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Conant senior caps off career with medal at state meet

  • Conant’s Brent Smith competes in the 200 IM at the NHIAA DIvision II swimming championships at UNH Saturday. Smith was tenth in the event and took fourth in the 100 Freestyle. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • Mascenic and Conant competed in the NHIAA Division II swimming championships at UNH on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Mascenic and Conant competed in the NHIAA Division II swimming championships at UNH on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Mascenic and Conant competed in the NHIAA Division II swimming championships at UNH on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Mascenic and Conant competed in the NHIAA Division II swimming championships at UNH on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Mascenic and Conant competed in the NHIAA Division II swimming championships at UNH on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Mascenic and Conant competed in the NHIAA Division II swimming championships at UNH on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Mascenic and Conant competed in the NHIAA Division II swimming championships at UNH on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Mascenic and Conant competed in the NHIAA Division II swimming championships at UNH on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Mascenic and Conant competed in the NHIAA Division II swimming championships at UNH on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Mascenic and Conant competed in the NHIAA Division II swimming championships at UNH on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Mascenic and Conant competed in the NHIAA Division II swimming championships at UNH on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Monday, February 12, 2018

Four years of hard work, a month of doubling down his efforts and one sleepless night all added up to a stellar 54 seconds for Brent Smith. The Conant senior swam the best race of his career at the NHIAA Division II championships at UNH Saturday, setting a personal record in the 100 Freestyle and earning a trip up onto the starting blocks to receive his medal.

“I’m more than pumped to get up on those blocks,” Smith said after the race. “Since freshmen year, I’ve seen my teammates get up on those blocks, get down from those blocks, and I haven’t seen a guy get up on those blocks... I’m proud that I’m the one that’s going to do it.”

Smith’s fourth-place finish was the best placement for a Conant boy in over ten years, as the team’s strongest members recently have been swimmers like Kristyn Simoneau and Katie L’Ecuyer. And, at 54.51, it was an improvement of more than two second’s over Smith’s previous best 100 Freestyle, a 56.81 at the Bobcat Invitational earlier this year.

“The last month of the season, he’s been really pushing it,” said Conant coach Margie Clark-Kevan, “really thinking of the details of swimming. He’s always been good, but he’s really thinking about details and it’s showing.”

Smith said he couldn’t get any sleep the night before his big race, but he was still able to approach it with the killer instinct that’s gotten him where he is today.

“[I’m] going into every race looking at the guy next to me and saying ‘I’m not going to give him an edge, he’s not going to beat me, he’s going to come out of here fearing me,’” Smith said.

Smith also improved nearly six seconds in the 200 IM, where he’d finish 10th in 2:22.90. His focus on the details was clear in that race, as he shaved much of that time off in the breaststroke.

“It's really easy to sit down in the breaststroke, and he didn't, he pushed it harder,” Clark-Kevan said.

Mascenic sophomore Zack Allen competed in the longer-distance events --- the 200 and 500 Freestyle – and improved in both. Allen’s 2:10.90 in the 200 was a PR by over three seconds and earned him 12th place; in the 500, he shaved 24 seconds off his 2017 state meet time, finishing 10th  in 6:04.21.

“I expect Zack to continue to improve as he's just a sophomore,” said Mascenic head coach Andrea Sbona.

Mascenic’s Sam Tucker, a junior, swam in his first-ever state meet, finishing 18th in the 100 Backstroke at 1:11.85. That race was hotly contested by locals, as Conant’s Scott Labrecque (1:06.74) finished 12th and teammate Garrett Cournoyer (1:09.65) was 17th.

Conant senior Evan Schuyler took a tenth-place finish in the 100 Breaststroke in 1:12.70, another PR. Labrecque was 14th in 1:15.26.

Conant took 8th in the 200 Freestyle relay, 7th in the 400 Freestyle relay and 10th in the 200 Medley relay.

The Orioles finished 10th as a team.

Sports Editor Ben Conant can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 226 or bconant@ledgertranscript.com.