Woodstock Swim Team Edges Rutland
Rick Russell Photos
A portion of these photo first appeared in the July 12, 2012 print edition of the Vermont Standard.
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By David Miles, Sports Correspondent
The Woodstock Swim Team opened its home season by edging Rutland by the narrowest of margins last Tuesday. Woodstock finished the meet, which included 55 individual competitions and 19 relays, with 350 points while the visitors recorded 349. Each team had close to 70 swimmers participating, with beginners as young as 5 years old competing, as well as experienced swimmers up to age 18.
Head coach Nicola Smith was enthused with how well her swimmers performed.
“Considering that we have had only 10 days of practice and that we have a large number of new swimmers, I was very impressed with how well they did. And their sportsmanship and the support that they showed for their fellow swimmers and teammates was great too,” Smith said.
Eleven different Woodstock swimmers won multiple events, while 10 more triumphed in one individual events. Throw in the additional 14 swimmers who were part of a winning relay team and over half of the Woodstock squad finished in first place in at least one event.
Two swimmers Oliver Wilson and Isabelle Hiller, each claimed four first individual first-place finishes, with both swimmers also being a part of two winning relay teams. The 11-year old Wilson won the boys 100-yard individual medley, as well as the 50-yard distance in three different strokes – the freestyle, backstroke and breaststroke. Hiller, a nine-year old, won three strokes in the 25-yard distance (backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly), and triumphed in the 100-yard breaststroke in her age category as well.
Isabelle’s sister, Madeline was one of four triple winners for Woodstock. She won the 11-12 year old competitions in the 100 individual medley, the 100 freestyle and the 50-yard butterfly. She also placed second in the 50-yard backstroke.
Another pair of sisters, 15-year-old Anna Ramsey and 13-year-old Kristin Ramsey, were triple winners. Anna won the 50- and 100-yard freestyle and the 50 yard backstroke. Kristin won the same two 50-yard events for 13-14 year olds, with the 50-yard breaststroke her third victory.
The final triple winner was 9-year old Riley Shepherd. He finished first in two breaststroke competitions (25 and 100 yards) and two free stroke competitions (25 and 50 yards).
Sidney Pilot was one of three girls to record two victories. The 11-year-old took first place in both the 50-yard and the 100-yard breaststroke events. In addition she finished second behind teammate Madeline Hiller in the 100-yard individual medley. Pilot said that she was “very happy with how I did.” This is her third year of swimming with the Woodstock team.
“I really like it all, both the swimming and the chance to do something with my friends during the summer,” Pilot said.
A pair of younger girls, 9-year old Amber Wood and 8-year old Jane Lackley, outswam their competition to earn two first-pace ribbons, too. Wood’s first-place results came in the 25-yard and the 50-yard freestyle. (She was also second to Isabelle Hiller in both the 25-yard backstroke and breaststroke.) Lackley led the 7-8 year old girls in the same two categories, the 25- and 50-yard freestyle. She also finished fifth in the 2-yard backstroke.
On the boy’s side, young Declan McCullough and veteran Gordon MacMaster were the double winners. McCullough claimed the 25-yard freestyle and the 25-yard backstroke for the 8-and-under boys, while MacMaster was the victor in the 13-14 boys in both the 100-yard breaststroke and the 50-yard backstroke. He was also second in the 50-yard breaststroke.
Single winners for the boys were Cambell Boswell (15-16 50-yard backstroke), Isaac Emery (11-12 100-yard free), Andrew Fedderson (9-10 25-yard free) and Benjamin Johnson (9-10 25-yard backstroke). Emery also took two second places, in the 100-yard individual medley and the 50-yard backstroke.
“It was hard today. I didn’t feel as good as I usually do,” Emery said. “I have been doing swim team for many years, but this is only the second year I have done the individual medley.”
It can be a harder event, but Emery likes the chance to try all the different strokes that he has practiced in his many years with the swim team.
The six girls who won one event were Isabella Brooks (13-14 100-yard individual medley), Megan Gray (15-16 50-yard breaststroke), Emily Haynes (11-12 200-yard free), Finn McFarland (15-16 100-yard breaststroke), Lilianna Sorrentino (9-10 100-yard individual medley) and Kerry Swartz (500-yard free, the longest individual event in the competition).
Other relay winners for the girls included Audrey Emery, Kendall Taylor and Adi Wilson, who teamed with Lackley to win the 8-and-under 100-yard medley relay. Taylor also swam well in individual events with a pair of second-place finishes in the 25-yard backstroke and breaststroke for the 8-and-under category.
Ava Fitts was part of two winning relay teams in the ages 9-10 category in the 100 freestyle and the 100-yard medley. She teamed with Wood, Haynes, and Isabelle Hiller both times.
Two quartets of boys also claimed two relays: Wilson, Emery, Jacob Maxham and Yeabsira Miles. They came home first in both the 200-yard freestyle and the 200-yard medley in the 11-12 age group. Meanwhile, Shepherd teamed with Matthew Mueller, Joseph Johnson and Henry Bees to win the 100-yard freestyle and 100-yard medley for ages 9-10.
The final two relay victories came at opposite ends of the age spectrum. In the 19-and-under boys, MacMaster and Boswell teamed up with Peter Wilson and Hany Oney to take the 200-yard medley while Bode Wood, Orion Beardsley, Jaedon Beardsley and McCullough came home first in the 100-yard free relay.
Relay competition can bring out the best in teamwork. Six-year old Hudson Maxham did not know if he was ready to swim yet, in his first meet, but he did the relay “because my team needed me.” His team, which also included Chris Bradley, Gaven Schain and Jake Carey came home third in the 100-yard freestyle.
The event was the first for many young swimmers such as 5-year old Sola Minotti. Her determination was evident as she worked hard to finish each of her events. Her dad, Tod Minotti, said, “She was a little nervous before the meet, but she was all smiles after she finished.”
That was true of many of the youngest swimmers as well.
Also competing for Woodstock in this meet were Charlie Amato, Mateo Bango,, Gabriel Bango, Will Duane, Liam Harper, Alexander Mudannayake, Mary Ann Bees, Allison Bradley, Khara Brettell, Tobin Calder, Claire Coates, Monica Devine, Rosie Donaldson, Abbey Duane, Katrina Fedderson, Emily Fitts, Elise Geschardt, Norah Harper, Jaym Henderson, Emma King, Sarah Lackley, Katey MacMaster, Molly Maxham, Lilia McCullough, Isabel Mudannayake, Tamsin Mueller, Tatum Mueller, Endine Peters, Mia Roof, Gina Sorrentino, Anna Steele, Emma Webb and Keira Zayas.
Seven-year-old Chris Bradley probably spoke for all the athletes on this day when he breathlessly announced after his 25-yard free event, “I swam the hardest I could.” That is the effort that Smith and assistant coaches Maddie Gilbert and Sam Stockwell were looking for, and were delighted to receive, in this competition.
Woodstock will again swim at home this Saturday, July 14, against the Rockingham Area Swim Team.