Williams becomes a silver medalist in 500

Published November 16, 2018


CAMBRIDGE—The Melrose High girls swim team made a splash at the 2018 MIAA Swimming North Finals at MIT on Sunday, Nov. 11. 

Eight Lady Raiders qualified to swim at the event, including junior Emily Boutchia, senior captain Natasha Brown, freshman Grace Haseltine, sophomore Abigail Gauch, freshman Milania Saggese, sophomore Lucy Tyson, senior Jennifer Kahler and senior captain Molly Williams. And joining the team as manager of the squad was junior Jenna Thorpe. 

THE MELROSE High swim team celebrated their successful day at the MIAA North Finals on Sunday. (courtesy photo)

Senior captain Molly Williams had an incredible day, becoming a North silver medalist in the 500 free and collecting multiple medals. Williams entered 5th seed in the 500 freestyle with a time 5:31.69 but smashed 15 seconds off her time with a finish of 5:16.62. “She was on fire!” exclaimed her coach, Deb Deacon. “So proud of her.” She also finished in 5th place (2:03.35) in the 200 free, with a personal best time of 1:59.41 to earn another spot on the podium. 

William’s time in the 500 has her seeded first in the Div. 2 field on Saturday, meaning a state title is within her grasp. 

Melrose’s 200 medley relay team of Natasha Brown (backstroke), Grace Haseltine (breast), Lucy Tyson (butterfly) and Emily Boutchia (free) had qualified early in the season and put in extra work in the last two weeks to take nearly 4 seconds (3.68) off their previous best time of 2:13.23. That qualified for the State meet with a new personal best time of 2:09.55. “They were so excited and we are really looking forward to competing at Harvard next weekend,” says Deacon. 

Jennifer Kahler was the 13th seed in the 50 freestyle and swam a personal best time of 25.56. She also qualified to swim the 100 freestyle at States this weekend. “This is an accomplishment/goal she has had for two years and she was over the moon to have qualified to swim this event,” says her coach.

The 200 freestyle relay team of Molly Williams, Abby Gauch, Milania Saggese and Jennifer Kahler swam a personal best time of 1:46.79 from their 6th place seed time of 1:51.47. That same combination of swimmers also swam the 400 relay for a 9th place overall with personal best times of 3:56.07.

“I am so very proud of all of their accomplishments,” said Deacon. “And there’s more to come. We can’t wait for States this weekend.”

Melrose will compete among the best on Saturday at Harvard University at 3:45 p.m.