High schools


Duxbury, Westford Academy repeat as champions

2/10/2018 - Cambridge, MA - MIT Zesiger Pool - Ashely Loomis, cq, a senior from Franklin High school, won the 500-meter freestyle event. Hundreds of female high school athletes competed on Saturday morning, February 10, 2018 in the 2018 Girls South Winter Swim Meet at the MIT Zesiger Pool in Cambridge, MA. Photo by Dina Rudick/Globe Staff
Dina Rudick/Globe Staff
Franklin’s Ashely Loomis (center) won 200 the 500-yard freestyle events, both for the fourth straight time.

Before Duxbury’s franchise four — seniors Mary Buckley, Grace Ali, Anna Jamieson, and sophomore Julia Ali — stormed to a meet-record finish in the 400-yard freestyle relay (3:34.04) Saturday, coach Elizabeth Walsh was confident that a fourth straight South sectional girls’ swimming title was in the books.

“Our 200 medley relay set the tone of the meet,” said Walsh. “[The same four girls] absolutely set the pool on fire, and that was Mary’s best split. I looked at the rest of the girls, and said, ‘They just set the tone for the entire meet.’ ”

After shattering their own meet record in the medley relay (1:46.66) and qualifying as All-Americans, the Dragons packed in points at MIT Zesiger Pool to total 334.5 overall, 128.5 more than second-place Hopkinton (206) and 149.5 above third-place Bishop Feehan (185).


Duxbury’s triumph didn’t entirely come off the might of first-place wins. The Dragons only took six out of 12 events.

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“Everyone did their part,” said Walsh. “The fact that we had strength on the other side of the pool” — referring to freshman diver Erin Murphy, who came in third — “was just awesome.”

But when the Dragons did pull out a win, they did it with chutzpah. In the 100 backstroke, Julia Ali’s duel with last year’s champion, Madison Milbert of Silver Lake, was so tight that both heads emerged above the water seemingly simultaneously. Ali clinched the victory in a record-setting 57.07, eight milliseconds better than Milbert.

“I saw her at the 50, on the wall, and she was ahead of me. I said to myself, ‘I’m going to go as fast as I can and try and beat her,’ ” said Ali, who also broke a school record with her third-place 500 freestyle finish (5:06.92). “And I did. Good feeling.”

The Yale-bound Buckley also won the 200 IM (2:05.85) and set a meet record (1:02.67) in the 100 breaststroke. The elder Ali, Grace, propelled to gold in the 100 freestyle (53.16).


“All of this gives us a lot of confidence,” said Buckley. “It shows us that we can actually do this next week [at the Division 2 state championships].”

The runner-up Hillies put up a tremendous fight behind seniors Andrea Wei, who claimed back-to-back wins in the 50 freestyle (23.72) and the 100 butterfly (55.19), and Mattie Strauss, who took the diving competition (486.80).

Last year’s Globe Division 1 swimmer of the year and Yale commit Ashley Loomis of Franklin also claimed her fourth-straight sectional victories in both the 200 (1:49.94) and 500 freestyles (4:55.25).

Nantucket set a meet mark in its only top placement of the day, the 200 freestyle relay (1:40.75).

In the North sectionals, depth was instrumental in Westford Academy’s titanic three-peat. The Grey Ghosts topped the field with 480 points, far outpacing runner-up Weston (211) and third-place finisher Concord-Carlisle (202.50). Seventeen swimmers and three divers made up Westford’s lineup, which placed in the top five in every race.


“Our girls built momentum and are ready to peak next week,” said head coach Caitlin Klick-McHugh, who thinks there might be a “target” on her team’s back at the Division 1 state championships.

The Grey Ghosts only placed first in two events. They began the afternoon with a 1:50.03 victory in the 200-yard medley relay but did not claim gold again until a tie with Weston in the 200 freestyle relay (1:38.19).

Senior Katherine Pawlak, who anchored both relays, attributed her team’s success to the seven freshmen who made the trip to MIT.

“Having those strong freshmen coming in makes me feel a little bit better about leaving the team,” said the 17-year-old.

Halle Moore took silvers in the 500 freestyle (5:07.00) and the 100 backstroke (59.31), while Michaela Martin placed second in the 100 butterfly (57.47).

The power of youth extended to Weston’s Jacey Hinton, who surged to first in the 100 butterfly (56.13), as anchor in the 400 freestyle relay (3:35.82), and in the 200 freestyle (1:51.04)(cq), her sectional debut and a new meet mark.

“I do everything for the team,” said Hinton. “They’re my motivation, and magic happens.”

South sectional results

200-yard medley relay: 1. Duxbury (1:46.66); 2. Bishop Feehan (1:55.17); 3. Silver Lake (1:55.58)

200-yard Freestyle: 1. Ashley Loomis, Franklin (1:49.94); 2. Alexa Connors, Silver Lake (1:52.45); 3. Madison Milbert, Silver Lake (1:54.34)

200-yard IM: 1. Mary Buckley, Duxbury (2:05.85); 2. Megan Kramer, Bridgewater-Raynham (2:05.95); 3. Sarah Rice, Cohasset (2:12.41)

50-yard freestyle: 1. Andrea Wei, Hopkinton (23.72); 2. Jeannette King, Bishop Stang (24.20); 3. Cayce Patriarca, Bishop Feehan (24.40)

u100-yard butterfly: 1. Andrea Wei, Hopkinton (55.19); 2. Grace Ali, Duxbury (56.52); 3. Anna Parks, Cohasset (58.28)

100-yard freestyle: 1. Grace Ali, Duxbury (53.16); 2. Morgan O’Hara, Oliver Ames (54.00); 3. Cayce Partiarca (54.47)

500-yard freestyle: 1. Ashley Loomis, Franklin (4:55.25); 2. Alexa Connors, Silver Lake (4:56.98); 3. Julia Ali, Duxbury (5:06.92)

200-yard freestyle relay: 1. Nantucket (1:40.75); 2. Hopkinton (1:41.29); 3. Duxbury (1:43.10)

100-yard backstroke: 1. Julia Ali, Duxbury (57.07); 2. Madison Milbert, Silver Lake (57.15); 3. Jeannette King, Bishop Stang (57.77)

100-yard breastroke: 1. Mary Buckley, Duxbury (1:02.67); 2. Megan Kramer, Bridgewater-Raynham (1:06.38); 3. Ava DeAngelis, Duxbury (1:06.80)

1 meter Diving: 1. Mattie Strauss, Hopkinton (486.80); 2. Lauren O’Sullivan, Hanover (436.10); 3. Erin Murphy, Duxbury (431.50)

400 Yard freestyle relay: 1. Duxbury (3:34.04); 2. Hopkinton (3:42.02); 3. Bishop Feehan (3:43.08)

Team scores: 1. Duxbury (334.5); 2. Hopkinton (206); 3. Bishop Feehan (185)

North sectional results

200 yard medley relay: 1. Westford Academy (1:50.03); 2. Concord-Carlisle (1:51.31); 3. Marblehead (1:54.29)

200 freestyle: 1. Jacey Hinton, Weston (1:51.04); 2. Nicole Welch, Beverly (1:53.41); 3. Amanda Wager, Marblehead (1:55.19)

200 IM: 1. Meagan Hathaway, Marblehead (2:06.47); 2. Catherine Christuk, Bishop Fenwick (2:08.24); 3. Sophia Lumino, Bishop Fenwick (2:09.01)

50 freestyle: 1. Maggie Summit, Triton (23.66); 2. Katherine Pawlak, Westford Academy (24.21); T3. Emily Rudiman, Westford Academy (24.71); T3. Sophia Lumino, Bishop Fenwick (24.71)

1 meter diving: 1. Olivia Poulin, Concord-Carlisle (547.25); 2. Sabrina Bunar, Lynnfield (539.45); 3. Samantha Blanc, Westford Academy (530.35)

100 butterfly: 1. Jacey Hinton, Weston (56.13); 2. Michaela Martin, Westford Academy (57.47); 3. Callie Breiter, Lincoln-Sudbury (59.36)

100 freestyle: 1. Maggie Summit, Triton (52.34); 2. Jennie Bankes, Masconomet (53.35); 3. Emily Rudiman, Westford Academy (53.66)

500 freestyle: 1. Nicole Welch, Beverly (4:59.29); 2. Halle Moore, Westford Academy (5:07.00); 3. Sofia Blomqvist, Beverly (5:12.33)

200 freestyle relay: T1. Weston (1:38.19); T1. Westford Academy (1:38.19); 3. Concord-Carlisle (1:42.14)

100 backstroke: 1. Catherine Christuk, Bishop Fenwick (57.61); 2. Halle Moore, Westford Academy (59.31); 3. Amy Jiang, Westford Academy (1:00.22)

100 breastroke: 1. Amanda Wager, Marblehead (1:06.07); 2. Emily Blatt, Westford Academy (1:08.61); 3. Elizabeth Athanas, Manchester Essex (1:08.76)

400 freestyle relay: 1. Weston (3:35.82); 2. Westford Academy (3:37.25); 3. Marblehead (3:43.15)

Team scores: 1. Westford Academy (480); 2. Weston (211); 3. Concord-Carlisle (202.50); 4. Wayland (164.50); 5. Beverly (159)

Katherine Fominykh can be reached at katherine.fominykh@globe.com.