By DAN BYRNE
WAKEFIELD—The 2021 Wakefield Memorial High School Girls’ Varsity Swim team continued their fall season last week with a pair of matchups against two of their main rivals in the Middlesex League Melrose and Stoneham.
On Tuesday, the Warriors took on Melrose and grabbed their first win of the season.
“The first thing that jumps out at you about the Melrose meet is that we won every event,” Head Coach Kathy Byrne said in a recent interview.
“The girls really stepped up, they wanted to get a win. It was a real team effort.”
There were so many highlights, coach Byrne had to pick out just some that stood out in her mind for instance, “Some people getting their first, first place ever, like Molly Grady in the 50 Free,” she noted.
Katie Patt swam the 500 for the first time this year.
“It’s not one of her usual events,” Byrne said, “but she qualified for Sectionals and States, she certainly did a great job.”
“Overall it was really a very successful and fun meet,” said the coach. She pointed out, “If you have more 5th places than 6th places usually you’re going to win. The girls’ times are becoming more consistent, and they keep improving.”
With their record at 1-4 on Thursday, the team looked to double their win total by taking down Stoneham, which they would do, but not in the most clean and easy fashion.
A pair of disqualifications in the heats of the opening Medley relay put the Warriors in a precarious position.
“Stoneham started off a little scary,” Byrne admitted, “We had two disqualifications in two of our Medley relays, so that was troubling and put us behind for the first half of the meet.”
“We had some very close races, not just for first place but also for 2nd place,” the coach added.
In the 200 Yard Freestyle, Wakefield’s Emily Chan missed out on 2nd place to Stoneham’s Cale Kavanaugh by 0:00.34.
“Stoneham is always a challenge because they still have boys swimming against girls,” Byrne said, “So it is difficult in the relays and freestyle events where they tend to be faster because of their strength.”
Katie Patt swam the 50 Yard freestyle against Stoneham’s Danny Mirik, it was a close race, he won by under half a second, but when they faced off again in the 100 Free and she beat him, by over one second.
“She’s in better shape and she had better endurance,” told her coach, “That’s what happens when you go up against a dedicated swimmer like Katie.”
“Truthfully, the girls really stepped it up when they realized we were in a little bit of trouble, we took the last two relays, and they picked up enough points that we pulled it out in the end 87-83,” the coach concluded.
“I’m happy with the outcome, I’m happy were seeing personal bests at this time in the season. We have two more weeks left until the League Meet, so we hope to keep the winning streak alive.”
Next week, the team faces Burlington on Wednesday, with the following week being the last week of the regular season when they matchup with Belmont and Woburn.