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Conant, Mascenic, WLC at state swimming championships

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Sunday, February 10, 2019 12:10PM

Mascenic’s Zack Allen set two personal records and grabbed a top-ten finish as the lone Viking representative at the Division II championship meet at UNH Saturday. Allen was ninth in the 200 Freestyle, improving on both his seeding position and his time; ranked tenth at 2:12.25, Allen cut about five seconds on Saturday, finishing ninth in 2:07.40 as he raced the best in the state. 

“I think he thrives on the competition,” said Mascenic head coach Andrea Sbona. “He does better when there’s competition, absolutely.”

Allen also bested his seeding in the 100 Freestyle, where he was ranked 13th coming into the state meet; he finished 12th in 56.46, rising to the level of the elite swimmers who make the state meet as he kept pace and showed he belonged.

“It works out well,” Allen said. “When you first start, it doesn’t hurt as much, so as long as you can stick with them, you can finish with them.”

It was the junior’s first solo appearance at the state meet; injuries and illness this season reduced the Viking boys’ roster to just one. Allen said it was a little weird to be alone, the only name on the NHIAA’s official team t-shirt, but that the elimination of the relay races from his plate helped him focus on his individual events and achieve his goals.

“He wanted to qualify for states, he did,” Sbona said, “PR, he did, top 12, he did. Now he’s just going to have to create new goals for next year.”

It was a family affair for Conant, and a bittersweet one for the only Oriole senior, Hunter Devost. 

“A lot of the sports teams, they aren’t as close as we are,” said Devost, who swam the relays for Conant at the state meet for the third straight year. “I’m going to miss the team, mostly, that’s all I’ve really been thinking about.”

Junior Garrett Cournoyer echoed Devost.

“Having a smaller team – we have less than 20 – you really get to know everybody,” Cournoyer said. “We see them five days a week, see them in the pool, everybody’s working hard, we push each other, that really brings us together.”

That was evident in the 100 Backstroke, where Cournoyer and teammate Scott LaBrecque squared off. LaBrecque came in ranked ninth, just ahead of Cournoyer, and the two stuck to their seedings, LaBrecque shaving a fraction off his best with a ninth-place finish in 1:08.35 and Cournoyer up a fraction in tenth place at 1:09.52.

“Swimming against the best in the state always pushes me to push myself harder and try to get faster,” LaBrecque said. “It gives me better times going against the best.”

LaBrecque also swam the 100 Breaststroke, finishing 13th in 1:17.14. Cournoyer swam the 200 IM, taking 10th in 2:35.56. And, the two paired with Devost and Kevin Simmons to swim the 200 Medley relay, where they finished ninth in 2:04.09, improving their seed time by a full second.

“I swam as fast as I could – no regrets,” Devost said.

Head coach Margie Clark-Kevan’s girls also swam three relays. Abigail Wheeler, Victoria Stenerson, Madalynn Smith and Sheylina Parkerson opened the day with a 17th-place finish in the 200 Medley relay in 2:22.18, a three-second improvement. Parkerson, Wheeler, Smith and Zoe Boyd swam to a 16th-place finish in the 200 Freestyle relay in 2:09.19 and then capped off the day with a 10th-place finish in the 400 Freestyle relay at 4:47.18, cutting an incredible 16 seconds off their seed time.

Wheeler also swam as an individual in the 100 Backstroke, finishing 25th in 1:13.05 in a race that saw Derryfield senior Lindsey Wagner break the pool record with a time of 54.58.

Wilton-Lyndeborough sent four swimmers – junior Ava Rondeau, freshman Elizabeth Jacob, junior Maddy Smith and sophomore Sophia Sistachs. The Warriors swam in a pair of relays and shaved time off their seeding in both. WLC took 13th in the 400 Freestyle relay at 5:12.76, an improvement of nearly nine seconds; and, they took 17th in the 200 Freestyle relay, shaving over six seconds off their seeding with a finish of 2:13.86.