Co-op swimmers impress at CAL Championships

Feb 7, 2018 by

Bunar is Diver of the Year

Published in the February 7, 2018 edition

By DAN PAWLOWSKI

SALEM – The Lynnfield-Wakefield co-op swim teams traveled to Salem’s O’Keefe Sports Complex on Super Bowl Sunday morning to compete in the Cape Ann League Championships against six other teams from the Cape Ann League.

CAPTAIN JACK DALY of LHS has been a steady presence and leader for the Lynnfield-Wakefield boys’ swim team this season. Daly placed in the 100 free, finished 10th in the 100 breaststroke and helped the 200 free at the CAL Championships on Sunday.
(Dan Pawlowski Photo)

As the boys and girls swim separately for the first time this year, the Lynnfield girls continued to improve, especially in the relays while the Lynnfield-Wakefield boys proved why they belonged in the top echelon of the league after finishing the regular season 7-1.

Bunar named Diver of the Year

Captain Sabrina Bunar, a UNC diving commit competing in her final CAL Championships, was named Diver of the Year and set a new CAL record in the 1 meter with a 322.35. Bunar is no stranger to being considered the best diver in the league but it was certainly a sweet way to end her Cape Ann career as she looks forward to States. The Pioneers were also represented on the diving board by senior Olivia Johnian whose 169.25 was good for 5th in the league.

Lynnfield girls continue to improve

As for the racing, a young LHS girls team continued to show progress. Sophomore Michelle Marder finished 10th in the 200 freestyle with a time of 2:26.74. The Pioneers were later represented well in the 200 IM with sophomores Liz Sykes (2:36.57) and Caitlin Hooper (1:42.96) finishing 8th and 13th.

Four Pioneers placed in the 50 free, including freshman Olivia Murphy (31.15), junior Riley Comeau (31.45), freshman Avery Comeau (31.71) and junior Sabrina Al-Mayahi (32.42).

Hooper later swam a strong 100 butterfly, finishing 10th at 1:14.13, right ahead of classmate Sara Ho (1:14.66).

Bunar, racing for the first time this year after head coach Andrew Digiacomo asked the captain to step up for a shorthanded team, got 10th in the 100 free with a time of 105.48. Marder finished 11th in the 100 free at 1:07.21 and Al-Mayahi got 14th at 1:12.38.

The 200 freestyle relay team finished 6th with a time of 1:59.34. Sykes led off, followed by Murphy, Hooper and Bunar who anchored with a 28.69 which helped the Pioneers hold off two Triton relays.

A second LHS team placed in the 200 free relays as Al-Mayahi, sophomore Gillian Skelly and Riley and Avery Comeau swam a 2:14.49. Skelly had the best time for the second team with a 32.64.

Liz Sykes continued her excellent meet with an awesome performance in the 100 backstroke. Sykes finished 5th with a time of 1:11.66. Murphy (1:19.71, 10th) and Riley Comeau (1:23.21, 12th) were also great in the backstroke.

Skelly (1:34.26, 12th) and Avery Comeau (1:34.70, 14th) swam strong 100 yard breaststrokes, setting up the 400 freestyle relay who got 6th at 4:25.57. That team consisted of Sykes, Marder, Hooper and Bunar.

Boys make a statement

It didn’t take long for the Lynnfield-Wakefield boys’ co-op team to make some noise. The Warrior Pioneers had their sights set squarely on Manchester-Essex who were the only team to beat them in the regular season, and that happened in the first meet of the year, so both teams have improved greatly since then.

The 200 yard medley relay team kicked things off with a narrow victory over the Hornets for a first-place finish. It was an all-Wakefield relay team as junior Chris Anastasiades led off followed by sophomore Antonio Anastasiades, junior Johnny Stumpf and freshman Alex Kent. The boys finished in 1:49.12 with Manchester-Essex in close pursuit, finishing at 1:51.05.

The Hornets would get revenge at the end of the meet in the 400 freestyle relay, as they finished 3:34.55 to the Pioneers’ 3:36.38. That team consisted of Chris Anastasiades, Stumpf, Antonio Anastasiades and Wakefield senior Omar Rizk.

Another Lynnfield-Wakefield team made waves in the 400 freestyle relay as WMHS junior Matthew Pecjo, LHS captain Jack Daly, and LHS juniors Nick Alphen and David Blake who finished 6th in 4:08.74.

The Pioneers were dominant in the 200 free as Chris Anastasiades (1:58.25), Stumpf (2:03.04) and Alphen (2:08.75) finished 3, 4 and 5.

The 200 IM was another strength as Antonio Anastasiades (2:08.47) cruised to a first-place finish while Rizk picked up 2nd with a time of 2:20.36.

Pecjo got 9th in the 50 free with a time of 26.07. Lynnfield junior Jack Michalski got 15th at 29.94 while Wakefield junior Shant Melkonian also placed with a time of 34.32.

In the 100 butterfly, Stumpf got 2nd at 59.11, followed by Rizk, 6th at 1:04.48 and Kent, 10th at 1:10.09.

The Pioneers had four place in the 100 free, including Alphen (6th, 57.22), Pecjo (9th, 57.64), Michalski (15th, 1:08.75) and Daley (17th, 1:11.61).

Chris Anastasiades picked up 2nd in the grueling 500 free, taking 2nd in 5:32.32, followed by Kent who got 3rd in 6:04.99. Blake got 6th in 6:39.86.

The 200 freestyle relay also finished right behind Manchester-Essex and Triton for 3rd with a time of 1:42.44. The team consisted of Kent, Pecjo, Alphen and Rizk. A second Pioneers team finished 6th in the 200 free relay as Michalski, Blake, Daley and Melkonian touched the wall in 2:00.50.

Malkonian was the highlight in the 100 backstroke, taking 10th at 1:26.36.

Antonio Anastasiades picked up his 3rd gold medal as he finished first in 1:03.41 in the 100 breaststroke. Blake took 7th in 1:21.42 while Daley got 10th in 1:23.61. Overall, it was an excellent effort from a group that will feature plenty of swimmers at sectionals and states later in the season.

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