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2019-20 Upper Valley swimming preview

  • Alice Garner

  • Bailie Mako

  • Fallon Lavertue

Published: 12/6/2019 10:12:08 PM
Modified: 12/6/2019 10:11:55 PM
HANOVER

Coaches: Fritz Bedford (third year) and Carl Renshaw (fifth year).

League: NHIAA Division II.

Last year: It was another banner year for the Marauders’ swimming and diving teams as the boys and girls captured their second straight NHIAA D-II state championships. Grace Wenger won the 100-yard butterfly and was part of the winning 400 freestyle relay team with Maggie Wenger, Jocelyn Hazen and Emma Dunbar. Maggie also won the 100 free. The team had several other top finishes, leading to a 73-point win over runner-up St. Thomas. The boys were led by senior Erik Hansen and junior Chris Riesberg in beating Windham by 19 points.

Roster: Seniors — Alice Garner, Christopher Rieseberg, Ella Edmonds, Emily LeBlanc, Grace Wenger, Isabel Brennan, Jackson Nelson, Jessica Seibel, Patrick Osborn, Liz Rightmire, Maggie Logan, Maggie Wenger, Mia Manheimer, Tessa Stewart, Murphy Robey, Olivia Simon, Amelia Wallis. Juniors — Brian Tso, Carsten Spaeth, Emma Dunbar, Jocelyn Hazen, Lily Colberg, Macy DeMara, Quinn McAffrey, Reilly Uiterwyk, Jonah Benjamin, Emma Sablan, Nika Renshaw, Sophia May. Sophomores — Aidan Lackstrom, Aislinn McDougall, Benton Cesanek, Chantelle Rafie, Daniel Jaccaci, Elise Debo, Hannah Berger, Katie Peterson, Liana Lansigan, Matthew Adner, Mia Edmonds, Rebecca Berger, Will Golec, Sebastian Sangha, Charlotte Pidgeon. Freshmen — Andres Savellano, Ava Winchester, Becca Robinson, Caroline Healy, Celia Groves, Jaclyn Hazen, Kieran Artman, Lia Stewart, Vidushi Sharma.

Analysis: With participation up, Bedford said the opportunity is there to increase the number swimmers who can qualify for the state meet. The girls squad will be led by seniors Grace and Maggie Wenger and juniors Emma Dunbar and Jocelyn Hazen. All four were key parts of last year’s championship team. The boys team graduated five of the seven swimmers who produced a state championship, but the return of senior Christopher Rieseberg and junior Benton Cesanek will help as they can score in most of the events, Bedford said.

Many Marauders achieved times that they never thought possible the last two years, Bedford said. While the squad is a strong one for both boys and girls, they won’t think of defending their state titles until the time comes. Bedford is encouraged with some “promising freshmen” along with a few multi-sport athletes trying swimming for the first time.

“It is impossible to predict the season, and you never know at championship level meets what will happen,” Bedford said. “We just take things one meet at a time.”

LEBANON

Coach: Makenzie Welch (1).

League: NHIAA Division II.

Last year: The boys finished eighth at the state meet last year, with top finishes from Zethan Moss and Aidan Urnezis in freestyle events and Andrew Han, who has since graduated.

Roster: Seniors — Marissa Hebert, Sarah Katz, Stacie Strombom, Zethan Moss. Juniors — Aidan Urnezis, Iona Gulledge. Sophomores — Madilyn Herring, Baillie Mako. Freshmen — Isabella Direnzo, Juliette Hampton, Angus Hall.

Analysis: The team welcomes Makenzie Welch as the new coach, taking over from seven-year veteran K.C. Shepherd.

Welch, who is from Connecticut and swam for four years at Colby-Sawyer College, said she has missed swimming and is excited to be able to get back involved as coach. Welch said she wants to build the program and recruit more swimmers in the coming years but, for this year, will focus on state meet qualifying times for several swimmers.

“I see a lot of potential and I want to push them to be better,” Welch said.

STEVENS

Coach: Abbey Rouillard (2).

League: NHIAA Division II.

Last year: Stevens qualified four boys for state meet: Liam Clark, Bryce Jarvis, Prescott Herzog and Brady Small.

Roster: Seniors — Fallon Lavertue, Clara Avery. Juniors — Hannah Lembree, Lauren O’Grady. Sophomores — Jackilina Lin, Melanie Carignan. Freshman — Jennalynn Foster. No boys team.

Analysis: Last year, Stevens sent a boys team to the state meet but those swimmers either moved out of the district or did not join the team this year. Rouillard said she is hoping to qualify swimmers for the state meet and has two athletes, Avery and O’Grady, who are close in some events.

“Other than qualifying for states, another goal I have for the team is to have the girls improve on their performances each time they swim,” Rouillard said in an email. “Swimming is so much of an individual sport that it’s really important for the girls to learn self-motivation and personal drive. That’s really what I am trying to teach them as it is a skill they can use throughout their lives.”

— Patrick O’Grady




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