March 11, 2014
The Exeter Swim Team came home with a 16th place finish and
numerous team records broken at the New England 12-Under Swimming
Championships held last week at the Upper Valley Aquatic Center in
White River Junction Vermont. Over 70 teams from Massachusetts, New
Hampshire, Maine and Rhode Island attended the 3-day affair, which
is the fastest end-of-season New England meet for swimmers from
ages 8 through 12.
Leading the way were the 11-12 year-old boys team of Thomas Choquette, Tony Min, Andrew Benson and Max Reich, who set EST team records in all three relays, placing 6th in the 200 Medley Relay, 4th in the 400 Free Relay and 3rd in the 200 Free Relay.
Individually, Andrew Benson had a great meet, winning the 200 Freestyle (2:01.68) and 50 Free (26.28) in the 11-year-old category. He also placed third in the 100, 500 and 1650 (mile) Freestyle. Not limiting his success to the Freestyle events, he also placed 5th in the 200 Back, 8th in the 200 Fly and 11th in the 100 Individual Medley. Benson's victory in the 200 Freestyle also broke a team record that had stood since 1988.
"That race was incredible and he had to come from behind in the last 50 yards " said Exeter Coach Greig Cronauer. "Our team members were going crazy at the side of the pool as he kept creeping closer. Andrew must have heard us because he touched the pad first by only two-tenths. What a race!"
Thomas Choquette (12) also had a great meet, participating in the record-breaking relays and setting team records in the 100 Freestyle (56.69), 1000 Free (11:27.77) and 1650 Free (19:04.86) to score big points for EST. The 100 Free time broke a team record that had stood for over 25 years. Thomas also made finals in the 50 Free, 200 Free, 100 Individual Medley and 50 Breaststroke.
Max Reich (11) scored in each of his nine events, placing third in the 200 IM (2:27.15) and fourth in the 100 Back, 50 Breast, 100 Breast and 200 Breast. He rounded that off with a 5th in the 50 Backstroke, 6th in the 100 IM, 8th in the 200 Backstroke and 15th in the 50 Free.
"Our goal was to improve our team placing this season and we've worked hard at it since September." said Cronauer. "We scored over four times the number of points (755) from last year and achieved our goal of top 20. The fast competition brought out the best in them."
Tony Min (12), who rounded out the EST relays, proved that in prelims when he tied another swimmer for the last spot for the evening finals in the 50 Free. That requires a "swim-off" where those two competitors square off head-to-head with the entire crowd watching. "There is nothing more pressure packed than that" Cronauer said. "I told Tony ... this isn't sudden death, its sudden victory." Min proceeded to rip off a time (25.97) that was almost one second faster than his earlier swim and went on to finals where he moved up from the 20th seed to place15th.
Min's best finish was 8th in the 50 Breast (33.60) and he added a 9th in the 50 Fly, 12th in the 100 Breast, and 13th in both the 100 Free and 200 Breast.
The Exeter 11-12 girls were led by Emily Metivier (12) who made finals in 6 events and set Exeter team records in 4 of them. Although her time was just off the team record, her 50 Breaststroke (33.95) was fast enough to place her 4th in a very competitive field. Her new records were achieved in the 100 Breaststroke (1:14.01, placing 9th), 100 Backstroke (1:04.88, placing 10th), 100 IM (1:06.23, placing 11th) and 1000 Free (11:31.28 - placing 13th). She also added a 12th place finish in the 200 Breaststroke. Joining Metivier for relays was Backstroke qualifier Chloe Couture (12), Eliana Fleischer (12) and Sutton Corzatt (11).
The 10 & under girls were well represented with individual qualifiers, led by Elizabeth Bencze (10), Megan Metivier (10), Megan Reich (9), Julia Wagner (10) and Brydie Olofson (9). The trio of Bencze, Metivier, and Reich swam in each of the three placing relays. Carly Caswell (10) joined them for the 200 Medley Relay which placed 10th and nearly broke a team record. Wagner was the 4th for the 200 Freestyle Relay which was good for 16th overall and Olofson helped the other three drop significant time in the 400 Free Relay for an 18th place finish.
Individually, Megan Reich scored 7th overall in the 100 Back (1:19.41), 9th in her 50 Fly with a 3 second time drop (to 35.42) and 12th in the 50 Backstroke (36.90) Brydie Olofson, attending her first-ever New England Championship meet, improved her time by over 3 seconds to surprise everyone with a 10th place finish (42.38)
Brady Dixon (age 10) was a multiple qualifier for the 9-10 Boys and scored in the 100 Freestyle (18th) , 50 Backstroke (17th) and the 100 IM (17th), all in personal best times. "This meet was incredibly fast" explains Cronauer. "The crowd saw many New England records set over the three days and that just pumped everyone up."