High School State Championships: New Hampshire Division 1

DURHAM, New Hampshire, February 13. FIVE swimmers grabbed two event triumphs each at the New Hampshire Division 1 Swimming and Diving Championships Feb. 8-9 at the University of New Hampshire in Durham.

Alvirne senior Rebecca Dionne took charge of the sprint free events with her 24.45 in the 50 yard free and 53.30 in the 100 free. Alaina Phillips, a Concord sophomore, closed out the distance free with her 1:55.96 in the 200 free and 5:10.16 in the 500 free. Manchester Central sophomore Elizabeth Aldrich claimed titles in both the 200 IM (2:09.27) and the 100 fly (58.62).

Two boys also swam their way to double event triumphs. Connar Patterson, a Winnacunnet sophomore, picked up wins in the 100 (48.35) and 200 (1:46.14) free, and Nashua North senior Nathan Garner was tops in the 100 fly (53.83) and 200 IM (1:58.60).

Winnacunnet senior Marissa Patterson closed out her career with a 58.73 victory in the 100 back, as did Matthew Puksta from Bishop Guerin (boys 100 breast, 59.75). Others who found themselves on top of the podium stand were Natalie Giraldi, a junior at Beckford (100 breast, 1:07.85); Nashua North sophomore Oliver French (500 free, 4:48.73); and Exeter sophomore Kellen Gray (100 back, 53.87).

In perhaps the most exciting contest of the meet, two juniors swam to a photo finish in the boys 50 free. Exeter's James Mundy touched out Pinkerton's Nicholas Bergstrom, 22.71-22.76.

Dover captured two of the three girls relays. Freshman Sarah Wydra, sophomores Julia DeGregorio and Abi Link, and senior Tessa Chapman took charge of the 200 medley relay (1:59.34); Chapman and DeGregorio were joined by senior Elizabeth Malia and freshman Haley Markos for a 3:47.07 triumph in the 400 free relay. Pinkerton's squad of seniors Tori Claverlie, Kathryn O'Neil and Jessica Martin–with freshman Nicole Beals swimmning the second leg–took top honors in the 200 free relay (1:45.60).

Exeter teams also claimed the 200 medley and 400 free relays. Gray led off junior Patrick Carignan, sophomore Zachary Bishop and junior Collin Richardson to bests Bishop Guerin's squad of junior Brett Seeley-Hacker and Kurt Iske, plus senior Samuel Root (1:42.17-1:42.27). Gray, Mundy, freshman Ethan Van Der Woude plus Bishop combined for a 3:22.48. Bedford juniors Riley Ewing and Grant Drukker, with seniors Nathan Schappler and Zachary Grimmett put together a winning 1:33.54 in the 200 free relay.

Bedford sophomore Rachel Byrne won the girls diving competition (310.30 points), and Bishop Guerin junior David Pfeifer's 467.35 earned him the boys title.

Dover's 225 points earned the girls the team title. Bishop Guertin's 177 points gave them second place. In a close contest for third, Bedford (161) emerged ahead of both Exeter (157) and Pinkerton (156). Exeter won the boys competition with 271 points, followed by Bishop Guertin (208). Bedford earned third over Nashua North, 177-163. Concord took fifth by five points over Pinkerton, 126-121.

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