D’allesandro league champ in two events 

Published in the November 11, 2016 edition

SAM D'ALLESANDRO of MHS became the Middlesex League Champion in the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle on Nov. 3. (Donna Larsson photo)

SAM D’ALLESANDRO of MHS became the Middlesex League Champion in the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle on Nov. 3. (Donna Larsson photo)


MELROSE—For the Melrose Lady Raider swim team, performing as well as they did on Nov. 3 at Bentley University only solidified their reputation for being among the best in the League. When the waves settled, Melrose crowned a league champion in two events and earned their most ever league All Stars.

Melrose’s Sam D’Alessandro topped the entire Middlesex League in the 50 free to become league champ at 25.72. And, as if that was not good enough, she earned the league title in the 100 free at 55.95. A two-event league champion may be a first for Melrose girls’ swim, and it’s an achievement that longtime coach Deb Deacon lauded. “I have never had any swimmer finish first twice in a League Meet–this is amazing.”

Coach Deacon is also excited that Melrose senior tri-captain Isabel Bates qualified for sectionals in the 100 backstroke. She finished 11th overall with a Sectional qualifying time of 1:08.97. “Since her freshmen year, Bates has done everything asked of her. Last year she worked so hard to qualify for the North Sectional meet and she fell just short. This year it was a personal goal of hers to qualify her senior year. I’m so proud of her.”

Another qualifier for Sectionals is sophomore Jennifer Kahler. “She’s been one of best sprinters and we asked Jen to represent the team as a member of the 200 freestyle relay the championship meets.” Good thing Kahler will be there anyhow. At Bentley she qualified for Sectionals in the 50 free, and her coach couldn’t be prouder.

Melrose cracked the top three in several races which earned All Star honors. All Star performances included Maddy Hughes who was 3rd in the 100 fly 1:05.70. “She has worked so hard this season in the 100 fly, this is well deserved,” says her coach. Hughes also finished 7th in the 100 backstroke. Virginia Guanci also became an All Star with a 4th place finish in the 100 breaststroke at 1:15.12, and 5th in the 200 IM. Molly Williams had two 5th place finishes: 5th in the 500 free and a personal best time this season of 5:38.27 and 5th in the 100 back 1:05.73. “She’s an All Star on our team,” says her coach.

Other highlights include Jennifer Kahler, with her qualifying time, finished 8th in the 50 free 27.18 and Isabelle Bates finished 11th in the 100 back 1:08.97. The 200 relay team of Williams, Guanci, Hughes and Dalessandro finished just missing All Star status. “We rocked it,” says their proud coach.

The 400 free relay of Williams, Hughes, Guanci and D’Alessandro finished 4th in a personal best time this season of 3:56.70

Melrose had a host other best times including: Malika Benarieb 200 free 2:39.52; Alva Ronn 200 free 2:20.57; Natasha Brown 200 Im 2:39.72; Alexa Breban 50 free 42.43; Brianna Jones 48.18; Tori Skidgell 37.16; Kristen Daye 36.15; Stefanie Overlan 35.34; Molly Bright 35.00; Delia Frederick 32.34; Maya Hamberg 32.95; Katie Meade 30.94; Olivia DeCecca 29.29; Jennifer Kahler 28.17; Fiona Doyle 100 fly 1:36.38; Julia Paiewonsky 1:22.80; Paige Leary 500 freestyle 7:27.77; Alva Ronn 500 freestyle 6:11.73; Delia Frederick 500 freestyle 6:42.70; Molly Williams 5:38.27; Isabel Bates 100 back 1:08.97; Natasha Brown 100 back 1:13.22; Samantha Farrell 100 breast 1:27.64; Malika Benarieb 1:28.17.

Next up is a Sectional appearance on Saturday, November 12 at Boston University at 11:30 a.m. States will take place Sunday, Nov. 19 at Harvard. “They will continue working hard in the water the next two weeks,” says Deacon.