MAU boys swimming finishes undefeated

BENNINGTON — Maybe it was the Speedos.

The seniors on the Mount Anthony boys swim team had a slightly different attire then usual for Monday's senior day matchup against Pittsfield, but they were looking to do something no boys team had done in the history of the program — go undefeated.

The Patriot boys had six victories, including two of the three relays, as they won 93-75 to finish 10-0 and win the Berkshire League title.

"We thought of [wearing Speedos] together, but I kind of talked everyone into doing it, everyone was unsure about it at first," said senior Aaron Mattison.

The choice of swim apparel was in fun, but the team was all business in the pool.

Senior Zach LaForest won a pair of individual events, in the 100 and 200 freestyle, while Mattison was victorious in the 50 free. Anthony Mazzola was tops in the 100 breaststroke as well.

"It was a huge win for us, we've never [finished undefeated] before," said MAU coach Ann Webster-Lang. "I'm so proud of this group of boys. They click in so many ways, emotionally, mentally and physically."

The Patriots took control of the meet in the 100 freestyle, as they swept the top three spots to take a 22-point lead halfway through the meet.

LaForest blasted through in 54.79 seconds, while Lucas Reutter was second in 1:01.57 and Ben Medvedev touched out for third in 1:04.08.

"Zach is trying to get to a certain time and Lucas and Ben were second and third, all of them stepped up," Webster-Lang said. "I have such depth, especially on the boys side. Zach swims at a level that makes everyone better who is trying to keep up with him."

Webster-Lang said that the team motivates each other, which is big in a sport where every point counts.

"I'm thrilled to have so many boys with fast free times. they motivate each other, you saw that today with the choice of apparel," Webster-Lang said. "They find it within themselves. It's a coach's goal, you want the kids to excel but you also want them to have fun and get along. As you can see, they get along wonderfully."

The 200 free relay team of Mazzola, Devin Deets, Mattison and LaForest closed in on the school record with a time of 1:42.29. In the opening event of the day, the 200 medley relay of Caden Watson, Mazzola, Deets and LaForest finished in 1:57.75.

"We have a good attitude," Mattison said. "We don't get too high or too low. If you do bad, there's another race. There's always a chance to improve."

The girls also won six events, including a pair of relays — the 200 medley, where Emmy Ascuitto, Lily Spencer, Paige Marion and Shaana Staab won in 2:08.09. They also won the 200 free relay in 1:56.90, the team of Staab, Mary Mendez, Ascuitto, and Marion.

The girls, however, came out on the short end of a 91-79 score.

MAU held the lead through the first five events, but Pittsfield tied the meet at 47-47 after the 100 freestyle, which Staab won in 1:03.59.

In the next event, MAU took back the lead as Marion roared past the school record in the 500 free, finishing the race in 5 minutes, 46.17 seconds.

Marion now holds all four of the freestyle records for Mount Anthony.

"The girls competition was closer than the last time we swam Pittsfield," Webster-Lang said.

Savannah Robson added a victory in the 200 individual medley as well.

The meet came down to the final relay, where Pittsfield pulled out a 1-2 finish.

"It's cool to see so much improvement and it's great to be undefeated," said LaForest. "There's a lot of good teams in the [Berkshire] League."

The Patriots now look to their final event of the year, the Berkshire individuals.

"We'll have the relay strength, the kids will be able to get into their best events," Webster-Lang said. "It's a showcase of the abilities and talents. The boys are excited about their relay, they want to win at individuals and other teams are gunning for us."

Seniors recognized included: Olivia Salem, Paige Marion, Ethan Bennett, Fferyll Simpson, Dominick Testo, Aaron Mattison, Noah Loomis, Owen Denue, Zach LaForest and Morgan Flynn.


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