Open season with a win, 95-75

Published in the September 15, 2017 edition


MELROSE—The Melrose High girls’ swim team started a promising season off with a solid 95-75 victory over Arlington/Watertown on Sept. 10 at home at the Mystic Regional Valley Charter School. Melrose earned several first place finishes including two from Sam D’Allesandro and Virginia Guanci. Overall, Melrose’s depth outpaced Arlington, with a number of second place Melrose finishes that kept the Lady Raiders one stroke ahead of their rivals. Melrose starts the season at 1-0.

THE MELROSE Lady Raider swim team took an opening season win over Arlington. Pictured is swimmer Molly Williams.

According to head coach Deb Deacon, it was a great first effort for the team. “This was the first meet of the season and I’m impressed that so many stepped up to contribute to the win. Several second place finishes and the 5th place finish of Helen Burtnett in the 100 breaststroke comes to mind.”

Melrose started the meet off with a 10-4 lead after clinching the 200 medley, behind efforts from Molly Williams, Virginia Guanci, Sam D’Allesandro and Jenn Kahler. Williams’ second place finish in the 200 free helped keep Melrose ahead 17-13, and Virginia Guanci gave Melrose a greater lead with a first place finish in the 200 IM.

Melrose pulled away, 37-25, after an exciting 1-2 finish in the 50 free by D’Allesandro (26:53) and Jen Kahler (27.91), while Stephanie Overlan prevailed in the 2nd heat with a time of 35.95. D’Allesandro struck again with another first place finish, this time in the 100 butterfly. Teammate Grace Nally was right behind her in the #2 spot which helped Melrose take a 48-30 lead. Jen Kahler looked strong  in the 100 free. Molly Williams had a solid 2nd place finish in the 500 free to keep Melrose ahead 62-48. Melrose’s 200 free relay team of Jenn Kahler, Emily Boutchia, Delia Frederick and Sam D’Allesando placed 2nd in the 200 yard relay. Olivia DeCecca placed second in the 100 backstroke. Melrose showed power in the breaststroke with Virginia Guanci claiming first and Josefa Baeza-Diaz placing second.

As a finale, Melrose’s 400 free relay team came in first behind the efforts of Molly Williams, Grace Nally, Olivia DeCecca and Virginia Guanci. The result was a final 95-75 season opening win.

“We always talk away the importance of finishing and being legal in all strokes and turns,” says Deacon. “It made a difference. It was a solid win.”

Melrose’s next test comes with an always-competitive Andover team at home on Monday at 4:00 p.m. “Andover will be going for their 17th state title this season,” she says. “Our goal is to give them some good competitive races and allow some of our swimmers to try new events.”