Girls varsity swim and dive ends season with a splash at State Championships



The Warriors cheer their teammates on as they compete in the 4×100 freestyle relay. Girls varsity swim and dive competed in the MIAA Division 1 State Championships at the MIT Alumni Pool on Sunday Nov. 13 and placed fourth overall.

Girls varsity swim and dive concluded their season on Sunday, Nov. 13 when the Warriors placed fourth overall in the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) Division 1 State Championships at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Alumni Pool with a total of 244 points.

The Warriors had nine swimmers and two divers who qualified for the meet from performance throughout the fall season.

The Warriors started the meet off strong when captains and seniors Hannah Lee, Katherine Henry, Bonnie Zhao and Ellie Eisenhauer won the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 1:50.91.

Lee said that she was happy with the team’s performance and its comparison to their race in this event last year.

“Because we won the relay last year, we had our eye on that one and we wanted to come back again and win. It was really nerve-wracking because we were up against really fast teams, so we just swam for each other and were just happy to be there,” Lee said.

The relay put the Warriors ahead with 40 points, followed closely by Acton-Boxborough with 34 points and Haverhill with 32 points.

The Warriors then had sophomore Mimi Aspi competing in the 200-yard freestyle and Lee and Henry in the 200-yard individual medley (IM), helping the Warriors stay in the running for top five in overall scoring.

Lee brought home the gold in her 200 IM with an all-time personal best time of 2:07.62, out-touching Andover High School sophomore Amelia Barron, who swam a 2:07.66, at the very last second. Girls varsity swim coach Cary Monz said she has seen Lee improve tremendously over the past few years.

“This is the same pool that she [Hannah Lee] swam her first 200 IM in states her freshman year, and that race didn’t go exactly as she wanted it to. She knocked it out of the park with that swim today, so it was a great way to close her chapter,” Monz said.

The swimmers kept their placement in the top five after the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly when Zhao brought 17 points with her butterfly performance, a personal best of 58.68 that placed second.

The Warriors lost steam after that, with no swimmers in the 100-yard freestyle and 500-yard freestyle, but freshman Daisy Huang, Aspi, Lee and Henry placed sixth with a solid race in the 200-yard freestyle relay.

This relay was closely followed by the 100-yard backstroke event with three Brookline swimmers, including Zhao, who came in fourth and added 15 more points to the total score count.

In the last individual event of the day, Lee defended her title as the reigning 100-yard breaststroke champion of the fall season. This is her third year winning the gold in this event, excluding only her sophomore year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the pool, the Brookline girls varsity divers were putting on a show for the judges and coaches.

Junior and diver Jacqui St. Clair got off to a slightly shaky start but was able to bring her points up as the meet went on and came into her final dive in second place. She then finished her season with a spectacular back one-and-one half somersault with a one-half twist, bringing her final score to 417.45 and leaving her in first place.

St. Clair said that compared to her other dives, she felt the best while performing the back one-and-one-half dive.

“It was really easy to see where I was in the air, and when I hit the water, I was still going and I could hit really smoothly and it was really easy for me to have spatial awareness in that dive,” St. Clair said.

Girls varsity diving coach Kelly Gilmore said that she was ecstatic when she saw the final scoring.

“Jacqui is really hard on herself and she doesn’t really pay attention to anyone else’s dive, but I always have a lot of faith in her and I knew she would pull through,” Gilmore said.

Senior and diver Zoe Raybould finished off her high school diving career in seventh place with a final dive of an inward somersault and a score of 355.9.

Awards and medals were given out to individual swimmers and divers; the Warriors placed fourth place overall at the end of the meet.

Monz said she is confident that her seniors will go on to do great things and said how wonderful it has been to watch them grow as teammates and as individuals.

“There can be a lot of negativity associated with a sport where your success is entirely based off a number on a clock, but I’ve watched my swimmers bounce back from that this season,” Monz said.
“I want to continue to work on that with my team and hopefully make another run for the state title at some point, but I am so proud of everyone.”