With his team proudly hoisting the 2014 MIAA Girls’ Division 2 swimming championship trophy, Wayland coach Mike Foley jumped fully clothed into the deep end of the MIT pool on Saturday.
“It’s just like a cool relieving shower after months of hard work,” Foley said after his celebratory dip. “We put ourselves in a great position over the past two weeks with how we swam in our league meet and sectionals last weekend. But you can’t take anything for granted, so we knew we had to still go out and swim well enough and take care of business.”
Foley’s Warriors did just that, finishing in first place by a staggering margin — Wayland had already clinched the state title before the final event (400 freestyle relay). The Warriors finished with 331.5 points and were followed by Weston (234) in second, Northampton (229) in third (229), and Marblehead (209) fourth.
Wayland took first in the 200 freestyle relay as senior Heather Wright, junior Molly Pierce, junior Anna Downs, and senior Elisabeth Wells combined to finish in 1:39.58. Pierce also won the 100 breaststroke, finishing in 1:06.85.
“We were pretty nervous going into the [200 freestyle relay],” said Pierce, who Foley included in the foursome for the first time. “But we just went in, gave it our all and raced all the way to the end. We were so happy with the first-place finish.
Despite claiming the top place in just two of the day’s 12 events, Foley’s team’s depth powered Wayland to the title. Wayland finished second in the 200 medley relay and third in 400 freestyle relay. The Warriors had girls earn points in the 200 freestyle, 200 individual medley, 50 freestyle, 100 butterfly, 100 freestyle, and 500 freestyle.
“Depth has been our thing for years now,” Foley said. “We’ve got a whole pack, a solid team, that works real hard and they buy into our program together. We pride ourselves on that. These other teams can go break state records and do all this, but they’re going to be able to outscore what 25 did today.”
In addition, with a time of 54.02 in the 100 backstroke, Nauset senior Marie Chamberlain broke the state record set in 2010, and Marblehead sophomore Kylie Cronin set the meet record for the 100 butterfly with a time of 55.35.
Boys’ state meets Sunday
The boys take over the pool at MIT’s Zesiger Center Sunday with the Division 1 and Division 2 state championships. St. John’s looks to defend its state title.
Fans are reminded that tickets will not be on sale Sunday.