Published in the March 1, 2017 edition
By JIM SOUTHMAYD
BOSTON — The Lynnfield-Wakefield co-operative swim team had quite a season and wrapped up the winter with some outstanding performances in the state meets, which were held on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 18 and 19 at Boston University.
In the Division 2 Girls’ State Meet on Saturday, Lynnfield junior Sabrina Bunar repeated as state champion in the 1-meter diving competition. Bunar captured the title with a score of 557.00 points in the finals. In the semifinals, Bunar scored was first with a score of 410.55. In the preliminaries, she finished first with a score of 252.45. Bunar came within a point of breaking her own meet record from last year.
“There was definitely some added pressure on her this year because she was the defending champion and all eyes were going to be on her to repeat,” said Pioneers head coach Jeff Boyd. “Once she got a couple of dives under her belt, she was able to settle in mentally. By her third dive, she was totally locked in and it was over. When she is on, there is nobody better than her. Even when she’s off, there’s still nobody better than her. She is unlike anyone else I’ve ever seen on the board.”
Boyd continued, “I’ve been around thousands of high school athletes over the years in every sport. Starting off as a sportswriter gave me the opportunity to see some truly talented kids compete in all different sports. I can say, without hesitation, that Sabrina is easily the most dominant athlete in her sport that I have ever seen. The only time she has not come out on top was her freshman year, and that was a second place finish to a senior who broke the state record in that meet. She’s unlike anyone I’ve ever seen in this sport.”
Bunar has one more year left with the Pioneers.
“It’s hard to believe that we still get one more year with her,” said Boyd. “This year was probably the most high-pressure year for her. She is obviously being highly recruited and has a lot on her plate trying to plan for the next phase of her diving career. Once she puts all of that behind her and she can really just focus on diving, I anticipate her senior year being her best one yet. She’s never been 100 percent healthy, so hopefully she can come back next year at 100 percent and without all of the pressure she had from this year and really let it all loose. It’s hard to believe, but I just know that her best is still yet to come.”
With her talent, Bunar is being highly recruited and is likely to end up a Division 1 school.
“I won’t speak about where she will end up in college,” said Boyd “That’s something that should only come from her, and there are a lot of factors that will play into that decision. She’s a very levelheaded kid and won’t be one of those people that is lost in life when their time with the sport has expired. She’s going to make a decision that sets her up to be successful throughout her life, not just in diving. She has diving goals and she has life goals, so deciding on the next step will involve a lot of thought and consideration. What I can definitely say is that the Olympics are on her radar, and that has to factor in to what she does next. At the end of the day, she’s going to be successful no matter where she ends up.”
In addition to being incredibly talented, Boyd said Bunar “might be the nicest, most humble and supportive kid that I have ever coached.”
“She’s the first one to congratulate her teammates, and even opponents, when they accomplish something,” said Boyd. “There is so much more to Sabrina than what you see on the board. She’s an absolute joy to have on our team and has been a leader since she was a freshman. We’re just lucky she’s pretty good at diving too.”
In addition to Bunar, senior captain Erika Glowick also qualified to compete in the 1-meter diving competition during the state meet. Glowick placed 17th with 265.45 points, as she made it to the semifinals. Glowick was 16th after the preliminaries with 171.30 points.
“Erika is probably the most underrated member of our team,” said Boyd. “Sabrina gets most of the attention because she performs at such an elite level, and Erika’s abilities often get overshadowed. The truth is that Erika has been the best diver in the league behind only Sabrina for the last couple of years. If it weren’t for Sabrina, Erika would hold all of our team’s diving records. On top of that, she’s also our best female swimmer. It’s tough for girls to stand out in a co-ed league, and even tougher when you share the stage with Sabrina. But Erika has been a huge part of our success over the years and deserves to be recognized.”
Lynnfield-Wakefield finished 25th in the team scoring with 20 points.
The girls from the co-operative team swam in the North Sectional on Saturday, Feb. 11 at MIT. The North Sectional Boys’ Meet was cancelled due to snow.
Bunar captured the North Sectional title in diving with a score of 537.40 points, while Glowick placed 14th with a tally of 362.70. Bunar led after the semifinals with a score of 381.30 and Glowick was 12th with score of 276.25. In the preliminaries, Bunar was first with a tally of 235.10 and Glowick was in 13th place with a score of 158.85.
The Pioneers also had an entry in the 200 freestyle relay. The team of freshman Liz Sykes, freshman Caitlin Hooper, sophomore Sabrina Al-Mayahi, and senior captain Alyssa Stelman placed 21st with a time of 1:56.10.
The 400 freestyle relay team that featured Sykes, Hooper, Al-Mayahi and Stelman finished 22nd with a time of 4:20.31.
As a team, Lynnfield-Wakefield placed 20th with a score of 23 points.
In the Div. 1 Boys’ State Meet, the Wakefield swimmers had a very good showing.
Senior captain Ben Thompson broke two team records with a fourth place finish in the 50-yard freestyle and an eighth place finish in the 100-butterfly. Thompson clocked in at 21.72 seconds in the 50 free and 53.86 seconds in the butterfly.
The 200-medley relay team of Thompson, sophomore Chris Anastasiades, sophomore Johnny Stumpf and Lynnfield sophomore Nick Alphen broke another team record. The quartet of swimmers placed 21st with a time of 1:45.55.
The Anastasiades brothers, Chris and Antonio, competed in the 200 individual medley as well. Chris placed 24th at 2:07.47 and Antonio, a freshman, took 34th at 2:13.64.
In the 100-breaststroke, Chris Anastasiades placed 33rd in a time of 1:05.63.
As a team, Lynnfield-Wakefield took 22nd overall with 26 points.