Stratford Swim Team Fails to Strategize a Win

Today the Masuk Boys Swim Team faced the Bunnell Stratford Swim Team in a not-so nail-biting meet. 

Going into the meet Masuk was undaunted. 

“We are really confident about this meet because we beat them by like one hundred points last year,” said sophomore Brendan Kirberger. “I would be disappointed if we lost, I might even quit.”

The meet began with a win for the Masuk 200 Medley Relay consisting of swimmers Jack McHugh, Carter Adragna, Samuel McHugh, and Riley Sheppard with a time of 1:51.38. Four other Masuk swimmers also swam a good race; Keller Hall, Owen Smith, Jacob Urkawich, and Alexander Malecki came in second place with a time of 1:59.29. The Stratford team was unable to come up with three relays to fill the lanes, leaving them placing in third and fifth with times 2:06.23 and 2:51.16 respectively. This gave the Masuk team an early lead in the meet earning twelve points over Bunnell/Stratford who had two.

In the next two events, the 200 Yard Freestyle and 200 Yard IM, Masuk swimmers continued to shine. In the freestyle, sophomore Kirberger won with almost thirty seconds between him and the second place swimmer from Stratford, earning the team another six points. In the IM, freshmen Adragna and J. McHugh came in first and second leaving the opponents in the dust.

“Outside of the pool, we’re cheering a lot. I saw good team morale and overall we’re picking each other up,” said S. McHugh. 

The team morale and energy was evident as the meet continued with what is often considered the most exciting race, the 50 Free. Sheppard took first place with a time of 24.40. Maleki came in second and Joshua Ofori-Nhansah came in fifth. 

Masuk continued to swim well throughout the 100 Yard Butterfly and 100 Yard Freestyle. In the 100 Free, Masuk, once again, had a one-two finish with Sheppard in first place with a time of 58.20 and Kyle Zarkar with a time of 59.12. Also swimming for Masuk was Ofori-Nhansah who finished in fourth with a time of 1:13.20. In the 100 Free alone Masuk attained twelve points.

The meet continued with the longest race of the night, the 500 Yard Freestyle. Masuk’s Kirberger was ahead for the entire race and proceeded to come in first. In the 200 Yard Freestyle relay, Masuk kept with their pattern from earlier in the night by taking first place. The team was made up of Zarkar, S. McHugh, Adragna, and Sheppard had a time of 1:41.96.

Two of the night’s strongest events for Masuk, the 100 Yard Backstroke and Breaststroke, gave the team 26 points due to Masuk landing first, second and third, in both events. These points were thanks to J. McHugh, Thomas Rodriguez, and Brody Pierson. Breaststroke swimmers Adragna, Jack Cross, and Sean Cammarano also helped to further Masuk’s score with times of 1:05.57, 1:17.22, and 1:19.12 respectively. 

“I feel like our captains have worked really hard to bring us together as a team and to get us in line,” said Hall. “People had big goals today and they did a good job at achieving those goals.” Though, Bunnell/Stratford may not have been a difficult team for Masuk to beat. There was much learning and improvement that still went on at this meet. 

In the closing event of the night, the 400 Yard Freestyle Relay, Masuk won their final close one-two finish. The team, made up of swimmers Zarkar, Kirberger, Malecki, and Sheppard, came in first with a time of 3:55.42. Close behind in second were Hall, Jonathan Ganino, Urkawich, and Rodriguez with a time of 3:56.13.

Masuk is happy bout the win and thinks it may help them stay more confident for the continuation of the season.

“We did really good. This was a good win for us,” said S. McHugh. “It helps to get our momentum up for our next couple of meets, which will be our harder ones. There’s also great improvement for some of our lower-level swimmers, who worked on some skills such as technique with our freestyle and our turns over the week. So we definitely showed improvement this week.”

The Masuk team defeated the Bunnell/Stratford Swim Team with a final score of 91-73. Masuk Swim Team’s next meet will be on Tuesday, January 31st at the Masuk Pool at six p.m. against Weston.

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