Tuesday December 11, 2012

ADAM SAMROV

Sports Editor

BENNINGTON -- Coming into Monday's matchup with Hoosac Valley, the Mount Anthony Union High School girls swim team had revenge on their minds.

MAU went 9-1-1 last season, and Hoosac Valley was the ‘1' in the loss column, a two-point defeat, the Patriots last one in more than a few years.

Thanks to strong performances across the board, Mount Anthony exacted their revenge, beating the Hurricanes 95-75 at the Bennington Rec Center.

"It's huge to win by 20 because the matches were so close last year," said MAU coach Anna Swierad. "They won the division, so we have a leg up on that."

The Patriots were led by senior Heather Foley, who set a school record in the 200-yard individual medley, winning the event in 2 minutes, 24.78 seconds. She broke her own record of 2:25.63, set a year ago.

"Part of it is having someone to race against," said Foley, talking about second-place finisher Julia Whitney. "I know what she's capable of and I knew what i had to do to win. "My teammates were screaming because she caught up on the breaststroke and that's her best stroke. I pulled through on the freestyle and got it."

Foley nearly broke another record in the 100 butterfly, winning the event in 1:02.57, mere tenths of a second off her best mark.

"She works hard and it thrills me to know the numbers will be changed again on the record board at the school," Swierad said. "She's modest, a quiet leader."

Two races on the girls side came down to hundredths of a second. In the 100 breaststroke, Whitney out-touched Kate Ahearn by 0.01 for the win. In the 400-yard freestyle relay, Emma Whitney closed out the victory, beating the anchor leg in Ahearn by 0.06.

"It was a tough meet, Julia and Emma had real good swims, I'm impressed with how they did," said Hoosac Valley coach Eryn Brewer. "I'm happy with all of them, you can only ask for so much."

Other MAU winners included Ahearn in the 50 free and Kate Montague in the 100 free. As a group, MAU won the 200 yard free relay with the team of April Foley, Montague, Emily Barlow and Cyonn Alexander.

In many of the events, even if they didn't win, MAU was racking up points by finishing second and third.

"You need those seconds and third and fourths, those point [are] just as important as winning," Swierad said.

The boys also won their second straight meet to start the year with a 105-34 rout. MAU swimmers took six different events, including a 1-2-3 finish in the 100-yard backstroke.

Winners for the boys included: Ryan Spencer in the 200 IM and 100 back, Brian Steinhoff in the 100 fly, Robert Murphy in the 100 free, Murphy, Isaiah Severs, Steinhoff and Spencer in the 200 free relay, and Morgan Flynn in the 100 breaststroke. In the 100 free, Murphy won by seven seconds, the only swimmer under a minute, while Spencer won the 100-yard backstroke by 16 seconds.

For Hoosac Valley, Keith Pero won two events -- the 200 and 500 freestyle. "All the boys are swimming as a team, encouraging each other," Swierad said. "It's big for them to start 2-0."