By DAN BYRNE
BELMONT — For years, the Belmont Girls Varsity Swim Team had Wakefield’s number.
A traditional front-runner in the Middlesex League, the Marauders got more than they could bargain for from the 2018 Warriors, and for the first time in recent memory Wakefield emerged victorious over Belmont in girls’ swimming.
Wakefield’s 200 Yard Medley got off to a good start, taking 1st, 4th, and 5th place points to put them ahead 8-6. Sophomores Hannah Guay, and Laura Sweeney, freshman Kaitlin Patt, and junior Abby Federici swam a 2:01.16, good for 1st place in the opening event.
The relay team of Katherine Maloney, Alyssa Toppi, Abby Lane, and Reignyah Grant finished in 4th, with Maria Brizon, Ava Sowyrda, Sam Colliton, and Jess Conley coming in 5th.
“We took 1st place in seven out of 11 events,” Warriors’ Head Coach Kathy Byrne said after the meet.
Wakefield took 2nd, 3rd, and 4th in the 200 Yard Freestyle, with freshman Sophie Brown taking 2nd place with a time of 2:15.69. Kyra Hoffman swam 3rd with a 2:16.83, with Emily Chan just behind in 4th at 2:18.79.
After the opening two events, the Warriors led 17-13 as they headed into the 200 Yard Individual Medley.
In the 3rd event, Hannah Guay’s 2:18.66 brought Wakefield 1st place points. Her teammates, sophomores Alyssa Toppi and Erica Pecjo touched in 4th and 5th, securing points to put the Warriors ahead 26-20.
Belmont took 1st and 2nd along with 5th place points in the 50 Yard Freestyle, to bridge the gap and tie the score at 31. Abby Federici finished in 3rd place for the Warriors with a time of 0:28.59. Sophomore Reignyah Grant came home in 5th place for Wakefield.
Belmont has girls who compete in the high school 1 meter diving competition, and though Wakefield doesn’t have diving, the swimming took a break between the 50 Yard Freestyle and 100 Yard Butterfly so the Belmont girls could dive.
Following the break in the action, the 100 Yard Butterfly saw the Warriors jump back into the lead with 1st, 3rd, and 5th place points by a trio of freshman swimmers.
Katie Patt’s 1:03.12 saw her touch the wall in 1st place, 3 seconds clear of Belmont’s 2nd place swimmer. Abby Lane came in 3rd with a 1:11.09 while Sophie Brown finished 5th.
The next event, the 100 Yard Freestyle is where the Warriors really took control and blew the meet wide open, taking 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.
“One of the things that jumps out at you is that we were able to take 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in the 100 Freestyle, that was a turning point,” said Byrne.
Sophomore Laura Sweeney led way for the Warriors’ sweep with a 1st place time of 0:58.59. Junior Abby Federici’s 1:03.15 and Sophomore Emily Chan’s 1:03.21 were good for 2nd and 3rd place.
The Warriors established a 14-point lead at 54-40 and continued to build it up with 1st, 2nd, and 4th place in the 500 Yard Freestyle.
“That was a big plus,” Byrne said, of gaining 1st, 2nd and 4th place points in the 500, “Anytime in a meet you can score in the top 5 you’re going to be better off.”
Hannah Guay swam a 5:38.53, completely out pacing the rest of the swimmers with a time nearly 30 seconds better than 2nd place. Warriors’ senior captain Katherine Maloney swam a 6:06.97 for 2nd place, with junior Kyra Hoffman coming home in 4th place at 6:17.18.
The 200 Yard Freestyle Relay saw the Warriors claim 2nd and 3rd place points, to keep Belmont a firm 20 points behind with the score 72-52 with 3 events remaining.
Emily Chan, Abby Lane, Reignyah Grant, and Sophie Brown combined to swim a 1:57.89 and take 2nd place.
Just behind them at 1:58.68 Erica Pecjo, Alyssa Toppi, and seniors Alex DeCecca and Jess Conley came in 3rd place.
Katie Patt won the 100 Yard Back Stroke with a time of 1:02.76, Katherine Maloney finished in 3rd with a time of 1:12.25, and Sophomore Maria Brizon finished 4th at 1:14.14.
Wakefield’s Laura Sweeney took 2nd place in the 100 Yard Back Stroke with a time of 1:14.88. Alyssa Toppi secured 5th place points for the Warriors in the event.
In the final event, the 400 Yard Free Style Relay, the Warriors took 1st, 3rd, and 4th , ending the night on a high note as the girls earned their 1st win of the season, vanquishing Belmont for the first time in over 20 years.
Abby Federici, Hannah Guay, Laura Sweeney, and Katie Patt swam a 4:00.37 to claim victory in the event. Emily Chan, Reignyah Grant, Katherine Maloney, and Sophie Brown swam to 3rd place with a time of 4:21.99. Kyra Hoffman, Jess Conley, Lilly Cullen, and Erica Pecjo touched in at 4:24.33 to finish in 4th place and conclude the meet for the Warriors, as the final score read Wakefield 98 Belmont 72.
“Our girls had a lot of races, we raced really well,” Byrne said of her team.
“The times were good, there was nothing wrong with the times, but when you see that competitive spirit come out when they’re really racing the girls on the other team, it really makes a difference in the outcome of the meet.”
“It’s great to get our first win under our belt,” Byrne concluded as they turn to the next meet on the schedule.
Next Wednesday, the Warriors take on Melrose at 5:30 p.m. at Malden High School.