Sophomore Kaitlin Buckley finished second in the 200-yard freestyle and fifth in the 500-yard freestyle to lead the Lady Dragons to a seventh-place finish at the MIAA Division II swimming championships at Harvard’s Blodgett Pool on Sunday afternoon. Sophomore Kaitlin Buckley finished second in the 200-yard freestyle and fifth in the 500-yard freestyle to lead the Lady Dragons to a seventh-place finish at the MIAA Division II swimming championships at Harvard’s Blodgett Pool on Sunday afternoon.022708swimteamcraft.jpg

Fresh on the heels of their fourth-place finish in the South Sectionals, the young Duxbury squad turned in a very encouraging performance that should bode well for Coach Jay Craft and the future of Duxbury swimming.{sidebar id=4}

“I knew the girls’ team would be good,” said Craft. “We have excellent senior leadership combined with a lot of young talent.  I knew it was going to be good, but the fun thing is as we enjoy our success today, we look forward to the next couple of years when these kids are really going to get fast.”

The meet started with the Lady Dragons finishing 10th in the 200-yard medley relay with a season-best time of 2:01.8, as Molly Davis, Andrea Strand, Kaitlin Buckley, and Emily Hutchinson earned a ribbon right off the bat.

Duxbury had three swimmers in the 200-yard freestyle, as freshman Sarah Goldberg swam a personal-best 2:07.24 in the event, while Katelyn Coghlan finished the race in 2:10.01.

But the event was all Buckley from Duxbury’s standpoint, as she motored her way to a personal-best 1:58.77, wiping out her previous best time of 2:00.93 and taking home a silver medal.

The 50-yard freestyle saw Duxbury’s Gaby Pipp and Hutchinson establish personal bests, as Pipp swam the two laps in 26.8 seconds, while Hutchinson earned a 10th-place finish in 26.30. Hutchinson would return in the 100-yard freestyle to swim another personal best, 57.43.{sidebar id=1}

Following a short break, Buckley was on the blocks for the 500-yard freestyle, a grueling 20-lap event. The sophomore didn’t seem to show any signs of wear, as she cruised through the water in a personal-best time of 5:27, knocking a full six seconds of her previous best to capture fifth place.

The 400-yard freestyle relay had the crowd buzzing, as three teams fought it out for the win. The Lady Dragons finished fifth, leaving Duxbury with 63 points and seventh place.

Wayland HS walked away with the title, accumulating an astounding 272 points, while Marblehead (182) and Weston (167) were far behind.

“We went through the early dual meet season undefeated, and when we got to 5-0 I said we have a chance to go through the season with no one beating us,” said Craft. “When we went 10-0 and got 4th at South Sectionals, I realized we were going to be a player in there. We had our best meet of the season today at the last meet and that is exactly what you want.”{sidebar id=6}