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<B>Jena Staab of Mount Anthony swimming the 500 Freestyle in a meet against Taconic on Friday.</B>


Berkshire Eagle

PITTSFIELD -- Taconic swim coach Marisa Plant said she expected her boys to be challenged due to a lack of depth caused by swimmers being away on holiday vacations.

Even with the absent swimmers, the Taconic boys pulled out a 94-66 win Friday against Mount Anthony. The Patriot girls however, won 103-67.

"We had four boys out, one with an injury and three are on vacation. So I knew it was going to be closer than normal," Plant said. "There was a lot of finagling as to who to put where and putting the puzzle together."

The boys responded to the shuffled lineup with a strong performance led by All-Eagle performer George Sommerville.

Sommerville helped the Braves to first-place finishes in the 200-meter medley relay with a time of 2:13.81 and the 400 free relay (4:43.06).

He also placed first in the 200 individual medley and the 100 breaststroke (1:13.21). Sommerville said he did his best to shake off any rust that set in over the holidays.

"I felt a little laggy," he said. "But holiday or not, I just do my best every time. I have my team to back me up, so it was a good meet."

Overall, the Taconic boys had seven first-place finishes. Quinton Cookis finished first in the 200 free with a time of 2:42. 79 and the 500 free (5:57.78). Frank DeBaggis finished first in the 100 free (1:09.06) and the 50 free (30.72).

Mount Anthony had two first-place finishes for the boys, with Morgan Flynn winning the 100 fly by nearly three seconds and Ryan Spencer dominating the 100 backstroke in 1:14.83.

The Patriots were second in the medley relay with a team of Ryan Spencer, Austin Ulrich, Brian Steinhoff and Andrew Spencer. Ulrich also picked up a second-place finish in the 200 free while Ryan Spencer was second in the individual medley.

In the 50 free, Sean Hamilton, Steinhoff, and Trey Lang finished second, third, and fourth.

On the girls side, Mount Anthony coach Anna Swierad said she knew her girls had the depth to beat Taconic. Even just two days removed from Christmas, Swierad did not expect any sort of letdown from her girls.

"I expected what happened today," she said. "I knew she had more depth with her boys, versus with my girls I have more depth than she does.

"I moved my girls around today. I took it easy on a couple of them, and really used the depth that I’m allowed to use."

The Mount Anthony girls took first in a majority of the races. In the medley relay, MAU’s Bridget Ahearn, Kara Sampsell, Phebe Hall, and Kate Ahearn took first place by more than six seconds. In the 200 free, Emily Barlow and Bridget Ahearn finished first and second, respectively, for the Patriots.

Hall placed first in the individual medley and the 100 fly, as well.

In the 50 free, Kate Ahearn finished first, Taylor Tobin finished third and Baylee Ports finished fourth.

Kate Ahearn also picked up a first-place finish in the 100 free, while Cyonn Alexander finished second and Tobin was fourth.

Jena Staab took first in the 500 free while Emily Cross was third.

The 200 free relay team of Alexander, Logan Carpenter, KC Tiffany, and Hall took first in 2:19.66. Bridget Ahearn was second in the 100 back and Sampsell took first in the 100 breast while Barlow was second.

For Taconic, Gillian Campbell finished first in the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:17.38 and the Braves finished first in the 400 free relay with a time of 4:59.81.

Overall, Plant said she was pleased with the performance of her team.

"I had a lot of girls that had great times, swimming [times] that they haven’t swam before," she said. "And I told the boys they were [going] to have to fight [for the win] and they did."