- Written by Dave Palana
- Published: 05 February 2014
The Duxbury boys’swimming and diving team put one heck of a cherry on top of their undefeated season on Saturday when they travel to the Lincoln-Hancock Pool in Quincy for the Patriot League Championships.
Head coach Doug Backlund had his team pegged as six-point favorites heading in to the meet, but the Dragons turned in one of their best team performances of the season to score 316.5 points and win by 43.5. “That’s very significant,” Backlund said. “From top to bottom, virtually every swimmer swam a personal best. As a group, any time you win and swim your best – it’s the most satisfying win of all and I’m just so proud of them.”
It was evident early on that the Dragons were going to put on a show for the crowd in Quincy. During the 200yard freestyle, senior Sean Healy picked up two points for Duxbury while shaving nearly 10 seconds off his previous personal best time.
“That really set the tone,” Backlund said. “I turned to the kids and said ‘He just shattered his personal best, what are you going to do?’ From that point, they knew it was on.”
Freshman phenom Nat Davenport pulled out of his signature event, the 100-yard breaststroke, in the hopes that Steve Morrealle, Kevin Coakley and Devin Bombardier would all place, which they did to give the Dragons 14 points. Davenport held up his end of the bargain with second-place finishes in the 200-yard individual medley and the 100-yard freestyle.
“He probably could have won [the breaststroke], but the other kids don’t score, so from a points standpoint this worked out better,” Backlund said. “[Nat] is our most versatile swimmer, and he is willing to do whatever it takes to help the team.”
Senior Brad Marcotte also earned a second-place finish with his performance in the 100 butterfly. Sophomore Kevin Coghlan placed third in the 500-yard freestyle with Cole Brady taking fifth, and sophomore Mike O’Neal delivered a league-championship performance for the Dragons by winning the 50yard freestyle to go with a third place in the 100 free.
O’Neal, Coghlan, Davenport and Marcotte then earned a league championship for themselves by winning the 200-yard freestyle relay. Divers Riley Keating-Wood, Danny Gerraughty, Mike Tougas and Ethan Johnson took places four through seven during the diving portion of the meet, which was held on Sunday, but came a day early to rally the swimmers.
“I love the divers, they are just a really great group,” Backlund said. “They are so into the team and really make an effort to be a part of it.”
With the league season now behind them, O’Neal, Marcotte, Davenport and Coghlan will now keep the banner season going for the Dragons when they head to Sectionals and States. Backlund said his four swimmers will share pool time with the 10 swimmers from the girls’ team who qualified for longer, combined practices this week before spending the week before States with working on techniques such as starts and turns. “We’re going to swim more this week than we have all season and the taper off,” he said. “States is the biggest meet of the year for us […] we’re putting everything into States, and that’s where we want to break some records.”