Connolly is league champ in 50 free; Fiesel flys

Published in the February 5, 2016 edition

MEMBERS OF the Melrose Red Raider swim team pose during the team's appearance at the Middlesex League meet at Boston University. (courtesy photo) 

MEMBERS OF the Melrose Red Raider swim team pose during the team’s appearance at the Middlesex League meet at Boston University. (courtesy photo)


MELROSE — Joe Connolly and Ben Fiesel showed up to win on Tuesday at the 2016 Middlesex League Swim Meet at Boston University. Up against tough Middlesex Large competitors, the duo managed swim with some of the best results Melrose has seen in years.

Joe Connolly, junior, was crowned league champ in the 100 butterfly thanks to his best time of 56.79, and right behind him was teammate Fiesel, pulling in second at 57.88. Their 1-2 performance showed Melrose’s dominance in the event and helped the Raiders earn 105 total points in the competition. Both athletes landed at the top of their races, with Fiesel nabbing second in the 50 free at 23.66, and Connolly placing second in the 100 back (less than a second behind a Reading competitor). Fiesel was also painfully close to taking the 50 free, less than half a second off.

Both athletes have qualified in all these events for States, something that their coach Richard Whitworth salutes. “We have had two fantastic meets,” he says of their final stretch of the season. “Fifteen individual best times at Reading and 18 individual best times at league meet.”

The team’s 200 medley and 200 free relays also qualified for states with Sam Foley, Justin Hori, Ben Fiesel and Joe Connolly all swimming strong on Tuesday. The quartet will represent Melrose at Sectionals on Feb. 14 and Feb. 20.

Melrose enjoyed some solid swimming over the day including 50 free swims from Justin Hori (11th) Sam Foley (16th) Tom Steinberg (23rd) Collin Coyne (27) Patrick Donahue (28) Joe Brach (34) Will McCarthy (37) Owen Markham (38) Jared Dowell (42) Colin Mullane (43) Sebastian Monzon (46) Calvin Whits (61).

Among those who cracked top 20 in races were: Justin Hori (14th in 100 free), Patrick Donohue (20th 100 free), Tom Steinberg (18th in 100 fly), Sam Foley (11th in 500 free), Colin Mullane (19th 500 free), Collin Coyne (12th in 100 back), Calvin Whits (20th in 100 breast)

“I could not be prouder of the swimmers,” said Whitworth. “They had a fantastic season and improved right to the end. They swam their best when it counted the most.”