Wayland won the North Sectional boys’ swimming championship for the first time in program history Sunday at MIT’s Zesiger Pool, ending the reign of St. John’s Prep, which had worn the crown since 2006.
“Today, we beat Goliath,” said Wayland senior Sean Devlin, who captured the 50-yard freestyle (21.02 seconds), took second in the 100 freestyle (47.19), and was part of the winning 200 medley relay (1:35.39).
Never before finishing higher than third place, the Warriors ended the historic night with 350.5 points; St. John’s Prep was second with 307 and Lincoln-Sudbury third with 225.
“St. John’s Prep doesn’t just let anyone walk in here,” said Wayland coach Mike Foley. “They pushed us, and made us better.”
St. John’s Prep held a tenuous lead for much of the meet, twice only a half-point ahead of Wayland.
The Warriors stacked as many points as they could so that when it came down to senior Asa Greenaway in the 100 breaststroke, the eventual victors were in prime position to overtake the Eagles.
“Asa’s not in that position if the divers don’t do what they did, if [Devlin] hadn’t had wins early on,” said Foley. “So many guys kept the ball rolling.”
Greenaway claimed the breaststroke (57.74), followed by freshman Jiming Xu in second place and Thomas Simon in fifth place to give the Warriors the lead for good.
“We took a team effort from everyone to take them down,” said Greenaway. “Season’s not over. I’m excited to see what we can do [at the Division 2 state championships] next week.”
Senior Oliver Zmetrovich of the Eagles was the meet’s only individual double winner, clinching the 200 individual medley (1:53.87) and the 100 butterfly (49.99).
Reading senior Kevin Spear claimed the 100 freestyle (45.93) and anchored the victorious 400 freestyle relay (3:14.11).
With a winning time of 3:15.30 in the 400-yard freestyle relay, Needham nosed out Natick by 0.94 seconds — setting a school and conference record — and pulled away from the Redhawks in the team competition, 247-240, to take the South Sectional boys’ swimming championship.
Entering that relay at MIT’s Zesiger Pool, Needham held a 1-point edge (207-206) over unbeaten Natick, which had recently defeated the Rockets for the Bay State Conference championship.
Swimming the last leg of the relay, the final race of the meet, Needham junior Henry Keegan touched the wall first, and the Rockets had made their statement.
“Everyone swam their hearts out,” said Cole of seniors Sergey Sonkin, Eric Zhu, Zibing Zhang, and Keegan. “All my hats off to Natick, but we really, really wanted this.”
Needham took an early lead, winning the 200-yard medley relay (1:40.16). But Natick responded. Sophomore Ian Arnold, who won the 100 freestyle (47.42) and placed third in the 50 free with a school-record time (21.96) .
Often behind by single digits, Natick surged to the front when senior Jordan Arnold placed second in the 100 breaststroke (1:00.95), for 17 points.
Keegan, knowing that he’d face the younger Arnold in the very stroke that the Redhawk swimmer won earlier in the day, planned exactly what he needed to do before he leaped into the lane.
“I knew if I was ahead by that second 25, I had it,” said Keegan. “I don’t think I’ve ever had a harder race in my life. That last stretch was pure adrenaline.”
Cole said, “[Keegan’s] a distance guy; I knew he had the endurance. I told the three guys before him, give him as much of a lead as possible. Win the relay, win the meet.”
Falling seconds shy of their BSC rival will only serve as motivation for the Redhawks in the Division 1 state meet next Sunday at BU.
BC High senior Jared Daigle captured the 200 individual medley, finishing four seconds better than the field (1:52.03), and the 100 backstroke, setting a meet record (50.32).
Old Rochester junior Marc Bourgeois won the 200 freestyle (1:43.35) and the 100 breaststroke with a meet record (57.56).
North Sectional results
200-yard medley relay: Wayland (1:35.39); 2. St. John’s Prep (1:36.87); 3. Lincoln-Sudbury (1:39.80)
200-yard freestyle: Coleman Komishane, Manchester-Essex (1:43.08); 2. Scott Spear, Reading (1:44.55); 3. Kevin Ochoa, Malden (1:45.81)
200-yard IM: Oliver Zmetrovich, St. John’s Prep (1:53.87); 2. Zach Grover, Andover (1:56.76); 3. Eric Hua, Acton-Boxboro (1:58.73)
50-yard freestyle: Sean Devlin, Wayland (21.02); 2. Kevin Spear, Reading (21.04); 3. Asa Greenaway, Wayland (21.62)
100-yard butterfly: Oliver Zmetrovich, St. John’s Prep (49.99); 2. Edmond Giang, Wayland (52.09); 3. Kevin Ochoa, Malden (52.78)
100-yard freestyle : Kevin Spear, Reading (45.93); 2. Sean Devlin, Wayland (47.19); 3. Colin Baker, Lincoln-Sudbury (48.82)
500-yard freestyle: Zach Grover, Andover (4:41.21); 2. Coleman Komishane, Manchester-Essex (4:42.83); 3. William Connolly, St. John’s Prep (4:47.76)
200-yard relay: Lincoln-Sudbury (1:28.15); 2. St. John’s Prep (1:28.58); 3. Wayland (1:29.10) 100-yard backstroke: Neal Mahoney, St. John’s Prep (54.04); 2. Sean Riordan, Westford Academy (54.48); 3. Daniel Nee, Wayland (54.67)
100-yard breaststroke: Asa Greenaway, Wayland (57.74); 2. Jiming Xu, Wayland (59.85); 3. Ethan Mossi, Lincoln-Sudbury (1:00.52)
u1-meter diving: Dale Nickerson, Weston (580.80); 2. Hunter Whitbeck, Acton-Boxboro (470.90); 3. Jordi Boulerice, Newton South (468.75)
400-yard freestyle: Reading (314.11); 2. St. John’s Prep (3:17.88); 3. Lincoln-Sudbury (3:18.91)
Team scores: Wayland (350.5); 2. St. John’s Prep (307); 3. Lincoln-Sudbury (225)
South sectional results
200-yard medley relay: Needham (1:40.16); 2. Nantucket (1:40.59); 3. King Philip (1:42.51)
200-yard freestyle: Marc Bourgeois, Old Rochester (1:43.35); 2. Henry Keegan, Needham (1:44.51); 3. Tyler Roethke, Nantucket (1:45.25)
200-yard IM: Jared Daigle, BC High (1:52.03); 2. Jack Johnson, Nauset (1:56.28); 3. Jordan Arnold, Natick (1:58.60)
50-yard freestyle: Cole Bassett, Framingham (21.83); 2. Andrew Scherrer, Wellesley (21.92); 3. Ian Arnold, Natick (21.96)
100-yard butterfly: Jacob Cuoco, Old Rochester (53.01); 2. Nick Haddad, North Attleborough (53.69); 3. Conor Hughes, Scituate (53.93)
100-yard freestyle: Ian Arnold, Natick (47.42); 2. Cole Bassett, Framingham (48.17); 3. Tyler Roethke, Nantucket (48.43)
500-yard freestyle: Tyler Stringfellow, King Philip (4:43.67); 2. Dean Spicer, Cohasset (4:45.32); 3. Conor Hughes, Scituate (4:48.71)
200-yard freestyle relay: Wellesley (1:29.06); 2. Natick (1:30.35); 3. Needham (1:31.65)
100-yard backstroke: Jared Daigle, BC High (50.32); 2. Nick Haddad, North Attleborough (53.83); 3. Jack Johnson, Nauset (54.28)
100-yard breaststroke: Marc Bourgeois, Old Rochester (57.56); 2. Jordan Arnold, Natick (1:00.95); 3. Jack Nascimben, Catholic Memorial (1:01.25)
1-meter diving: Zack Lawrence, Dover-Sherborn (482.75); 2. Sean Andrews, Framingham (426.60); 3. John Ryan Byers, Newton North (412.75)
400 yard freestyle relay: Needham (3:15.30); 2. Natick (3:16.24); 3. Ashland (3:22.08)
Team scores: Needham (247); 2. Natick (240); 3. Ashland (175)Katherine Fominykh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.