The Warriors weren’t going to share the Hockomock League Championship title with anyone.
For the second straight year, King Philip took home first place at the league meet held at Milford High School, pulling away from Canton, Milford, Franklin and Taunton down the stretch. The Warriors had a total of 279 points.
“It was an exciting meet to come into,” said first-year KP head coach Jack Pettine. “We were looking to do the best we could today. Throughout the season we had a lot of great competition to prepare us for today.”
King Philip won the first event of the day (200 medley relay) and it turned out to be the only first place finish the Warriors. In the final 10 events, the Warriors relied on their depth with a swimming finishing in fourth or better in eight of them. The only two events KP didn’t have a placement in the top six were the 100 yard free and the 200 free relay.
“We had some really strong showings from guys all throughout the team,” Pettine said. “After our guys who came in first, the guys who came in second, those little points really add up at the end to get us in first place.”
The team of sophomore Colby Vieira, senior Jack Poppenberger, senior Andy Sprague and sophomore Tyler Stringfellow got the Warriors off to a strong start, clocking in at 1:46.96 to win the 200 medley relay, edging Franklin, Milford and Franklin by a second or less.
That foursome went on to pace King Philip the rest of the way.
Vieira took fourth in the 200 IM (2:07.78) and third in the 100 backstroke (57.74), Poppenberger took third in the 100 breaststroke (1:07.04) and was apart of the 200 free relay that placed seventh, Sprague had a pair of third place finishes, first in the 50 free (23.35) and then in the 100 fly (55.12) and Stringfellow took second in both the 200 free (1:50.30) and 500 free (4:53.69).
Sprague, Vieira and Stringfellow, along with Dean Whyte, took second in the 400 free relay (3:28.06) to finish the meet.
KP also got strong performances from freshman John Dionis (eighth in the 200 free), Dean Whyte (eighth in 200 IM and fifth in the 100 backstroke) and Tate Duffy (fourth in 500 free and eighth in 100 breaststroke). All three were also apart of the 200 free relay that took seventh.
“Dean Whyte came in with some really good placing, Andy Sprague and John Dionis picked up some big points, Kyle Loud helped out too,” Pettine said. “Pretty much everyone on the team, top to bottom, came through in the clutch and that was exciting. It was all-team effort which is great.
“And I could not have done this season without my assistant coach Danielle Hopkins. She kept me going through it all. She worked great with the kids, she was one of our biggest strengths all season long.”
Fresh off a Davenport division dual meet title, Canton carried its momentum in to grab second place with 256 points.
The Bulldogs followed the lead of senior Sebastian Melendez (four time winner) and capitalized on strong showings in the freestyle events to get second place.
Melendez took first in both the 200 free (1:45.54) and the 500 free (4:46.23) – touching the wall at least five seconds ahead of second place in both events. Melendez also anchored the 400 free relay to a thrilling comeback in the final event of the meet and was also apart of the 200 free relay that took first.
Melendez was joined by seniors Owen Guerini and Sean Mitchell as well as freshman Adrian Bankowski in both relay wins.
“Those were big points there are the end, that really elevated us at the end,” said Canton coach Cheryl Cavanaugh. “Our relays were awesome. All of the kids had personal bests, some of the kids were even knocking as much as five and six seconds off of their time. It was an incredible day for us.
“All of the kids in the middle really improved today and knocked a lot of time off.”
Guerini, Mitchell and Bankowski made their mark throughout the meet as well. Mitchell picked up points with a second place in the 50 free (22.99) and touched in fourth in the 100 breaststroke, Guerini was fifth in the 50 free (23.39) and finished sixth overall in the 100 free and Bankowski, in his first league championship meet, was seventh overall in the 50 free (23.88) and came in sixth in the 500 free (5:32.55)
Diego Ferstler also record points for the Bulldogs, placing ninth in the 50 free, 11th in the 100 free and taking 10th in the 200 medley relay along with Chris Milne, Matthew Gilmore and Justin Diep. Mile also took 11th in the 100 breaststroke and Gilmore and Deep took sixth and 12th, respectively, in the 100 fly.
“We were right in the thick of things for a while and we were shocked to be in first at times and be with the big schools,” Cavanaugh said. “We came in just looking for personal bests and trying to get as many medals as we could. It was great for the kids to hear we were in contention for first place.”
Milford rounded out the top three, finishing with 251 points. Senior Nick Antonellis followed up an impressive performance at last year’s meet with another strong showing on Friday night.
“We were right in the thick of it the entire day,” said Milford head coach Dave Chaplin. “I’ve got to give total credit to our staff, they really prepared the kids for a great performance today. I don’t think we had a kid dive in the pool and not swim their best. Every sectional and state qualifying time we were looking to accomplish, we did that in spades. Just a fantastic effort, it was a great performance.”
Antonellis claimed first place in both the 200 IM (1:59.15) and the 100 fly (53.96) and helped two relay teams to top five finishes.
Antonellis teamed with Daniel Pacella, Chris Watson and Marcello Panno to clock in at 1:47.65 in the 200 medley relay – good enough for third place. That same foursome teamed together for the 400 free relay and finished in 3:35.26, taking fourth place.
Watson surged to a first place finish in the 100 breaststroke.
Panno also placed in the 50 free (sixth, 23.65) and the 100 free (fifth, 52.71). Scarlet Hawk freshman Gillieson Hobert took seven in the 100 backstroke (1:04.77) and 11th in the 50 free (25.25) and teamed with Pacella, Michael Khoury and Gianni Panno for a fourth place finish in the 200 free relay.
Franklin senior Connor Bourgeois won the 50 free (22.51), Oliver Ames sophomore Kyle Gray touched first in a very close 100 free race, coming in at 51.20 – 0.02 seconds ahead of Sharon’s Jason Hertz. North Attleboro’s Nick Haddad claimed first in the 100 backstroke (55.09).
King Philip’s Cara Angelo and Oliver Ames’ Cam Bourne won the diving championships at the beginning of the meet.
1. King Philip – 279
2. Canton – 256
3. Milford – 251
4. Franklin – 249.50
5. Taunton – 238
6. Oliver Ames – 210.50
7. Attleboro – 149
8. Mansfield – 138
9. North Attleboro – 133
10. Sharon – 129
11. Foxboro – 31
12. Stoughton (one swimmer) – 4
200 Yard Medley Relay
1. King Philip (Colby Vieira, Jack Poppenberger, Andy Sprague, Tyler Stringfellow) – 1:46.96
2. Franklin (Jack Cashin, Roy Wang, Sumit Choudhury, Connor Bourgeois) – 1:47.41
3. Milford (Daniel Pacella, Chris Watson, Nick Antonellis, Marcello Panno) – 1:47.65
4. Taunton (Navid Darius, Matthew Heather, Caelan Schrama, Noah Moniz) – 1:47.98
5. Attleboro (Colton Parkinson, Camren Fuller, Casey Cross, Connor Dunn) – 1:50.56
6. Mansfield (Zachary Costello, Jared Gabrilowtiz, Sebastian Gwynne, Matthew Weiner) – 1:54.34
200 Yard Free
1. Sebastian Melendez, Canton – 1:45.54
2. Tyler Stringfellow, King Philip – 1:50.30
3. Andrew Abramson, Oliver Ames – 1:56.01
4. Sumit Choudhury, Franklin – 2:02.94
5. Matthew Heather, Taunton – 2:03.00
6. Gianni Panno, Milford – 2:05.40
200 Yard IM
1. Nick Antonellis, Milford – 1:59.15
2. Nick Haddad, North Attleboro – 2:04.76
3. Colton Parkinson, Attleboro – 2:04.28
4. Colby Vieira, King Philip – 2:07.78
5. Noah Moniz, Taunton – 2:07.83
6. Roy Wang, Franklin – 2:10.41
50 Yard Free
1. Connor Bourgeois, Franklin – 22.51
2. Sean Mitchell, Canton – 22.99
3. Andy Sprague, King Philip – 23.35
4. Jason Hertz, Sharon – 23.37
5. Owen Guerini, Canton – 23.39
6. Marcello Panno, Milford – 23.65
100 Yard Butterfly
1. Nick Antonellis, Milford – 53.96
2. Sebastian Gwynne, Mansfield – 54.99
3. Andy Sprague, King Philip – 55.12
4. Kyle Gray, Oliver Ames – 55.17
5. Sumit Choudhury, Franklin – 59.84
6. Matthew Gilmore, Canton – 1:00.65
100 Yard Free
1. Kyle Gray, Oliver Ames – 51.20
2. Jason Hertz, Sharon – 51.22
3. Connor Bourgeois, Franklin – 51.30
4. Caelan Schrama, Taunton – 51.65
5. Marcello Panno, Milford – 52.17
6. Owen Guerini, Canton – 53.08
500 Yard Free
1. Sebastian Melendez, Canton – 4:46.23
2. Tyler Stringfellow, King Philip – 4:53.69
3. Colton Parkinson, Attleboro – 4:54.04
4. Tate Duffy, King Philip – 5:07.26
5. Andrew Abramson, Oliver Ames – 5:07.35
6. Nicholas Lombardo, Oliver Ames – 5:14.78
200 Yard Free Relay
1. Canton (Owen Guerini, Sean Mitchell, Adrian Bankowski, Sebastian Melendez) – 1:31.65
2. Franklin (Jack Cashin, Roy Wang, Sumit Choudhury, Connor Bourgeois) – 1:35.85
3. Sharon (Alexander Lurie, Kevin Yang, Dennis Chau, Jason Hertz) – 1:38.51
4. Milford (Daniel Pacella, Michael Khoury, Gianni Panno, Gillieson Hobert) – 1:39.57
5. Oliver Ames (Anthony Carraggi, Nicholas Lombardo, Alex Buche, Kyle Gray) – 1:40.41
6. North Attleboro (Lucas Haddad, Camrin Young, Brian Hines, Nick Haddad) – 1:42.15
100 Yard Backstroke
1. Nick Haddad, North Attleboro – 55.05
2. Noah Moniz, Taunton – 57.10
3. Colby Vieira, King Philip – 57.74
4. Nicholas Lombardo, Oliver Ames – 1:00.84
5. Dean Whyte, King Philip – 1:02.22
6. Navid Darius, Taunton – 1:04.31
100 Yard Breaststroke
1. Chris Watson, Milford – 1:06.35
2. Roy Wang, Franklin – 1:06.80
3. Jack Poppenberger, King Philip – 1:07.04
4. Sean Mitchell, Canton – 1:07.30
5. Jack Cashin, Franklin – 1:07.89
6. Lucas Haddad, North Attleboro – 1:08.27
400 Yard Free Relay
1. Canton (Owen Guerini, Sean Mitchell, Adrian Bankowski, Sebastian Melendez) – 2:36.31
2. King Philip (Andy Sprague, Dean Whyte, Colby Vieira, Tyler Stringfellow) – 3:28.06
3. Taunton (Noah Moniz, Matthew Heather, Johnathan Rego, Caelan Schrama) – 3:31.89
4. Milford (Marcello Panno, Daniel Pacella, Chris Watson, Nick Antonellis) – 3:35.26
5. Oliver Ames (Nicholas Lombardo, Alex Buche, Andrew Abramson, Kyle Gray) – 3:35.39
6. Attleboro (Connor Dunn, Casey Cross, Camren Fuller, Colton Parkinson) – 3:44.91