McMenemy went 23.76 to break the 50 free mark, her first of two wins on the day. After that, Concord-Carlisle diver Meghan O’Brien scored 542.15 to break the 1-meter mark, and finally Beverly’s Astrid Swensen went 55.41 to break the 100 fly record after also finishing under the record mark earlier in the 200 IM (though the record itself went to Marrkand, who won the race).

McMenemey’s other win came in the 100 free, where she put up a 51.97. Other individual winners were Maddison Garber of Milford in the 100 breast (1:03.63 and a new meet record), Masconomet’s Carlyn Soares in the 500 free (5:01.79) and Chicopee’s Colleen Humel in the 200 free (1:53.67).

Division I boys results – Champion: St. John’s Prep

Division I girls results – Champion: Westford

Division II

In Division II boys, Weston topped Bishop Feehan by just 19 points, overcoming a big day from Feehan’s Grant Casey.

Casey anchored the winning 200 medley relay (the team went 1:37.88 to win easily), then came right off to win the 200 free, going 1:43.46. He would come back later in the meet to go 4:40.81 to win the 500 free by five full seconds. Finally, he capped things off by anchoring Feehan’s winning 400 free relay, which went 3:15.56.

Joining him on both winning relays were William McLaughlin and Jackson Perry. Matthew Kenney swam the medley while Timothy McDonald manned the 400 free.

The boys meet was unique in that, outside of Casey’s dominance for Bishop Feehan, no team claimed more than one race. Team winners Weston were only able to grab the 50 free, with Sam Cekala going 21.94 to touch out Mystic Valley’s Christian Kinnon by .04. Kinnon would come back to take the 100 breaststroke in 58.86.

Duxbury took the other relay event, with Nathaniel Davenport, Kevin Coughliln, Bradford Marcotte and Michael O’Neal going 1:29.70 to nab the 200 free relay title over a hard-charging Weston team.

The 200 IM was another tight race. Apponequet’s Alex Gallant went 1:56.29 to beat Hingham’s Graham Barrett by just two tenths. Also close was 1-meter diving, where Reece Donahue of Hopkington scored 447.15 – second was 8 points back and third just 9 back of that. The closest race of all, though was the 100 free, where Norwell’s Alessandro Rastelli went 48.30 to top Weston’s Cekala by .02.

Other boys winners were James Allen of Bromsfield in the 100 fly (51.87) and Belmont’s Andrew Kelley in the 100 back (52.64).

The girls meet was similar in that many teams won individual titles, and the winning team only took a pair of races. Wayland won the team points for girls, powered by breaststroker Molly Pierce and their winning 200 free relay.

Pierce went 1:06.85 to top the 100 breast just two events after swimming Wayland’s winning 200 free relay. She joined Heather Wright, Anna Downs and Elisabeth Wells to go 1:40.68 on that relay, beating out Weston by a little over half a second.

Taking second in the meet, Weston grabbed back-to-back individual titles early on. Victoria Bryson went 23.98 to win the 50 free before diver Mikeala Thompson won the 1-meter diving event with a score of 483.10.

One state record went down in the girls meet, from Nauset backstroker Marie Chamberlain. She crushed the 100 back field, going 54.02 to break her own meet record and the state record set in 2010 by Rachel Moore.

In addition, two swimmers broke the Division II meet record in the 100 fly. Marblehead’s Kylie Cronin won in 55.35, blowing away the old record by a second and a half. Meanwhile, Chamberlain took second in 56.68, also under the old Division II mark.

Two swimmers came just short of breaking two records each in back-to-back races. Longmeadow’s Jerrica Li went 2:03.35 in the 200 IM, just two tenths off the meet record held by her older sister Sara. That came one race after Northampton’s Erin Voss missed the 200 free state record by .07, going 1:49.68.

Later in the meet, Li returned to go 50.59 to win the 100 free, getting within three tenths of the meet and state record once again. In the very next event, Voss went 4:52.99 to win the 500 – that was within a second of the 15-year-old Division II meet record.

Marblehead won a pair of relays to open and close the meet. The team of Ryan Alexander, Ellie Ronan, 100 fly champ Kylie Cronin and Hannah Verrette went 1:48.82 to win the 200 medley relay to open the swimming events. At the end of the meet, the same foursome put up a 3:33.54 to win the 400 free relay.

Division II boys results – Champion: Weston

Division II girls results – Champion: Wayland

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About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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