Marauders prepare for districts


BENNINGTON >> The final two weeks of the summer season have come for the Bennington Marauders, but there is still work to be done for the Bennington swim team.

"We're at the end of our season, but there are still some goals that our kids are striving for," said Marauders coach Nicole Goswami. "Some kids are still trying to qualify for state, while our swimmers are looking to place at districts and states, so there is still a lot to strive for here at the end of the season.

Saturday, the Marauders will compete in the Southern Vermont Summer League district championships up in Rutland.

The Marauders along with swim teams from Rutland, Springfield, Brattleboro, Killington, Manchester, Woodstock, Quechee and Rockingham will compete in the nine team district tournament.

Since Bennington has about 26 swimmers participating at the event, they will most likely compete in the small team division for a district title.

"We have won a small division title in the past at districts, so it would be nice to win again," Goswami said. "Our goal always is for our kids to get their best times too, so that combined with getting a trophy is always great to achieve at a district or state meet.

Those expected to be top swimmers for the Marauders at the meet for their girls team are Phebe Hall in the 17 and up division, Grace Burhans in the 13 & 14 division, and Catherine Bitteker and Shay Callanan in the 9 & 10 class.

On the boys side, Zack LaForest and Morgan Flynn are expected to be top finisher in their events in the 15 & up division for the Marauders.

Anthony Mazzola is expected place well for Bennington in the boys 13 & 14 division as is Camden Madison in the boys 11 & 12 class.

"Most of our kids, especially our older kids, are at the top their game right now, so I expect us do very well at the meet," Goswami said. "All summer long our kids have gotten better and I expect to see some good results on Saturday."

One thing that will be a little different for the Marauders on Saturday is that Rutland's facilities are outdoors, so they will be swimming outside instead of swimming in indoor swimming facilities that they are accustomed to.

"It'll definitely be a little challenging to deal with at the start," Goswami said. "Our swimmers, when they're swimming the backstroke aren't used to having the sun in their eyes, for example, but I think our swimmers will adjust quickly and it won't be much of an issue."

After the SVSL district championships on Saturday, the Marauders will compete in their final meet of the season the following weekend, the Vermont Swimming Association state championship.

As the season is coming to a close, the Marauders are looking to end the season with a win, but aren't forgetting the great success and fun they have during the course of the summer season.

"It's been a great summer season for us," Goswami said. "We have had more kids qualify for states than in years past, which is great and to see how much improved all the kids are after working with them for seven weeks is awesome to see. I'm hoping that we can continue to improve in these next two weeks and that will seem some great results from our kids in these last two meets of the season."

The SVSL district championship will be held at the Rutland Town Salt Shed with the 10 and under age groups to begin their races at 9 a.m. and 11-19 age group races to be held in the afternoon around 1:30 p.m.


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