MILFORD, Mass. – The King Philip boys’ team won its second straight Hockomock Swimming Championship title on Friday night and on Saturday the girls made it a school double, adding to their Kelley-Rex division title with the team championship at the league meet.
KP finished with 317 points, pulling away from Franklin (285 points) and Taunton (282 points) with a second place finish in the final event of the meet, the 400-yard free relay. North Attleboro, the Davenport division champion, and Oliver Ames tied for fourth place with 202 points apiece and Attleboro took sixth on 199.
“Pretty fantastic weekend,” said first-year KP coach Jack Pettine. “The difference between us and the other teams was having a lot of those numbers to take a lot of top placings, in our relays especially.”
He added, “We came into this meet with our times and our seedings for our relays that we knew who we would put in each event. Other teams may have had the times but didn’t have the ability to space out their swimmers the way we could.”
Relays were the key to the boys’ title the night before and it proved crucial for the girls as well. The team of Callie Sullivan, Fahra Whachard, Sam Nasson, and Sam DeWitt took second in the 200-yard medley relay to start the day and the Warriors grabbed the lead for good when Catherine DiGiacomo, Morgan Sachleben, Jessica Sullivan and Whichard won the 200 free relay in a time of 1:49.07.
DeWitt, Nasson, DiGiacomo, and Callie Sullivan took second behind OA in the closing race, the 400 free relay, but it earned the points that sealed the title.
“We told our girls to do the best swim they could have and make sure it counted in the pool,” said Pettine about the message ahead of that final relay. “Those girls had a great race and gave us the times we were looking for heading into the postseason.”
The Tigers jumped from sixth into a tie for fourth with the win in the final relay. Mia Esterman, Aprille Gangi, Makayla Paquin, and Morgan O’Hara came from behind to edge the KP team by a full second. It was the third first place finish of the day for O’Hara, who made quite a splash in her first league meet, also winning the 100 free and the 100 backstroke.
Other swimmers with multiple first place finishes included Attleboro’s Jackie Lynch-Bartek, who won as part of the 200 medley relay and took first in the 200 breaststroke, and Franklin junior Ashley Loomis, who became a three-time Hock champion in both the 200 free and 500 free. Loomis, who is getting looks from Ivy League programs, is also the defending state champion in both events.
“She has a true competitor’s heart,” said Franklin coach Jess Pridham. “She trains like a monster. She trains five or six hours a day and she always has a smile on her face and she always wants to achieve the goals that she sets for herself. She puts her plan in and everything falls into place for her.”
Pridham was asked if that type of work ethic can rub off on teammates. She replied, “The other girls on our team see how skilled, how talented, and how fast she is, but they also see that she puts in the time and the effort. They know the work that she puts in and some them do emulate that.”
One of the more interesting subplots to the season was the success of the Taunton girls’ program under first-year coach Pat King, who volunteered to take over the program when the original coach stepped down just two weeks before the start of the season. The Tigers finished second in the Kelley-Rex and then took third at Saturday’s championship meet, which is their highest finish since joining the league.
“I’ve coached many years, just never coached swimming before,” said King with a chuckle. “They said what do you think? Of course, I checked with my senior daughter (Jennie King) first and asked if it was okay because I didn’t want to screw up her senior year. She said, go ahead, go for it.
“Luckily, I’ve had a bunch of great kids. It was a lot of fun.”
When King was asked what made the Tigers so successful this season, he quipped, “The coach!” He added, “The seniors got a little bit faster from club and maturing physically…and with (eighth grader) Mia [Sinkiewicz] and my daughter and others, it was purely a team effort.”
Like O’Hara, Sinkiewicz marked her Hockomock Championships debut with a first place finish, claiming the top time in the 200 IM. She also finished second in the 100 backstroke (to O’Hara) and was on two relay teams that had top six times.
The day (and the weekend) belonged to King Philip and Pettine admitted that the girls came into Saturday wanting to make sure that the boys’ team did not get all the bragging rights.
He said, “Definitely a little bit of pressure. The boys knocked it out of the park last night. We came in real confident for the girls, but it also helped knowing that the boys pulled it off too.”
1. King Philip – 317
2. Franklin – 285
3. Taunton – 282
4. North Attleboro – 202
4. Oliver Ames – 202
6. Attleboro – 199
7. Milford – 149.50
8. Mansfield – 123
9. Sharon – 106
10. Canton – 98
11. Foxboro – 77
12. Stoughton – 59.50
200-Yard Medley Relay
1. Attleboro (Tiffany Chin, Jackie Lynch-Bartek, Corinne Perry, Elizabeth Saltz) – 1:57.86
2. King Philip (Callie Sullivan, Fahra Whichard, Sam Nasson, Sam DeWitt) – 1:58.00
3. Taunton (Mia Sinkiewicz, Jennie King, Lorna Li, Erin Schrama) – 2:01.95
4. Oliver Ames (Makayla Paquin, Aprille Gangi, Mia Esterman, Morgan O’Hara) – 2:04.97
5. Franklin (Isabel Capecci, Megan Lazarek, Lila Kaplan, Audrey Finn) – 2:07.76
6. North Attleboro (Thalia Puccio, Jackie Dirschel, Erini Rigas, Catherine Sales) – 2:09.17
1. Ashley Loomis, Franklin – 1:54.91
2. Jackie Lynch-Bartek, Attleboro – 2:05.93
3. Jennie King, Taunton – 2:05.95
4. Thalia Puccio, North Attleboro – 2:06.43
5. Sam DeWitt, King Philip – 2:06.55
6. Kathryn McGuire, Franklin – 2:06.62
1. Mia Sinkiewicz, Taunton – 2:16.12
2. Sam Nasson, King Philip – 2:21.87
3. Fahra Whichard, King Philip – 2:26.25
4. Claudia Beasley, Mansfield – 2:28.34
5. Aprille Gangi, Oliver Ames – 2:28.62
6. Megan Lazarek, Franklin – 2:30.46
1. Jennifer Prior, Mansfield – 25.91
2. Helen Huang, Franklin – 26.82
3. Corinne Perry, Attleboro – 27.11
4. Erin Schrama, Taunton – 27.32
5. Mia Esterman, Oliver Ames – 27.77
6. Maddie Nourse, Canton – 27.93
1. Sam Nasson, King Philip – 1:02.46
2. Corinne Perry, Attleboro – 1:03.81
3. Alexa Lancisi, Milford – 1:05.54
4. Thalia Puccio, North Attleboro – 1:06.31
5. Lorna Li, Taunton – 1:07.60
6. Alexandra Nelson, Foxboro – 1:07.92
1. Morgan O’Hara, Oliver Ames – 55.17
2. Jennifer Prior, Mansfield – 56.81
3. Elizabeth Saltz, Attleboro – 56.91
4. Jackie Dirschel, North Attleboro – 57.40
5. Callie Sullivan, King Philip – 58.91
6. Ilka Zaniewski, Sharon – 58.95
1. Ashley Loomis, Franklin – 5:10.39
2. Jennie King, Taunton – 5:32.74
3. Kathryn McGuire, Franklin – 5:35.47
4. Sam DeWitt, King Philip – 5:41.95
5. Makayla Paquin, Oliver Ames – 5:44.21
6. Morgan Sachleben, King Philip – 5:48.06
Foxboro, 65 @ Bridgewater-Raynham, 36 – Final
Oliver Ames, 3 @ Wellesley, 2 – Final – Oliver Ames scored with just 20 seconds left to play to break the deadlock and earn the two points on the road. Junior Rory Madden netted a pair of goals in the win, including the game-winner. Junior Eric LeBlanc also scored for the Tigers. Senior Zach Walsh made 27 saves in net for Oliver Ames.
Taunton, 14 vs. New Bedford, 1 – Final – Taunton had 19 different players register a point in the big win over New Bedford. Jaden Weyant netted a hat trick while Brady Nichols and Noah Gravel each scored their first career goals. Sean Bunker and Andrew Gomes split time in net for the win.
Franklin, 93 @ Attleboro, 76 – Final
Franklin, 107 @ Attleboro, 63 – Final – Junior Ashley Loomis and senior Helen Huang each won a pair of individual events and were apart of two winning relay teams. Loomis won the 200 and 500 free while Huang took first in the 50 and 100 free. Huang and Loomis teamed up with Leah Benoit and Audrey Finn to take first in the 200 free relay. Isabel Capecci and Katie McGuire were apart of the first place 400 free relay with Huang and Loomis.
Franklin, 114.5 @ North Attleboro, 136.7 – Final – Franklin’s top all around finish came from Liz Traphagen. Traphagen scored 8.0 on vault, 7.8 on bars, 8.5 on beam and 8.6 on floor.
Franklin, 99 @ Milford, 71 – Final – Franklin freshman Katie McGuire won a pair of events to help the Panthers get the crossover win. McGuire won the 500 free and the 200 free, with sophomore Lizzie Leo coming in second in the 200 free. The Panthers swept the 200 IM with senior Megan Lazarek coming in first, freshman Isabel Capecci second and senior Lila Kaplan touching in third. Senior Helen Huang was first in the 50 free for the Panthers with junior Audrey Finn coming in second. Franklin also swept the 200 and 400 free relay events.