Published in the January 18, 2017 edition
By JIM SOUTHMAYD
LYNNFIELD — The Lynnfield High and Wakefield Memorial High co-operative swim team is competing for the first time ever and that is good news for the Pioneers. However the combined squad hasn’t been such good news for the rest of the teams in the Cape Ann League.
The co-ed swim team is currently off to a 4-1 overall start and 4-0 in league competition, due to the fine swimmers from Lynnfield and the addition of the Wakefield boys’ swimmers who joined the team this winter season.
A total of 23 swimmers on the roster are Lynnfield residents. They are Sabrina Al-Mayahi, Nick Alphen, David Blake, Sabrina Bunar, Riley Comeau, Jack Daly, Conor Farrell, Nick Giammarco, Erika Glowik, Sarah Ho, Caitlin Hooper, Olivia Johnian, Willa MacLennan, Michelle Marder, Maggie Martin, Jack Michaeski, Brooke Mitchell, Hayley O’Brien, Annie Olsen, Gillian Skelley, Grace Sokop, Alyssa Stelman and Liz Sykes.
Glowik and Stelman are the two Lynnfield captains.
Rounding out the roster are eight Warrior swimmers: senior captains Ben Thompson and Tim Hurley, senior John Murray, sophomores Chris Anastasiades, Shant Melkonian, John Stumpf and Calvin Yee, and freshman Antonio Anastasiades.
The WMHS boys’ swimmers joined Lynnfield due to the lack of a boys’ program in Wakefield. While Lynnfield is a co-ed team, there are no Warrior girls on the roster because Wakefield does have a girls’ swim program in the fall season.
Two of those swimmers — Thompson and Chris Anastasiades — have made the biggest impact so far.
Thompson has already qualified for both the state sectional meet and the state championship meet in the 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke.
Thompson also has already set a number of new LHS records in the short time he has been with the team.
The elder Anastasiades, meanwhile, has already qualified for both sectionals and states in the 200 freestyle, 200 individual medley, 100 breaststroke, and 100 butterfly.
Anastasiades competed on the Warrior girls’ swim team as a freshman and had a good rookie campaign as well.
Open season with 4 wins
The Pioneers defeated Ipswich by a 98-83 score to open the season on Dec. 11 at the Ipswich YMCA. Lynnfield then denied rival North Reading by a 102-78 tally on Dec. 17 at the Peabody YMCA, the Pioneers’ home pool.
The team’s third CAL win came on Jan. 8 against Triton by another wide margin of 107-78 at the Peabody YMCA. The fourth CAL win came against Hamilton-Wenham on Sunday night at the Peabody Y. The score and details of this meet were unavailable at press time.
The lone Lynnfield loss came against Austin Prep in a non-league meet at the Burbank YMCA on Dec. 18 by a mere four points, 87-83.
“The team is doing great with the Wakefield kids. Seniors Ben Thompson and Tim Hurley have been leading the way as two of the captains,” said head coach Jeff Boyd, now in his 10th year. “We worked on team exercises during the preseason to build chemistry between the two towns. It has worked out well. We have one common goal.
“It’s been a perfect fit. The Wakefield boys don’t have their own swim team and we needed the extra numbers to be competitive in our league,” added Boyd, who has been Lynnfield’s only head coach in the sport since the program’s inception.
Records fall vs. Vikings
In the meet against the Triton Vikings, Chris Anastasiades and Thompson led the way by breaking school records.
Anastasiades broke his own record from the Ipswich meet (2:08.53) as he won the 200IM with a time of 2:07.45.
Thompson, meanwhile, set a new record and came close to another. The senior captured first place in the 100 backstroke with a record-setting time of 58.57 seconds. Thompson broke Jeff Cook’s record of 58.74 seconds set on Jan. 5, 2011.
Cook is now an assistant coach for the Pioneers. Stephanie Forte is the team’s diving coach and she assists Boyd as well.
Thompson also won the 50 freestyle in a time of 22.63 seconds and was just 0.14 seconds off from breaking Cook’s LHS record time of 22.49 seconds set on Feb. 6, 2011.
The 200 medley relay team also posted a first place finish with a time of 1:52.40. The team was comprised of Thompson, C. Anastasiades, Stumpf and Hurley.
Stumpf finished second in the 200 freestyle and Yee was third as they posted times of 2:03.51 and 2:10.65, respectively.
Hurley also had a fourth place finish of 27.43 seconds in the 50 free.
Bunar, the defending Div. 2 state and sectional diving champion who also holds the D2 state record, won the diving portion of the meet. Glowik took second in diving.
Stumpf and Antonio Anastasiades provided a nice one-two punch in the 100 butterfly with a first and second showing at 1:01.68 and 1:02.03.
Yee came in second in the 500 freestyle as he clocked in at 5:51.40.
The Pioneers won the 200 freestyle relay behind the efforts of Alphen, Hurley, Stumpf and Anastasiades. The swam a time of 1:45.57.
Chris Anastasiades also captured first place in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:06.19.
The 400 freestyle relay team also prevailed with a winning time of 3:43.75. The four swimmers were Antonio Anastasiades, Thompson, Chris Anastasiades and Yee.
Austin Prep results
The only blemish to the Pioneers’ record came against the Austin Prep Cougars in a meet in which Boyd admitted he was more concerned with trying to get swimmers their sectional- and state-qualifying times than perhaps concentrating on a team win since it was a non-league meet. Still, Lynnfield came close to earning the win at 87-83.
Alphen and Sykes finished first and third in the 200 freestyle as they touched in at 2:15.99 and 2:26.44.
Stumpf claimed second in the 200IM at 2:22.26 while Thompson and Hurley grabbed first and third in the 50 freestyle at 22.72 seconds and 27.36 seconds.
Chris Anastasiades captured first places in the 100 butterfly (57.38 seconds) and 100 breaststroke (1:09.96).
Stumpf also won the 500 freestyle with a time of 5:44.02 and Thompson came in second in the 100 backstroke at 1:00.44.
Lynnfield did win both the 200 and 400 freestyle relays with times of 1:40.29 and 4:00.00. The 200 free relay team consisted of Thompson, Anastasiades, Alphen and Stumpf. Swimming the 400 freestyle relay was the foursome of Alphen, Stumpf, O’Brien and Anastasiades.
Win 8 events vs. NRHS
The Pioneers posted eight first-place finishes against the North Reading Hornets. Three Wakefield swimmers earned two individual victories each to help lead their team to victory.
Anastasiades won the 200 freestyle (1:54.71) and 100 breaststroke (1:05.96). Thompson secured firsts in the 200IM (2:14.15) and 100 freestyle (51.26 seconds). Stumpf captured wins in the 50 freestyle (25.16 seconds) and 100 butterfly (59.46 seconds).
The 200 medley relay team clocked in at 1:57.21. The four swimmers were Thompson, Blake, Stumpf and Hurley.
The 400 freestyle relay team of Sykes, Stumpf, Anastasiades and Thompson posted a winning time of 3:51.05.
Lasting impression vs. Tigers
In Lynnfield’s very first meet of the season, the new Wakefield contingent made its presence known in a big way with two record-setting performances.
Anastasiades broke Cook’s record in the 200 individual medley as he swam a time of 2:08.53. Cook set the standard with a 2:10.63 on Jan. 31, 2011.
Thompson broke the school record in the 100 butterfly as he clocked in at 56.28 seconds. The record had been held by Chris Mayforth, who set the mark with a time of 57.18 seconds 13 years earlier in 2003.
Both swimmers won other events, too. Anastasiades won the 100 breaststroke at 1:07.04 and Thompson came in first in the 100 backstroke at 59.97 seconds.
Stumpf grabbed first in the 50 freestyle (25.38 seconds) and third in the 100 butterfly (56.28 seconds).
The 200 medley relay team of Thompson, Anastasiades, Stumpf and Alphen combined for a time of 1:52.10.
Hurley, Glowik, Giammarco and Alphen posted a winning time of 1:53.94 in the 200 freestyle relay.
In the final event, the 400 freestyle relay, the team of Giammarco, Stumpf, Anastasiades and Thompson clocked in at 3:54.07.
Face Chieftains Sunday
Lynnfield’s next meet is against CAL juggernaut Masconomet on Sunday, Jan. 22 at 6:30 p.m. at the Peabody YMCA.