THE WAKEFIELD High girls’ swim team had eight Warriors qualify to represent the team at North Sectionals on Nov. 7 at WPI. Pictured in the front row from left to right is Laila Atoui, Lucy Wagner, Audrey Cook and Grace McHugh. In the back row from left are Sophie Seidman, Mackenzie Grace, Sam Marshall and Angie Martinez. (Courtesy Photo)
By DAN BYRNE
WAKEFIELD– The last time we heard from the Wakefield High swim team, they had completed their league season and were set to embark on the postseason meets.
The first of those was the Middlesex League Championship meet which saw the girls swim to a 5th place overall finish with 246 points at Bentley University on Oct. 27.
At the Middlesex League Championship, everyone attends, everyone swims and the top 16 finishers earn points for their team. Top finishers in events get All-Conference honors, while 2nd and 3rd place finishers earn an All-Star nod.
Recently, Warriors head coach Kathy Byrne spoke about the meet saying, “It was a good meet for us overall. We ended up taking 5th place ahead of Reading, Stoneham, Woburn/Burlington and Melrose. I’m very pleased with that finish. All the girls were right on with their times, either having their best time or right around their best times with very good finishes.”
The biggest takeaway from the day’s events was in the 100 Yard Breastroke as Audrey Cook came in 1st place, being crowned the Middlesex League Champion with a time of 1:09.68.
Cook was named to the Middlesex League All-Conference team for her first place finish and Grace McHugh was a Middlesex League All-Star in the 200 yard IM with her 2nd place finish.
Also in the 100 Yard Breaststroke, Lucy Wagner came in 5th 1:14.34 and Sophie Seidman came in 11th.
In the Medley Relay, the Warriors took 5th place with Audrey Cook, Lucy Wagner, Grace McHugh and Samantha Marshall.
In the 200 Yard Freestyle, Cook took 4th place and Mackenzie Grace took 10th.
In the 100 Yard Butterfly, junior captain Grace McHugh took 3rd place with a time of 1:03.11, her best time all season. Laila Atoui came in 8th place and qualified for sectionals and states and freshman Lucy Wager brought home points in 11th place.
“That’s a great finish for a freshman,” said coach Byrne.
Sam Marshall took 14th place in the 100 Yard Freestyle.
“She swam her best time of the year and got points for the team,” the coach said.
One of the most fun races to watch came between McKenzie Grace and freshman Angie Martinez in the 500 Yard Freestyle, as Coach Byrne recalled, “They were both seeded next to each other and they swam well. It was an amazing race between the two of them, both of them bringing down their entry time a considerable amount – they were neck-and-neck the entire way,”
Grace came in 6th place with a time of 6:08.74 and Martinez came in right next to her with a time of 6:09.33.
“Teammates swimming each other in the 500, it was exciting to watch,” Byrne said, of one of the longest events.
In the 200 Yard Freestyle Relay, the Warriors came in 5th with Sam Marshall, Laila Atoui, Angie Martinez and McKenzie Grace.
In the 100 Backstroke, Laila Atoui came in 8th place and qualified for Sectionals and States.
The Warriors took 4th in the 400 Yard Freestyle Relay as coach Byrne noted, “We were very happy with the finish.”
Grace McHugh, Lucy Wagner, Laila Atoui and Audrey Cook’s 3:55.27 was their best time of the season.
Next for the Warriors was the North Sectional Championships at WPI on Nov. 7. At that meet, the girls had to qualify by making cutoff times. Of the Warrior swimmers, eight were able to qualify.
The Warriors sent all three relay teams, along with Grace McHugh, Laila Atoui, Audrey Cook and Lucy Wagner each of whom qualified in two individual events, the maximum a participant could partake in.
Wakefield took 8th place in the 200 Yard Medley Relay, with Atoui, Cook, McHugh, and Wagner.
Cook came in 5th in the 200 Yard Freestyle.
McHugh came in 9th in the individual medley and 6th in the 100 Yard Butterfly.
Atoui came in 14th in the 100 Fly and 7th in the 100 Yard Backstroke with her best time of the season so far, 10:05.31.
“She has been improving steadily throughout the Championship season,” coach Byrne said.
In the 200 Yard Freestyle Relay, Wakefield came in 13th, yet swam their best time of the year for the group of Sam Marshall, Sophie Seidman, Angie Martinez and Mackenzie Grace.
In the 100 Yard Breaststroke, Cook took 4th place and Wagner took 10th place.
“They’ve been swimming so close to their best times that it was very very good,” Byrne added. “We took 7th place in the 400 Freestyle relay in 3:53.66 which was an improvement over our seed time,” she continued. “Everyone has been performing really well. Im very proud of how hard the girls have worked, and it has paid off with this championship group because they are doing really well, they did very well at Sectionals and we are sure States will be a success too.”
The Warriors competed at States yesterday at MIT. A full story will appear at a later date.