2017 Massachusetts State Championships: Division 1 & Division 2
- Boston University, Boston, MA
- Saturday, February 18th – Sunday, February 19th
- Division 1 Psych Sheets – Girls
- Division 2 Psych Sheets – Girls
- Division 1 Psych Sheets – Boys
- Division 2 Psych Sheets – Boys
Due to bad weather two boys sectional meets–North and Central/Southern–that were supposed to take place last weekend were canceled. Though the boys did not have the opportunity to race at sectionals as they were supposed to, they will still be competing at state this weekend.
Westford Academy was far and away the girl’s state champion in Division 1, and with plenty of returning talent they will look to defend their title. Beverly High School, last year’s state runner-up, graduated state champions including Sarah Welch and Kaitlin Harty, though junior Nicole Welch could possibly claim a pair of titles in the 500 free where she is seeded first and the 200 free, where she is seeded second. For Welch to win the 200 free she would have to take down junior Ashley Loomis of Franklin High School, who is ranked over 1.5 seconds faster than Welch with a 1:50.39.
Westford stands to grab major points in the 50, so long as all three of the swimmers they have ranked in the top eight don’t get pushed out of the championship final. Hopkinton High School, which placed ninth overall last year, could move up in the final rankings this year, if all three of their divers hold strong and move up into the top eight. Last Hopkinton had two divers, Alyssa Annenberg and Mattie Stauss, finish second and third in finals of diving. Both are returning, but so is last year’s state champion, Lizzie Meschisen of Algonquin. Last year Beverly won the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays, though without Sarah Welch or Kaitlin Harty to contribute they might have a difficult time keeping those titles.
Saint John’s Prep is the defending champion for the boys, but Westford Academy is riding their tales. In fact, Saint John’s Prep does not have a single swimmer seeded first in any event, nor are any of their relays seeded first. Acton-Boxborough High School, last year’s third place finisher overall, boasts a very strong roster with top seeds in two of the three relays (200 & 400 freestyle), the 50 free with senior Corben Miles (20.96), the 100 free again with Miles (46.77), plus a second and third seed with Eric Hua in the 200 free and 500 free. David Chen of Acton-Boxborough is also seeded second in the 100 fly and fifth in the 200 IM. Additionally, Acton-Boxborough has three divers, two of whom scored points last year.
Marblehead High School claimed the state team title last year by a wide margin for the girls, and this year they return as strong as ever with top seeds in multiple events including the 200 free (Meagan Hathaway, 1:54.76), 200 IM (Ellie Ronan, 2:07.62), and 100 backstroke (Ronan, 56.69). However, Duxbury High School, last year’s fourth place finisher, enters the meet with even more top seeds, including Grace Ali in both the 100 fly (56.57) and the 100 free (53.48)–a double that will be very difficult–Julia Ali in the 500 free, as well as the top times in all three relays. Additionally, Duxbury has other swimmers peppered throughout every event, with several of those swimmers holding second or third seeds.
For the boys, Weston and Wayland will battle it out for the top spot on the team podium. Last year they finished within 9 points of one another with Weston coming out on top with 215 points, and Wayland getting second with 206 (Norwell came in third with 202 points, but is not entered in the meet this year). This year Wayland enters the meet with the top seeds in the 200 medley and 200 freestyle relays, and though they have no swimmers ranked first in any individual events, junior Sean Devlin comes in ranked second in the 50 free and fourht in the 100 fly, while his teammate Edmond Giang sits second in the fly. Wayland also has several swimmers ranked top-5 in various other events.
Though a small squad, Northampton will be a very interesting team to follow. Last year Northampton placed fifth overall, but with the returning state record holder in the 100 back in Nick Whitcomb who also comes in ranked first in the 100 fly, as well as several relays ranked in the top eight and Quinn Nortonsmith who is ranked third in the 50 free and second in the 100 breast by a narrow three one-hundredths of a second, this small team could surprise, though should not be expected to take an overall title.