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Hanover High swimmers ready to make another big splash

  • Before the start of his swim meet, Lebanon swimmer Zethan Moss catches a sandwich tossed from his mother in the balcony in Lebanon, N.H., on Friday, Dec. 6, 2019. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Hanover's Nika Renshaw swims in the girls 200 yard medley relay during a swim meet in Lebanon, N.H., on Friday, Dec. 6, 2019. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Hanover's Benton Cesanek competes in a field of only himself for the boys 100 yard butterfly during a swim meet in Lebanon, N.H., on Friday, Dec. 6, 2019.(Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Valley News Correspondent
Published: 12/6/2019 10:11:17 PM
Modified: 12/6/2019 10:32:39 PM

HANOVER — With nearly 50 swimmers and six divers this year, the Hanover High swimming and diving team continues to grow, partly as a result of its success the last two years. The Marauders swept the NHIAA Division II state meet for the second straight year last winter.

Although several top swimmers graduated, the team has several athletes who scored at the state meet returning and some new faces as well, making for a formidable squad.

A combination of hard work and a little luckmixed in brought the last two state titles, but there are just too many variables to predict what will happen this year, third-year coach Fritz Bedford said.

“In the last two years, our team has had luck in many regards, but the athletes have performed beyond what they thought possible,” Bedford said in an email. “It is impossible to predict the season, and you never know at championship level meets what will happen. Everything needs to go your way, and you cannot make mistakes.”

In a phone interview this week, Bedford said those two championships were a tremendous achievement, but no one is looking ahead to the state meet, which will return to the University of New Hampshire’s Swasey Pool on Feb. 15. The season began with Friday night’s multi-school meet at Lebanon’s Carter Community Building Association pool.

“We focus on one meet at a time,” Bedford said. “Our goal is always to get as many as we can qualify for the state meet to maximize our opportunities.”

The girls team won last year’s championship by more than 70 points and returns many of its top swimmers. Charlotte Bedford, who is now swimming for Clark University, and Eliza Rhodi are the exceptions.

Bedford said also there are “several promising freshmen to bolster the squad.”

“(Seniors) Maggie and Grace Wenger are state champions in multiple events, (juniors) Emma Dunbar and Jocelyn Hazen can score in a variety of strokes, and we have 10 or more athletes who can score in the freestyle and backstroke events,” Bedford said, adding that nothing can be certain at the state meet, where Hanover competes against schools with nearly twice as many students.

Grace Wenger won the 100-meter butterfly, was third in the 200 freestyle and was on the winning 400 free relay team. Her sister, Maggie, won the 100 free, was on the 400 free relay, placed fourth in the 200 free and was on the 200 medley relay team that finished fourth. Hazen was on the 200 and 400 free relay team, and Dunbar swam in the 200 medley relay.

Things appears a bit more challenging on the boys side, where last year the Marauders held just a one-point lead going into the final relay and scored enough to finish first ahead of Windham by 19 points.

Bedford said despite the graduation of five of the seven swimmers who went to the state meet, captain Chris Rieseberg and Benton Cesanek “are very versatile and can score in most events.”

“We have several promising freshmen and several multisport senior athletes who are trying swimming for the first time,” Bedford said. “We will have enough people for relays, which was a genuine concern with only two returning athletes, but how the season will turn out is a mystery. I am happy to have athletes who are willing to learn; it is something to work with.”

The diving team also dominated at states, with the boys scoring 36 points and the girls netting 44. Kai Renshaw, a three-time state champion and state runner-up last year who also contributed to the swim title but has since graduated, was another key departure, but six divers hope to compete for another crown. Senior Amelia Wallis is the big name, seeking to repeat her individual state championship form of last winter.




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