All the waterlogged hours in the pool paid off for Masters' varsity boys and girls swimming teams in last week's meet against visiting Greenwich Country Day School.
The Panthers recorded a pair of team victories — 83-55 for the boys and 81-46 for the girls — on Tuesday, January 31 at the Joan Smith Hamill Natatorium.
"The main key to the victory was the practice we had throughout the season," Demo Hong ’24 said. "We all practiced extremely hard, and all of the swimmers made significant improvements. Moreover, the morale we had on that day was huge. Everybody was engaged and well prepared."
Hong recorded a pair of first-place finishes in the 100-yard butterfly (57.39 seconds) and the 50-yard freestyle (22.62) to power the boys.
Nat Attwell ’23 and Erez Erkel ’26 also notched two first-place finishes apiece. Attwell won the 200-yard freestyle (1:54.84) and 500-yard freestyle (5:13.70), while Erkel bested the competition in the 200-yard IM medley (2:13.85) and 100-yard freestyle (54.47). Michael Stoica ’25 (100-yard backstroke, 1:05.18) and Renze Li ’25 (100-yard breaststroke, 1:43.76) rounded out Masters' individual first-place finishers. The relay teams also placed first in the 400-yard freestyle, 200-yard freestyle and 200-yard medley.
"We had a lot of swimmers with back-to-back races, and so I would say that good team morale and a hardworking mindset for all of our swimmers certainly contributed to securing important places in the events," Attwell said. "In addition, we have a large team, and a lot of our swimmers were able to contribute a third place, helping us secure those important points."
Corinne Furniss ’23 and Caterina Stoica ’24 led the girls squad. Furniss took first in the 200-yard individual medley (2:42.83) and 100-yard backstroke (1:09.31), while Stoica won the 100-yard butterfly (1:08.94) and 100-yard breaststroke (1:17.20). Annadele Dyott ’26 (50-yard freestyle, 27.01), Noa Benerofe ’25 (100-yard freestyle, 1:06.89) and Alina Fagan ’24 (500-yard freestyle, 7:37.41) also recorded first-place finishes. For the relays, Masters captured first in 200-yard freestyle (2:01.62) and 400-yard freestyle (5:05.07).
"I think the main keys to the victory were the team spirit and the confidence we had developed from previous meets," Furniss said. "Whenever someone was swimming, the rest of us cheered at the other end of the pool, and there was also a lot of support from the people in the stands. Because we had gone against GCDS before and we have settled into our usual events at meets, I think we were all a little more confident."
Furniss also credited the gritty performance of senior Maddy Israel, who swam four events.
"I don't think anyone else on the girls team has had to swim all of those events in one meet, as they are pretty strenuous," Furniss said. "She definitely contributed a lot to our win, and she set some personal records."
Both the boys and girls will now look ahead to the Fairchester Athletic Association championships at Hopkins on Saturday, February 11.
"FAA is a much longer meet than the team is used to, and there will be many more teams," Furniss said. "I hope everyone is confident in the strengths and skills they have undoubtedly developed throughout the season. I hope everyone just tries their best, regardless of the place they finish, or the time they get."