Wakefield/Lynnfield hands Hamilton-Wenham first league loss

Published in the January 20, 2017 edition.


PEABODY — If the Hamilton-Wenham and Masconomet co-ed swim teams were hoping to throw a championship party in the Cape Ann League, then the Lynnfield/Wakefield co-operative team needs to be invited.

The Pioneers knocked the Generals from the unbeaten ranks with a 98-86 victory in a dual meet held last Sunday night, Jan. 15 at the Peabody YMCA Pool and is very much in the hunt for the league championship.

“This was the biggest meet we’ve had since 2013. We haven’t beaten Hamilton-Wenham in three years and both teams knew that the winner would get a shot at Masco for the championship,” said Pioneer head coach Jeff Boyd. “I’m so proud of our kids and how they rose to the occasion. They knew they were in for a dogfight and they really came through.”

Lynnfield/Wakefield is 4-0 in the CAL and 4-1 overall. The Pioneers meet the undefeated Chieftains this Sunday night at 6:30 p.m. at the Peabody YMCA Pool with the league championship on the line. Should Lynnfield win then it will be the only unbeaten team left in the CAL. Masconomet hasn’t lost a meet in three years, so the Pioneers will have quite a challenge on their hands.

As for the Hamilton-Wenham meet, the Pioneers had some huge performances, especially from the Wakefield contingent.

Ben Thompson, a senior captain, set a new team record in 50 freestyle as he clocked in at 22.45 seconds for first place overall. The old record by Jeff Cook was 22.49 seconds set on Feb. 6 2011.

The winning 200 medley relay and 400 freestyle relay each qualified for states as well.

The 200 medley team posted a first place time of 1:49.46. The four swimmers included Thompson and sophomores Chris Anastasiades, John Stumpf, and Nick Alphen. Alphen is from Lynnfield while the other two 10th graders are Wakefield residents.

The 400 freestyle relay recorded a winning and state qualifying time of 2:38.09. The all-Wakefield relay team included Stumpf, freshman Antonio Anastasiades, Chris Anastasiades, and Thompson.

Antonio Anastasiades became the latest individual to qualify for sectionals in the 200 individual medley. He finished second with a time of 2:11.86.

Thompson won a terrific 100 freestyle race as he clocked in at 51.25 seconds.

“Ben Thompson is really having a very special season,” said Boyd. “That 100 freestyle was the most fun I’ve had watching a race in a long time. I never thought that 50 freestyle record would ever go down, but Ben just continues to amaze me.”

In the 200 medley relay, the team of sophomore Calvin Yee, sophomore David Blake, Antonio Anastasiades, and senior captain Tim Hurley finished third at 2:02.73. Yee and Hurley are from Wakefield and Blake is from Lynnfield.

Chris Anastasiades and Stumpf finished one-two in the 200 freestyle with times of 1:57.14 and 2:01.44.

Yee finished third in the 200 individual medley as he clocked in at 2:19.81 and Alphen was third in the 50 freestyle with a time of 26.85 seconds.

Lynnfield residents Sabrina Bunar, Erika Glowick, and Olivia Johnian captured first, second, and third in the diving. Glowick is a senior captain while Bunar and Johnian are juniors.

Stumpf came in second in the 100 butterfly in a time of 59.51 seconds.

Yee won the 100 backstroke in a time of 1:04.40 and Lynnfield junior Hayley O’Brien finished third at 1:12.28.

Chris Anastasiades earned a second place finish in the 100 breaststroke as he clocked in at 1:05.98.

The Pioneers will now get ready for an even bigger challenge on Sunday.

“Masco hasn’t lost in a long time for a reason. They’re loaded in every event and have depth like no other team in our league,” said Boyd. “It’s going to take a monumental team effort to unseat them at the top of the league, but if any team can do it, I know it’s this group of kids. They work harder than any other team I’ve coached and they deserve this shot. I told them they could be in this position at the start of the season, and here we are. It’s going to be a fun meet and our kids will be ready.”