WELLESLEY – The Framingham High girls swim & dive team won its 13th consecutive Bay State Conference title Sunday afternoon, at Wellesley College.
“An incredible victory,” said Framingham Athletic Director Paul Spear. “The girls were well aware and wanted to continue the streak. I know many of them, and I am very proud of how they represent Framingham.”
This is the 13th Bay State Conference Championship for head coach Mike Foley in 14 years with the Framingham High swim program.
Foley began coaching the team in 2003. That year, the Flyers finished second in the Conference meet. They have finished first every year since.
“Coach Foley is as good a coach as we have at Framingham High School,” said Spear. “Not only does he win, he does it while providing his student-athletes with a first-class playing experience. They are the prototype for Flyer athletes.”
“(Framingham Assistant Coach Jerry) Moss has been with me for all 13,” said Foley. “He’s awesome. He’s very knowledgeable and brings a different coaching perspective to the team.”
Sunday’s victory was not even close.
Framingham finished first with 511 points, Newton North was second with 451 points. Needham finished third with 370 points, Wellesley fourth with 314 points and Brookline fifth with 307 points. Natick’s Red Hawks finished sixth with 264 points out of 11 teams that competed.
Ironically, the team was seeded sixth coming into the Conference meet.
The Flyers are 9-4 during the regular season, with their final meet on Tuesday on the road against Dedham. The Flyers lost to BSC rival Newton North, Brookline and Natick during the regular season, but “team depth” was the key to winning the conference championship meet.
The Flyers entered the conference meet, on a 3-game losing streak, but started off strong Sunday placing four divers in the top eight to start the meet.
“There were a lot of tough teams out there, but you guys once again came through and pulled off an unbelieveable meet,” said Foley to his swimmers and divers after the victory on Sunday. “Staring with the divers, this morning, who took to the boards and killed it dive after dive.”
Junior Halia Bower finished second in the diving competition with 272 points. Wellesley’s Kate Mullin finished first. Both divers were named All-Americans and among the best 100 divers in the country earlier this year.
Catherine Turned finished fifth, Stephanie Falwell sixth, and Kalena Chin seventh for Framingham out of 30 divers. Chin was seeded 17th entering the competition. Falwell was seeded twelfth.
“Stephanie had a very good day,” said Foley, of his lone senior on the diving team.
The Flyers placed all three of its relay teams in the top 12 on Sunday. During a championship meet, just like a dual meet, only the top two relays earn points. Framingham’s C relay team consistently beat other teams’s A and B relays yesterday. And in the final relay of the meet, the Flyers finished third, sixth, and ninth out of 29 relay teams.
“I have always stressed we are a team, and the performance by our relays teams showed that today,” said Foley.
In the 400-freestyle relay, Framingham swimmers Kara McCurdy, Jillian O’neil, Caroline Mazariegos and Laryssa Gazda finished third in 3:48.93 minutes. Framingham swimmers Katherine Castro, Bella Tersoni, Suzanne Julakis and Julia Long finished sixth in 3:54.34 minutes. And swimmers Tatum O’Leary, Nelson, Marley DeSimone, and Tosi finished ninth at 3:57.46 minutes.
In the opening relay, the 200 medley, Framingham finished third, eighth, and 11th place out of 31 teams.
Framingham swimmers Mazariegos, Alessandra Miranda, Nelson and DeSimone finished third in 1:55.72 minutes. Flyers Mary Zschau, Tosi, Niamh White, and O’Neil finished in 8th place in 1:59.30 minutes. Framingham swimmers Shelby Weeks, Aleeza Zilberman, O’Leary and Emily Rogers finished in 11th place.
In the 200-yard relay, Framingham finished fourth, seventh, and 11th out of 31 teams. Flyers McCurdy, DeSimone, Gazda, and Tersoni swam the sprint relay in 1:44.77 minutes to finish fourth.
“We stressed our depth all season long,” said Foley.
“We are not built on five individuals or 10 individuals, we are built on a whole packet of young ladies who are going to come together, and do what is asked of them. Swim events that they may not think are their favorite event, but make some sacrifices for the team. And today, was really the epitome of that; and what we are able to do as a team, when we pull together and try to accomplish a goal. Super, super Congratulations. I am so proud of all of you,” said Foley to his team after the victory.
“Seniors, I know you felt a lot of pressure. Every year is different. It is hard to do it, year after year but you guys did a great job guiding up, particularly as we have a lot of freshmen here. Showing them the way and preaching confidence to them,” said Foley. “Special congrats to our 13 seniors – ironically.”
Foley also singled out Framingham Junior McCurdy, in his speech, who repeated as Bay State Conference champion in both the 200-yard freestyle and 500-yard freestyle events.
McCurdy out-touched Natick’s Hana Batt to win the 200-yard freestyle in 1:58.39 minutes.
But, it was not even close for McCurdy in the 500-yard event, as she won in 5:16.51 minutes. Logan Gallagher of Newton North finished second in 5:27.99 minutes.
“Kara is an outstanding swimmer,” said Foley. “She has been consistent in those events, working hard and improving all season. She has matured as a swimmer.”
In both, the 200-freestyle and the 500-freestyle all four swimmers placed in the top 16 to earn points for the team.
In the 500-yard event, the Flyers placed all four swimmers in the top 10.
Framingham junior Long finished fourth in both event. In the 500, her time was 5:31.48 minutes, In the 200, 2:03.21 minutes.
In the 500-yard freestyle, senior Tersoni finished fifth in 5:37.97 minutes and freshman O’Leary finished in 8th place 5:39.17 minutes.
In the 200-yard freestyle, Tersoni finished sixth and Julakis was 13th in 2:09.20 minutes, a personal best.
In the sprint event, Brookline’s Sara Song won in 24.72 seconds, with Wellesley’s Enya Gamble second in 24.99 seconds. Framingham freshman DeSimone, who was seeded 7th in the event, finished third in 25.62 seconds. Freshman O’Neil finished 10th and senior Castro 12th for Framingham, in the 50-yard freestyle to earn points.
Song also won the 100-yard freestyle in 54.20 seconds. Framingham again placed all four of its swimmers in the top 16 to earn points, with freshman DeSimone leading the way finishing sixth in 56.60 seconds. Mazariegos finished 12th, Castro 14th, and sophomore Rogers 15th in 59.03 seconds, her first time under one minute.
In the 200-yard individual medley, Natick’s Bridget Grothman just out touched Miranda for third place at 2:21.71 minutes. Miranda finished fourth in 2:21.74 minutes. Freshmen O’Leary was 7th and Gazda 9th for Framingham. Senior Hannah Rose placed 20th in 2:31.48 minutes, qualifying for her first-ever sectional meet in November.
A prime example of Framingham’s team depth was in the 100-yard backstroke, where the Flyers finished third, fourth, and tied for sixth place.
O’Neil finished third in 1:03.02 minutes. Senior Zschau was fourth in 1:03.90. Teammates Mazariegos and Nelson both finished in 1:04.75 minutes out of 42 swimmers.
In the 100-yard butterfly, Framingham has three of its four swimmers place in the top 16, but all four swimmers had state sectional meet qualifying times.
Gazda finished 9th in 1:05.17 minutes. Nelson finished 10th in 1:05.68 minutes. Senior Weeks qualified for her first-ever sectionals with a time of 1:07.42 minutes and finished 16th. Junior White also qualified for her first-ever sectional meet with a time of 1:08.10 seconds. She finished 18th out of 39 swimmers.
In the 100-yard breaststroke event, Framingham senior Miranda finished third overall in a time of 1:12.47 minutes. Tosi finished 15th for Framingham.
“This absolutely awesome group of individuals pulled out another huge, huge win for the school and for our team today,” said Foley to his swimmers and divers Sunday. “I’m so proud of this group.”
Editor’s Note: In full transparency, my daughter is a member of the Framingham High swim & dive team.
Photos by Susan Petroni/Petroni Media Company ©2016. All Rights Reserved.