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|Girls capture 22nd straight title|
|Written by Mike Halloran|
|Wednesday, 06 February 2013 09:20|
The Duxbury girls’ swimming and diving team ended its regular season with its 22nd consecutive Patriot League Championship over the weekend at the Lincoln-Hancock Pool in Quincy.
Friday night had the team’s divers set the pace for what would be an outstanding meet score of 413 points. Scituate came in second place and finished with 215 points, resulting in an untouchable 198-point margin of victory.
Junior Kelsey Golden was the star diver on Friday night, closing the meet with a 364.95 score and was followed closely by sophomore teammate, Avery Pisani, who took second-place with 356.35 points. The duo earned Patriot All-Star status and 30 points for the team. Finishing her high school diving career with a 10th-place finish was senior diver/team manager Michelle Puopolo.
The swimming portion of the championships took place on Saturday morning with a first-place finish in the 200-yard medley relay. Ahead in every split, senior co-captain Shelby Rader led with the backstroke; senior co-captain Ellie Johnson followed with the breaststroke; junior Katie Eagan swam the butterfly; and freshman Sydney Rangulong anchored with the freestyle.
Moving on to the 200-yard freestyle, junior Elizabeth Buckley qualified for her first-ever state cut, coming in at fifth-place with a time of 2:09.55, almost four full seconds off her seed time. Juniors Jessie Goldberg, Miranda Van Dingstee and Eagan rounded out this event with sixth, seventh and eighth-place finishes, respectively.
Johnson was queen of the 200-yard individual medley with a first-place time of 2:19.20. Duxbury took third, fifth and seventh-place finishes by junior Michaela Morris, sophomore Mackenzie Bright and junior Olivia Zelvis, respectively.
It was a battle for first in the 50-yard freestyle, as Rader missed winning by just 2/10s of a second. Junior Hannah Hutchinson came in third with a :26.63, her best posted season time. Placing seventh was newcomer freshman Katie Cooper, followed by Rangulong who took eighth.
The 100-yard butterfly was another close race for first with Eagan being out-touched by 4/10s of a second, resulting in second-place. Morris finished third with junior Jill Coghlan taking seventh. Senior co-captain Aly Wolff garnered points for ninth-place.
With the top spots out of reach in a fast-paced 100-yard freestyle, Hutchinson came in fourth, junior Emily Nichols came in fifth, followed by Rangulong in seventh and sophomore Mary O’Sullivan in tenth.
Another highlight of the day was Buckley making her second State cut, this time in the 500-yard freestyle with a fourth-place finish in a time of 5:48.05. Goldberg, Van Dingstee and freshman Carolyn Johnson were right behind with fifth, sixth and seventh-place finishes, respectively.
The 200-yard freestyle relay began as a battle with Rangulong swimming the first leg. Cooper then closed the gap on the second leg, bringing the girls neck and neck with Scituate. Goldberg entered the water third and created a little distance between Duxbury and Scituate, followed by Hutchinson who anchored the group, slamming into the touchpad with a season-low time of 1:48.62.
Always making the event look easy, Rader secured first-place in the 100-yard backstroke, followed by O’Sullivan in third, Zelvis in fifth and sophomore Lucy Quigley taking eighth with a season-low time of 1:16.71.
As the meet neared the end, Johnson and Nichols easily took first and second-place honors in the 100-yard breaststroke, followed by Coghlan in fourth and Wolff finishing her high school swimming career with a ninth-place finish.
In the final event of the day, all team members assumed cheering positions for the 400-yard freestyle relay. Goldberg, then Eagan, led the Duxbury girls as they fought for an advantage over the surrounding lanes. Rader and Johnson dove in for the final two legs and closed the nerve-wracking gap, with Duxbury hitting the wall first in a season-low time of 3:56.04.
With the close of this meet, Coach Cassie Barry reflected: “The girls swam well and I’m very proud of their accomplishments. Now we need to focus on preparing for Sectionals.”
MIAA South/Central Sectionals will be held Saturday, Feb. ninth at MIT’s Zesigner Pool at 4:15 p.m. The swimmers and divers representing their team are: seniors Ellie Johnson and Shelby Rader; juniors Elizabeth Buckley, Katie Eagan, Jessie Goldberg, Kelsey Golden, Hannah Hutchinson, Michaela Morris, Emily Nichols and Miranda Van Dingstee; sophomores Mary O’Sullivan and Avery Pisani, along with freshmen Katie Cooper and Sydney Rangulong.