The Bromfield swim team relinquished its undefeated status in its fifth and final meet of the season Feb. 6. Westborough High School claimed first in six of eight individual events and all three relays to put up 100 points against Bromfield’s 70.
The Bromfield team is a co-op program, composed of students from the Bromfield School, Littleton High School, and Ayer Shirley Regional High School.
Bromfield lined up its typical squads for the relays this week, a shuffled deck of seven athletes who have dominated these three events all season. Each was ultimately edged out by at least one Westborough team.
Sophomore Tate Brown, junior Lorelei Folger, senior Ella Church, and junior Zachary Becker took second in the 200-yard medley relay in 2 minutes, 3.20 seconds. The last three athletes were later joined by senior John Babcock in the 400 freestyle relay (4:06.38) for another second-place finish, and Brown, Babcock, and sophomores Eli Labbe and Alex Myles took third in the 200 freestyle relay (1:53.43).
Coach Amy Gothorpe said it was a bit of an off week for the team. “[It was] not the way we wanted to finish our last meet,” she wrote in an email to the Press, “but we were up against some really tough competition.” Regardless, there were a few performances to be proud of.
In a loaded 100 freestyle that surely would have had the crowd on its feet in a normal year, the gap between third and sixth place was less than 2.5 seconds, and all three Bromfield swimmers sneaked in under 1 minute. In his third event of the day, Becker won the battle for third, finishing in 58.19. Babcock took fourth (58.35), and freshman Ella Bergeron claimed fifth (59.43).
Individual wins went to two Bromfield swimmers. Becker took first in the 200 medley (2:19.45), followed closely by Folger (2:20.19), who came in less than a second behind. Church triumphed in the 500 freestyle (5:20.89), putting a 20-second gap between herself and Westborough’s Dan Hastings (5:40.08).
With the season wrapped up, Gothorpe says she hopes her athletes maintain their training during the off season, either alone or with a club team. “It’s hard with limited pool time, but hopefully they can all find a lane, take the base they’ve created for themselves, and stick with it. It’s always easier to start off the next season with some good fitness and refined skill.”
She hopes for a more normal season next year, one where swimmers from opposing teams can compete side by side, and spectators can again create the upbeat atmosphere that typically fills the natatorium on meet day. “I really don’t dig the quiet sidelines,” she wrote. “Energy from your teammates always helps make racing more exciting.”