Warrior swimmers will draw a lot of attention this fall

Sep 13, 2019 by

Published in the September 13, 2019 edition.


WAKEFIELD— Wakefield Memorial High School Swim team coach Kathy Byrne has been here before. At the start of her 26th season in charge of the Warriors, coach Byrne has seen what it takes to have success in the Middlesex League.

Last season, the team took on a group of freshman that brought the compete level up for the entire program. This year, the girls that made such an impact in the water are back, and nobody will be looking past the Warriors this season.

Coach Byrne spoke recently about her team this season, what she’s seen early on, and what she expects to see down the road.

“We have a bunch of seniors returning,” Byrne said, “Our Captain Abbie Federicci was part of our championship team last season, and our other captain, Nora Scanlon is also a well-rounded swimmer and a team leader.”

The team will seek leadership from a number of other seniors including Isabella Barrett, Lillyan DeFeo Natalia Frate, Kyra Hoffman, Donnella Nardone, Taylor Owen, and Nora Scanlon

A talented group of juniors returns to the pool for the Warriors including Hannah Guay, one of the most versatile on the team. She can swim just about anything including the IM and the 500. Alyssa Toppi swims the IM and the Breaststroke. Erica Pecjo, and Laura Sweeney will also be in the mix as juniors.

Sophomores include Katie Patt swimming butterfly and backstroke, Sophie Brown, a strong all-around swimmer with versatile skillset, Abby Lane in the butterfly and freestyle.

“We’re expecting big contributions from her and the rest of the sophomores,” Byrne said of her underclassmen,

“All these girls contribute hugely to our relays that are so important,” added the coach.

Last season the team started out 0-2, but finished up the season strong winning seven out of the last 8 meets.

In the first week of the season this year, the Warriors took two wins with triumphs over Watertown-Arlington on Tuesday and Stoneham on Thursday.

“We won the first meet because of our strong relay at the end,” the coach noted.

“You just need to look at the times to see how close some of the races were, there were some amazing efforts by the girls, they really put in the effort, that’s why we won,” she said.

“I think that seeing after this first meet, how we’ve already had so many individuals and all three of our relays qualify for both championship meets, that’s a fabulous way to start, especially pulling off a win in the first meet with the last relay, that was very exciting, so we’re hoping to see more success down the road,” added Byrne.

The Warriors topped Watertown-Arlington by a 87-83 final score with the Warriors taking 1st, 3rd, and 5th in the final 400 yard freestyle relay.

After just one meet this season, the Warriors had a number of swimmers post times quick enough to qualify for the post season, including Alyssa Toppi, Laura Sweeney, Katie Patt, Abby Lane, Hannah Guay, and Emily Chan.

With eight meets still to come, coach Byrne expects the number of swimmers in the championship meets to continue to grow as the season progresses.

Looking at the road ahead the coach said, “The way things started with our first meet, the fact that we’re young and really strong. We really only lost one strong swimmer from last year’s team, so we’re really in good shape to hopefully be as successful as last year.”

Wakefield swam to victory in their second meet on Thursday, taking a win by a big margin over Stoneham.

The 2-0 Warriors will be back in the pool next week to face some stiff competition from Winchester and Belmont.8


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