Beat Stoneham, 91-79

ALEX DECECCA raced in two medley relays for the Warrior swim team during their win over Stoneham on Wednesday.(Donna Larsson Photo)

Published in the September 22, 2017 edition.


MALDEN—The Wakefield Memorial High School girls’ varsity Swim Team scored their second win in a row on Tuesday as they hosted Middlesex League opponent Stoneham at Malden High’s pool.

Wakefield came into the meet having won their previous meet against Arlington/Watertown, but the pre-meet time comparisons looked like Stoneham would be close, but nobody could predict what would happen during the meet.

“It was the craziest meet,” an excited Coach Byrne said after taking home their second win of the season, a meet ripe with unscheduled events taking place.

Despite all the distractions, the team stuck together and put in an impressive performance.

“These girls are really pulling together and rising to that team spirit that we’re trying to promote,” Byrne said of her girls’ togetherness throughout the season.

“They cheer each other on, they support each other, it’s a really nice thing to see,” Byrne said.

Before the meet started, weird things began to happen. Not the least of which being one of the meet officials was late due to problems with their commute thanks to the weather system knocking down trees.

The Warriors didn’t have the greatest start to the meet, as they fell behind 8-6 after taking 2nd, 3rd, and 5th in the 200 Yard Medley Relay.

The relay team of Skylar Forbes, Katherine Maloney, CC Coliton, and Abby Federici touched the wall in 2nd place with a time of 2:11.12, while Jess Conley, Alyssa Toppi, Reneigh Grant, and Lilly Cullen finished just behind in 3rd at 2:17.70.

Anya Nardone, Kelly O’Connell, Sam Colliton, and Alex DeCecca finished 5th.

Things may have been a little distracting for the first swimmers up on the blocks, as just prior to the start of the meet, all the lights in the pool went out.

After a frantic search for a solution, Wakefield Assistant coach Frank Lee found the box and was able to flip the right switch to get the lights back on and the meet started.

In the in 200 Yard Freestyle Wakefield took 1st, 3rd, and 5th.

Caroline Sweeney swam fastest in lane 4 with a 1st place time of 2:16.01. Kyra Hoffman brought 3rd place home with a time of 2:23.02. Erica Pecjo finished 5th to secure the important final point and put Wakefield back on top 16-14 after 2 events.

The Warriors saw their lead double with 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place finishes in the 200 Yard Individual Medley. Hannah Guay’s 2nd place time of 2:20.87 was under both sectional and state meet requirements. In 3rd place Katherine Maloney swam a 2:38.30 and Alyssa Toppi finished 4th with a 2:38.94.

After the first three events, Wakefield held a 25-21 lead, but Stoneham would make a comeback in the next event. The 50 Yard Freestyle saw the Warriors take 2nd, 4th, and 6th. Laura Sweeney swam 2nd with a time of 0:26.92, while Abby Federici finished 4th with a time of 0:27.95. Skylar Forbes finished in 6th place for the Warriors.

With the score now tied at 31, Wakefield made some progress in the next event, as they took 2nd, 3rd, and 4th in the 100 Yard Butterfly to reclaim the lead at 40-38. CC Coliton’s time of 1:12.77 saw her touch the wall in 2nd. Kyra Hoffman came in just behind her at 1:18.56 in 3rd place. Just behind Hoffman, Sam Colliton made it back in 1:23.37 to put 4th place points up on the board.

100 Yard Freestyle was next, and the Warriors increased their lead with 1st, 2nd, and 5th place in the event. Hannah Guay swam a 0:58.69 to finish in 1st place and qualify for both Sectionals and States in the event. Caroline Sweeney came in just behind Guay at 1:01.51, good for 2nd place. Abby Federici finished 5th to secure an extra point and give the Warriors a 51-43 lead.

In the 500 Yard Freestyle Kathrine Maloney swam a 6:17.83 to finish 2nd in the event for the Warriors. Lilly Cullen’s 6:41.26 was good for 3rd place while Lily DeFeo finished in 5th to keep the Warriors in front at 59-51.

“The girls really stepped up to the competition to score top 5 in each event,” Coach Byrne said, commenting on one of the pre-meet goals they’d set. “There were lots of really close races, really tight races, but I felt like our girls really pushed themselves to get the top 5 finishes to gain points in each event.”

Points are scored for swimmers finishing in places 1-5. Wakefield limited their 6th place finishes to just 2 against Stoneham.

Next, in the 200 Yard Medley Relay the Warriors came in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th and saw their lead dwindle just a bit. The 2nd place relay team of Laura Sweeny, Caroline Sweeny, Abby Federici, and Hannah Guay saw their time come in at 1:52.47.

Skylar Forbes, Jess Conley, Erica Pecjo, and Kyra Hoffman swam a 2:00.32 and finished 3rd. Sam Colliton, Anya Nardone, Alex DeCecca, and Reneigh Grant finished in 4th place.

Stoneham inched closer after the 100 Yard Back Stroke, with Wakefield swimming in 2nd, 4th, and 5th place. Skylar Forbes swam a 1:11.02 to finish in 2nd place. Erica Pecjo and Jess Conley came in 4th and 5th place respectively.

In hindsight, the 5th place finish by Conley proved to be important, as the score stood at 72-68 after the 100 Backstroke.

With 1st and 3rd place finishes in the 100 Yard Breaststroke, the Warriors could breathe a little easier as they stretched the lead out to 81-75. Laura Sweeney’s time of 1:18.09 saw her finish in 1st place and qualify for Sectionals later this year. Any improvement on her time and she’ll be in States as well, since she missed by just that 0.09.

Alyssa Toppi swam well and finished 3rd at 1:22.85. Lilly Cullen was Wakefield’s 6th place swimmer.

It all came down to the final event, the 400 Yard Freestyle Relay with the Warriors clutching to a 81-75 lead. A six-point swing should have been nearly impossible for Stoneham, and it proved to be as the Warriors secured the win with 1st, 3rd, and 4th place. However it didn’t come without an additional obstacle as the last lane line broke.

Caroline Sweeney, Katherine Maloney, Hannah Guay, and Laura Sweeney Finished 1st with a 4:10.08.

Kyra Hoffman, Erica Pecjo, Alyssa Toppi, and Lilly Cullen finished 3rd with a 4:35.30, but the latter two swimmers had to deal with the broken lane line.

“Nobody got hurt, the girls just kept swimming, two freshmen, they didn’t even let it bother them, they just kept going and took 3rd place,” Coach Byrne said, “That’s huge- that’s 10 points- 1st and 3rd. That why the score was 91-79.”

Sam Colliton, Reneigh Grant, Jess Conley, and CC Colliton finished in 4th place as the Warriors claimed a 91-79 victory.

Next week the Warriors face Winchester and Lexington on Tuesday and Thursday, so they’re in for some tough competition but they’re hoping the momentum carries over from the previous two meets.