Wakefield wins the 2017 Sportsmanship Award

Published in the November 15, 2017 edition

CONGRATULATIONS to the Wakefield Warrior swim team on being awarded the MIAA North Division 2 Sportsmanship Award. (Brendan Kent Twitter Photo, @WMHS_Warriors)


WAKEFIELD—The Wakefield Memorial High School Girls’ Varsity Swim Team participated in the MIAA Div.2 North Sectional meet on Saturday at MIT.

Head coach Kathy Byrne was able to bring nearly half of her roster as part of her championship qualifying selection.

It was a pleasant surprise that the team was awarded the 2017 Sportsmanship Award.

“We’re very honored and excited to have won this award,” the coach said, “Sportsmanship is always something we talk about on our team, treating each other like family, treating the visiting teams like guests, and making everyone feel comfortable,” added Byrne.

THE WARRIORS had a great performance in the 2017 Division 2 North Sectional swim meet, with perhaps their best team-effort coming in the 200-yard freestyle relay, finishing eighth overall with a time of 1:47.27. Pictured here, the 200 free relay team proudly displays their medals. From left to right: Laura Sweeney, Abby Federici, Hannah Guay and Caroline Sweeney. (Kathy Byrne Photo)

“Sportsmanship has always been the center of our philosophy,” she said.

As is to be expected for a championship meet, the adrenaline was running high and the swimmers all improved on their times.

“The whole meet, the girls all improved their times,” noted coach Byrne, “That’s the best thing we could ask for, every single swim was better than the time they entered at.”

The 200-yard Freestyle Relay team of Laura Sweeney, Caroline Sweeney, Abby Federici, and Hannah Guay brought home an 8th place finishers medal.

“All of our relays swam really well, but the 200-yard Freestyle Relay was outstanding; they placed 8th going from a time of 1:50.74 to a 1:47.27 with everyone’s splits being their best time of the season,” Byrne said.

“They dropped 3 seconds off their time, love to see that happen,” added the coach.

Caroline Sweeney swam the 50-yard Freestyle, improving her time of 0:27.33 to 0:27.13.

“Caroline had set a goal earlier this season to qualify for sectionals in the 50 Free, and as a senior it’s always nice to see one of your team members meet their goal and then improve their time,” said Coach Byrne.

“It’s very hard to drop your time in the 50 Free, it’s such a fast sprint and she was able to do that. We’re very happy for Caroline,” she said.

Her sister, Laura Sweeney swam the 100-yard Freestyle where she’d already qualified for States, and dropped her time from 0:59.54 to 0:57.90.

“It’s really impressive to drop your time in the 100 Free,” Byrne said. Sweeney finished 22nd out of 31.

Wakefield’s best individual finish of the day came in the 500-yard Freestyle with Hannah Guay’s 5th place finish. She also dropped close to eight seconds off her entry time.

“She [Hannah Guay] is a freshman and she just keeps improving. We’re really pleased with her finish and improvement in her time,” Byrne said.

Guay wasn’t finished as she swam an improved 100-yard Backstroke time, from a 1:04.96 to a 1:03.23, breaking a Wakefield High School team record belonging to Erin Johansson since the 2005 season. She finished 12th out of 31 swimmers in the event.

Laura Sweeney swam the 100-yard Breast Stroke, finishing 23rd out of 30, and dropping over a second off her qualifying time.

In the 400-yard Freestyle Relay, Caroline Sweeney, Abby Federici, Alyssa Toppi, and Katherine Maloney dropped over two seconds off of their qualifying time, placing 15th.

“Just to see that time drop was incredible,” said Byrne.

“I’m very pleased with the meet overall, and the performance of all our team members. It was an honor to have Mr. Kent and half of our team here to receive the Sportsmanship award,” concluded Coach Byrne.

The Warriors ended up finishing 13 out of 19 teams.