Boys’ win CAL’s, both teams impress at Sectionals
Published February 13, 2019
By DAN PAWLOWSKI
SALEM — And you thought your Super Bowl Sunday was sweet?
The Lynnfield girls’ swim team and the Lynnfield/Wakefield boys’ swim team traveled to Salem State on Sunday for their own Super Bowl: The CAL Championships.
The boys concluded their regular season with a perfect record, avenging their only loss last year with a win over CAL powerhouse Manchester-Essex.
Despite the regular season success, the Pioneer-Warriors went to Salem State on a mission: to win CAL’s for the first time in program history.
“This team had such great dedication and determination from the start of the season and we all knew the potential we had but didn’t realize we could finish the season with a perfect record,” said team captain Chris Anastasiades of Wakefield.
Anastasiades is a great example of this team’s mentality. He’s been one of the premier swimmers in the state for years. He was named this year’s CAL Swimmer of the Year and had a terrific performance on Sunday winning both the 200 freestyle and 100 butterfly while also helping both relay teams, the 200 medley and the 200 freestyle set new CAL records.
But the captain makes sure to reiterate that it was a team effort and he means it.
His brother, Antonio Anastasiades, set his own league record with a first-place finish in the 100 Breaststroke.
The Anastasiades brothers teamed up with two more Warriors, Johnny Stumpf and Alex Kent to make sure the new Relay Records were All-Wakefield. All four were CAL All-Stars last year.
Sure it helps to have talented individual swimmers but If you want proof that winning a league championship requires depth, consider this: every event in which a Lynnfield/Wakefield swimmer competed earned points for the team.
Wakefield’s Matt Pecjo, another returning CAL All-Star, had a great meet, picking up valuable points for the team in the 50 free and the 100 free.
Yes, the broken records will immortalize names like Anastasiades, Kent and Stumpf forever, but it’s the CAL championship trophy that will mean the most to this team; no small feat for a co-op team who has come together to create lifelong bonds.
“It has been such a great honor to watch this team grow for the past three years and the friendships that we have all made that will last a life time,” said Chris Anastasiades. “Winning the CAL championships was truly a team effort and everyone contributed to our team victory.”
The girls’ team also had plenty of highlights at CAL’s.
Sadhvi Sreeram finished 8th as a freshman in the 50 freestyle.
Liz Sykes dropped two seconds off her times and placed 6th in the 100 backstroke.
Michelle Marder dropped eight seconds in the 500 to place 11th.
Sophomore Avery Comeau and Olivia Murphy both scored top 16 in the 100 backstroke.
The girls’ 400 free relay team made the sectional cut in the 400 freestyle relay. That made two years in a row that the girls went to sectionals in all three relays.
“It was a truly historic meet for the program and we hope to carry that momentum into sectionals and states these next two weekends,” said head coach Andrew Digiacomo. “Meghan (Sullivan, assistant coach) and I are proud of the entire team.”
The North Sectionals last weekend at MIT brought more good results for the Pioneers.
The girls’ team sent Riley Comeau, Sadhvi Sreeram, Michelle Marder, Olivia Murphy, Caitlin Hooper and Liz Sykes along with alternates Avery Comeau, Sabrina Al-Mayahi and Anna-Marie Ferrante.
All of the girls swam great and racked up lots of personal best times throughout the day.
The 200 Yard Medley Relay team got their best time of the season with a final time of 2:11.58 (dropping 1.53 seconds off their seed time). The relay team consisted of Sykes (backstroke), Sreeram (breaststroke), Marder (butterfly) and Murphy (freestyle). Each of the girls swimming in this relay got a personal best split time for this event.
The 200 Freestyle Relay team also got their best time of the season with a final time of 1:53.79 (dropping 3.40 seconds off their seed time). The team consisted of Sykes, Sreeram, Comeau and Marder. Each swimmer got a personal best split time for this event.
The final girls event was the 400 Freestyle relay. It was another personal best time for the team of 4:14.49 (dropping 9.20 seconds off their seed time). The team consisted of Sykes, Sreeram, Hooper and Marder. Each swimmer got a personal best split time for this event. The girls came in 17th place for this event.
The members of the boys’ team who qualified for Sectionals are Wakefield’s Chris Anastasiades, Antonio Anastasiades, Johnny Stumpf and Alext Kent along with Lynnfield’s Nick Alphen, David Blake and Ben Sykes.
The boys had a great meet as well also achieving lots of personal best times throughout the day.
The 200 Medley Relay got their best time of the season at 1:45.01 coming in 9th place overall for this event (dropping 1.58 seconds off their seed time). The relay consisted of Chris Anastasiades (backstroke), Antonio Anastasiades (breaststroke), Johnny Stumpf (butterfly) and Alex Kent (freestlye).
Antonio Anastasiades came in 1st place for the 200 Yard Individual Medley with a time of 1:57.49 (dropping 5.26 seconds off his seed time).
Chris Anastasiades placed 8th in the 100 Yard Butterfly with a time of 53.71 (dropping 1.04 seconds of his seed time). He was joined in this race by Stumpf with a time of 57.95 (dropping 0.61 seconds of his seed time).
The 200 Free Relay received a time of 1:42.61 and consisted of Matt Pecjo, Nick Alphen, David Blake and Ben Sykes.
Antonio Anastasiades came in 2nd place for the 100 Yard Breaststroke with a time of 59.59 (dropping 0.90 seconds off his seed time). His brother Chris Anastasaides came in 13th place in this event with a time of 1:03.19 (dropping 1.63 seconds off his seed time).
Finally, the 400 Freestyle Relay team came in 17th place with an overall time of 3:35.38. This relay consisted of Chris Anastasaides, Antonio Anastasiades, Stumpf and Kent.
“Overall, we had a wonderful weekend at sectionals with both the girls and boys teams,” said assistant coach Meghan Sullivan. “Our swimmers had many personal best times for this season and we are very proud of them all for their hard work.”
The job isn’t done for the Pioneer-Warriors who will now turn their attention to one more challenge: the State Finals which will be held this Sunday, Feb. 17 at Boston University.