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By Sophia Chiang, Swimming World College Intern
The 2016 Rhode Island RIIL High School State Championships came to a close on February 20, and we saw some incredibly fast swims this past weekend out of some top athletes.
PROUT’S A-relay of Cassandra St Angelo, Alex Miko-Rydza, Bella Miko-Rydza, and Camille Pearce led off the first event of the night with a bang, finishing the 200 yard medley relay in 1:51.16, two seconds ahead of NARR’s 1:53.47 and SKING-NE’s 1:56.53.
BVHS-NE’s Kate Magill took home the first individual state title of the night in the 200 yard freestyle (1:54.43), pulling ahead of LSA’s Madalyn Redding (1:55.66). In the next event, the women’s 200 yard individual medley, PROUT’s Bella Miko-Rydza took home her first individual state title of the night in a blistering 2:09.75, out touching NKHS-US’s Hannah Pariseault (2:10.75).
LINC’s Molly Westrick shattered the women’s 50 yard freestyle state title in 23.69, more than a full second ahead of SKING-NE’s Sabrina Nuttall (24.75) and NKHS-US’s Hannah Petrone (25.05). Westrick, a senior, is committed to the University of Pennsylvania next year, where she’ll be looking to make a big impact in the Ivy League conference.
NARR’s Michaela Degnan swept the next event, the women’s 100 yard butterfly, in 57.21, knocking out NSMHS’s Sarah Grendron (58.20). Westrick took home a second state title victory in the women’s 100 yard freestyle, finishing in 50.92, just shy of Elizabeth Beisel‘s state record of 50.30. LSA’s Redding took second in 54.17.
In the women’s 500 yard freestyle, BVHS-NE’s Magill took home her second state title of the night in 5:01.84, far ahead of second place finisher Pariseault, who finished in 5:12.63. Magill and Pariseault, both juniors, are not committed to any institutions yet, but we will certainly hear their names at university level competitions come Fall 2017.
NKHS-US took home their first relay title of the night in the women’s 200 yard freestyle relay in 1:39.88. Their team, consisting of Petrone, Shannon Fain, Caylee Luebeck, and Pariseault, knocked out second place finisher LSA (1:41.28) and second runner-up BHS (1:43.51).
Degnan took home her second individual victory of the night in the women’s 100 yard backstroke (56.03), breaking away from BHS’s Cali Diehl (1:00.59) for a very successful evening. In the women’s 100 yard breaststroke, Nuttall took home her first title of the night in 1:05.24, slightly ahead of silver medalist Kayleigh Canavan (1:06.43) of CUMB.
The NKHS-US relay team took home their second state title in the women’s 400 yard freestyle relay in 3:38.67, breaking the previous state record of 3:39.56 previously held by South Kingstown. Pertain, Fain, Luebeck, and Pariseault all played dominant roles in the push to pull ahead of LSA’s 3:43.53 and PROUT’s 3:43.59.
BHS’s men lit up the pool in the evening’s first event, the men’s medley relay, in 1:37.70. The team, consisting of Harry Homan, Jack Fortin, Aidan Lane, and Ethan O’Connor broke the previous state record of 1:38.60. The second place finisher, BHHS-NE, also came in under the previous state record in 1:37.98, followed by PHS-NE (1:40.89).
EGREN senior Ian MacDonald took home the first men’s state title of the evening in 1:46.75, beating PHS-NE’s Vincent Downs-Honey (1:49.06) and CUMB’s Ian Zito (1:50.61).
Junior Max Miranda of BHHS-NE shattered his own state record in the 200 yard individual medley by two seconds, claiming first in 1:49.95, followed by BHS’s Harry Homan (1:54.44). Miranda has already become a force in his own right — taking top places at Speedo Junior Nationals and continually topping Rhode Island’s state championships.
PHS-NE’s Benjamin Steen came close to breaking the men’s 50 yard freestyle record of 21.30, however missed it by 0.65 seconds, instead finishing in 21.95. BHS’s Jack Fortin came in second in 22.48.
Miranda shattered his second state record of the night (and pulled in his second state title of the night) in the men’s 100 yard butterfly in 49.52, beating Kevin Sun’s previous record of 50.51. Runner-up Keda Song from CLASS also came in under Sun’s record in 50.29. Steen, too, took home his second title of the night in 47.60, knocking out BHS’s Ethan O’Connor (48.46).
BHS’s Homan took home his first title of the night in the men’s 500 yard freestyle in 4:43.82, beating EGREN’s MacDonald (4:48.89). Regardless, MacDonald is still a great athlete to watch: he’s currently atop the men’s power point rankings in Rhode Island for his class. BHS also took home their first individual title (and broke the meet record) in the men’s 200 yard freestyle relay in 1:28.76. Lane, Fortin, O’Connor, and Homan did it again, knocking out BHHS-NE’s A-relay (1:32.23) and ROGRS’s A-relay (1:34.20).
Song went on to grab his first state title of the night in the men’s 100 yard backstroke (51.04) ahead of BHS’s O’Connor (53.84). In the men’s 100 yard breaststroke, CHAR’s Stanley Matthew took home gold by several seconds in 57.18, touching ahead of BHS’s Fortin (1:00.65).
In the final event of the night, the men’s 400 freestyle relay, BHHS-NE’s Lucas Stencel, Alex Vessella, Dillane Wehbe, and Max Miranda took home victory in 3:16.52, also downing yet another state record, this time by nearly two seconds. PHS-NE’s team consisting of Vincent Downs-Honey, Eamon McKinney Jr., Jake Steen, and Benjamin Steen took silver in 3:19.65.
That’s a wrap for the Rhode Island High School Championships, but we’ll continue to bring you coverage of high school and college championships nationwide. To view results, please click here.