Senior captain Marie Chamberlain painted a dozen or so Burger King crowns black and wrote “Nauset Sectional Champions ’14” around the base in gold before the MIAA South/Central Sectional girls’ swimming championships even began Saturday.
After the event was snowed out a year ago, Chamberlain and the entire Warriors team expected to emerge victorious from the Wellesley College pool.
“Looking at the psych sheets ahead of time, coach Justin [Bohannon], who’s a math teacher at Nauset High School, did all the predictions, and we knew we had a shot at it,” coach Katie McCully said. “We were excited going into the meet and felt very confident.”
Chamberlain led the way with four first-place finishes as Nauset won with 170 points.The Warriors were followed by the Tyngsboro/Groton-Dunstable cooperative team (156) and Hopkinton (154.5).
Chamberlain set meet records in the 100-yard freestyle (51.68 seconds) and 50-yard freestyle (23.71) and was a member of the victorious 200 medley (1:54.48) and 400 free relay (3:43.19) teams. Her time in the 100 freestyle was more than a second better than the mark set in 2010 (52.77), and she trimmed .58 seconds from the six-year-old mark in 50 free, an event she was seeded second in Saturday.
“I don’t feel any pressure. I don’t get nervous before races. I’m in my own world,’’ said Chamberlain, a member of Indiana University’s incoming recruiting class. “Swimming is my sport. The only expectations that matter to me are mine.”
The Warriors finished the meet in front in part because of McCully and Bohannon’s strategic tinkering. The coaches moved Chamberlain out of her signature events, the butterfly and backstroke, to use other girls who were strong enough to compete for first in those races.
“We really put some strategy into where we place kids in a big meet like this,” McCully said. “With relays, sometimes where you place your kids, we did a little playing with that today. We had one of our faster swimmers go second, so that way we were out there in front from the early stages and that seemed to be helpful in our last relay.”
Nauset’s plan resulted in a first-place finish in the 200 medley (Chamberlain, Macky O’Hara, Hannah Walsh, and Hannah Johnson in 1:54.48) and the 400 free relay (Whitney Knowlton-Wardle, Walsh, Johnson, and Chamberlain in 3:43.19), as well as a third-place finish in the 100 back (Johnson) and a fifth in the 100 butterfly (Walsh).
Also on Saturday, Milford senior Maddison Garber broke the nine-year-old meet record in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:05.19).
North — Wayland earned its sixth North Sectional title in seven years in front of a packed crowd at Wellesley College.
The Warriors (353 points) edged league rival Westford by 46 points.
The Warriors got a second in the 100 backstroke, a third in the 200 medley relay, and a win in the 200 freestyle relay (1:40.68).
Wayland junior Molly Pierce set school records in the 100 backstroke (58.62) and her fourth-place finish in the 100 butterfly (57.21).
Westford Academy senior Jen Marrkand set meet records when she won the 200 IM in 2:02.79, and the 100 butterfly in 54.46. With those times, Marrkand earned All-America status in both events.
Third-place Marblehead was led by Ryan Alexander’s wins in the 200 and 500 free.