High schools

MIAA SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS

Andover girls’ swimming claims fourth straight Division 1 title

11/19/2017 WORCESTER, MA Andover's Jordan Clements (cq) competed in the 100 yard breaststroke during the MIAA Girls and Boys Fall State Swimming and Diving Championships for Division 1 held at WPI Sports and Recreation Center in Worcester. (Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe)
Aram Boghosian for the globe
Andover's Jordan Clements on her way to victory in the 100-yard breaststroke during the Division 1 state swimming and diving championships at WPI.

WORCESTER — The trophy case at Andover High must be getting pretty crowded.

Perennial victors and proud of it, the Golden Warriors’ swimming team quickly left every other team in its wake Sunday, amassing a 488.5 total and a smashing 221-point gap on the runner-up, Acton-Boxborough as it claimed the Division 1 state title at WPI, its fourth straight.

“It was a very emotional day, it is, and I don’t know why,” said coach Marilyn Fitzgerald.

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The Andover girls swept the first eight events.

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“This might be the most [first-place wins] we’ve had since 2000,” said Fitzgerald.

Mia Galat of Andover.
Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe
Mia Galat of Andover.

After pushing Andover to a win in the 200-yard medley relay, junior phenom Mia Galat cracked it open in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1 minute 53.18 seconds, earning Andover an 18-point lead. She was later a part of the winning Andover 200 freestyle relay and 400 freestyle relay teams.

“Ever since I was little, I wanted to be on the team,” said Galat, whose sister Gabrielle preceded her, “to earn a medal, to stand on the podium, and I did.”

While the bulk of the swimming events were carried out, senior Framingham diver Halia Bower, who has committed to the University of Alabama, was quietly constructing a 533.60 score — but it was too late. By the time sophomore Emily Clements propelled the Golden Warriors to victory in the 500-yard freestyle nearly seven seconds above the field, Andover’s fate was secure.

Halia Bower of Framingham won the diving competition.
Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe
Halia Bower of Framingham won the diving competition.

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“Winning three relays is almost impossible,” said Fitzgerald. “It just shows the depth on the deck.”

Outside of Andover’s realm, other noteworthy performances included Isabella Korby, the Acton-Boxborough rookie who was the first to break through the juggernaut’s chokehold of the meet in the 100-yard backstroke (58.28)).

Marshfield’s BK Jeong also shattered the boys’ 100-yard breaststroke record by four seconds (1:01.67). Braintree’s Sean McGurn pushed to a new meet-best in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:10.90. The Wamps, too, claimed first place overall with 190 points, followed by Marshfield at 87.

Andover teammates cheered for Jordan Clements as she won the 100-yard breaststroke.
Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe
Andover teammates cheered for Jordan Clements as she won the 100-yard breaststroke.

Division 2 — Coach Lois Margeson felt the happy weight of three state titles in a decade as she stood at the edge of a 3-meter diving board, preparing for liftoff into the WPI pool to celebrate. “You know, they say three’s a crowd,” said the coach, “but three-peating feels pretty good.”

The dynamic Reading swimming and diving team carried home its second straight Division 2 swimming trophy with a 388.5 score, defeating Wellesley by 38½ points.

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There was no clear superstar — or, at least, she wouldn’t admit it.

“I don’t see myself as a leader,” said junior Anna Roberts. “We all swam together.”

Roberts, who lit the engines for the Rockets in the first event, the 200-yard medley relay (1:49.90), and again in the 20- yard IM (2:10.90), found herself amid a controversy near the end of the competition.

In the third heat of the 100-yard breaststroke, there was an inadvertent whistle after the start, rendering all of the swimmers’ initial performances in the water moot. Roberts, who had propelled to a lion start, pulled out of the water.

“I was a little shaken up,” she said. “But you just got to get back in the water and get it done.”

After the boys’ 100-yard breaststroke concluded, the girls began again. This time, Roberts flew from the launchpad and shot to a meet record of 1:05.68. According to Margeson, the win was still slower than Roberts’s seed time. Whatever she could have reached on her first go was left somewhere in the water.

The Rockets surged to their victory in the 400 freestyle relay, as seniors Jillian Rhodes and Molly Jones, junior Maura Letendre, and freshman Molly Hamlin won in 3:40.05.

Molly Hamlin won the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 52.70.

On the boys’ side, Norwood finished third to Advanced Math and Science (116) thanks to junior Aidan Mulligan, who snapped old meet records in the 50-yard freestyle (23.05) and in the 100-yard freestyle (52.56). Zach Cormier of Milton (57.25, 100-yard butterfly), Billerica’s Troy Eakman (57.87, 100-yard backstroke), and AMS’s Ben Williams (1:05.06, 100-yard breaststroke) also added their names to the meet record book.