Five swimmers earn top 10 finishes at Division II meet
In most years, the Division II Championships is just the beginning of the postseason for local swimmers.
But due to the major snowstorm that buried much of the state under two feet of snow over the weekend, it actually marked the end of the swimming season.
With the D-II meet being moved from Saturday to Sunday at the University of New Hampshire, Meet of Champions was cancelled and the New England Championships had already been called off due to low participation from qualifying states.
So Sunday was the final time for six local swimmers and nine relay teams to take to the pool. And did they ever take advantage of it. All six individual swimmers posted season-best times, as did seven of the nine relay teams, with 11 turning into top 10 finishes.
Conant senior Kali Mailhot posted the best time of her career in the 100-yard butterfly to finish fourth overall in the event in 1:07.08. With the top six finish, Mailhot would have qualified for Meet of Champions for the first time in her career. It was her third straight year making it to the Division II Championships and each time she set a season best.
The Conant girls 200-yard freestyle relay team of Mailhot, sophomore Katie L’Ecuyer, and seniors Stephanie Simoneau and Lianne Vaillancourt would have also qualified for Meet of Champions after finishing sixth in the event with a time of 1:55, a full six seconds better than their previous best.
L’Ecuyer posted season-best times in both of her events. She finished seventh overall in the 200-yard individual medley in 2:26.66, over six seconds faster than her previous low set just two weeks prior. L’Ecuyer also placed eighth in the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:16.10, shaving a full two seconds off her fastest career time.
Mascenic freshman Briana Boulerice qualified for five events, but could only swim in two. So she chose the 100-freestyle and finished seventh in a career-best time of 59.20 seconds. Boulerice also swam in the 100-yard breaststroke and took 13th in 1:19.59 —also tops for the season.
Conant senior Kory Patten made his second straight trip to the Division II meet in the 200 and 500-yard freestyle events. Patten swam his career best time in the 200, finishing ninth in 2:06.68, while taking eighth in the 500-freestyle in 6:01.05.
Wilton-Lyndeborough junior Hannah Bailey was the third local to qualify and swim in the 100-yard breaststroke. It was her second straight appearance in the event at the D-II meet and improved five positions to ninth with a time of 1:18.73.
Mascenic senior Shawn Thibault, making his first trip to the state meet, also finished with a career-best time of 1:15.48 in the 100-yard breaststroke. Thibault qualified for the meet in the Last Chance Invitational after being within a second during the season.
The Conant girls 200-medley team finished seventh, while the Mascenic boys 200-freestyle team placed eighth.