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GSSA Wrap-up
It had been 18 years since all four divisions of the Granite State Swimming Association had come together at one location to determine its league champions.   But when the venue for the Div. 2 and 4 Championships became unavailable this summer, the Raco Theodore Pool in Manchester welcomed them this past weekend for a three-day mega event that included over 1000 swimmers ranging in age from 5 to 19.
 
That larger audience is what the Exeter Swim Team had been waiting for and shocked the 28 teams in attendance with the highest total score in winning the Division 1 State Championships by over 300 points.  Exeter was third last summer behind the Rockingham Rays and the Bedford Swim Team.
 
“We were excited when we heard everyone would be here.” said coach Greig Cronauer . “Exeter has not won the summer title since the early 2000’s and we wanted to make a statement with every team in the state present.”
 
Exeter scored 3595 for the win, topping Bedford Swim Team’s second place finish of 3248.  Pride Swimming of Nashua was third with 2648, Seacoast Swimming Association of Dover was fourth with 2285 and Rockingham Area Swimming, last year’s winner, was fifth with 1970.
 
EST combined quality and depth to top the field in Division 1.  Thirteen was a    lucky number as that many individual swimmers combined for 28 total gold medals and was also the total of EST’s top-3 scoring relays.
 
Kellen Gray (17) was a triple threat in the 17-19 age group, winning the 50 Free, 100 Fly and the 100 meter Backstroke in a new State Record of 1:01.40.  That record had stood for 33 years.  Tony Min (12) also broke a state record for the 11-12’s, racing his 50 meter Butterfly in a 30.63 breaking the old record by nearly a second.  Min also touched first in the 50 and 200 meter Freestyles.
 
Grace Mack (8) and Julia Netishen (8) combined to sweep all the 8-under Girls events with Mack winning the 25 Fly, 50 Free and 25 Breast and Netishen taking the 25 Back, 25 Free and 100 Individual Medley.
 
Chloe Couture (12) and Katie Arend (18) were the other triple-gold swimmers.  Arend took titles in the Girls 17-19 age group  100 Free, 100 Breast and 100 Fly.  Couture won the 100 Free, 50 Fly and 50 Back, out touching the 11-12 Girls from all divisions.
 
“The competition was stronger and deeper with all the divisions together at one venue.” said EST coach Nicole Benson.  “For example, there were 113 girls entered in the 11-12 Girls 100 meter Freestyle alone.  That got our swimmers psyched to race.”
 
Swimmers in the 8-under and 9-10 ages competed Sunday in the 25 yard course and the 11-12, 13-14, and 15-19 ages raced the 50 meter length on Friday and Saturday.  Medals were given to the top three finishers for each event, in each division. 
 
Other gold medalists for Exeter were Hannah Deschenes (15) in the 200 Free and 100 Back, Elizabeth Bencze (10) in the 100 Free and 50 Back, Tony Piotrowski (7) in the Boys 25 Backstroke, Alex Bouvier (14) in the  100 Butterfly, Brady Dixon (11) in the 100 Freestyle, Megan Gray (16) in the 200 IM, Sam Hodgman (17) in the aged 17-19 200 IM and 200 Free, and Forrest Spinney (16) in the 15-16 age 200 Free and 200 IM.
 
Coach Stacey Metivier pointed out the importance of the Medley and Freestyle relays during the meet.  “Relays are worth double points” she explained, “You have to have more than just one or two good swimmers.  Depth is a huge factor.”
 
Exeter relays finishing first included the 8-under Girls Freestyle (Julia Netishen, Marissa Schwartz, Lauren Bernard, Grace Mack ),  9-10 Girls Freestyle (Elizabeth Bencze, Ella Moran, Julia Wagner, Megan Metivier) and Medley (Bencze, Brydie Olofson, Metivier, Wagner),  9-10 Boys Medley Relay (Bryson Doucette, Sam Siedzik, Joe Bernard, Ryan MacKay),  11-12 Boys Medley (Griffin Deschenes, Thomas Choquette, Tony Min, Brady Dixon) and Freestyle (William Perdomo, Deschenes, Brady, Min),  13-14 Boys Free Relay (Jacob Bishop, Will Baker, Sean Dunigan, Ethan Thompson),  15-19 Girls Medley Relay (Isabel Roche, Arend, Kayla Metivier, Hannah Deschenes) and the 15-19 Free Relay (Maddie Stetz, Deschenes, Metivier, Arend).
 
  
Additional EST swimmers scoring a medal for placing in the top 3 in Division 1 included Lauren Bernard (7), Bryson Doucette (9), Addie Fitzgerald (7), Megan Metivier (13), Brydie Olofson (10), Marissa Schwartz (8), Sam Siedzik (9), Julia Wagner (10), Will Baker (13), Jacob Bishop (13), Andrew Cataldo (13), Thomas Choquette (12), Griffin Deschenes (12), Annie Dunigan (16), Nick Garey (11), Shane Harvey (16), Neruda Perdomo (12), Mason Pomroy (12), Serena Soterakopoulos (17), Maddie Stetz (16), Emily Metivier (13), Kayla Metivier (15), Brianne Terrence (14) and Ethan Thompson (13).
 
This was one of the deepest teams we have had in a while.” said Cronauer.  “Over 92% of our swimmers placed high enough to score at this meet.  That is an amazing percentage.  They all contributed.”
 
The Exeter Swim Team begins its Fall/Winter season in September and will be holding evaluations for interested participants on September 2nd and 3rd at Action Kids in Brentwood, NH from 4-6 pm each day.  Please e-mail office@exeterswim.org for more information.