Monument Mountain sweeps meet against MAU
The Spartan boys, in particular, had that motivation in the back of their minds all meet, having lost to MAU twice last season in what were the first losses for the group in four years.
Monument Mountain was in control on both the boys and girls sides throughout Friday's meet en route to winning handily. The Spartan boys won 117-51 and the girls won 125-44.
"We wanted to come into this meet aggressively, especially on the boys side, since we did lose to them twice last year and they were the first team to beat us in four years," said Monument Mountain coach Jill Svirida. "Knowing that we had a really strong team this year, we knew we needed to come in with an aggressive lineup. I was thrilled with the way they raced and that they didn't let up until the end."
The Patriots knew with the sheer size of the Spartans roster and the amount of graduation losses MAU had heading into the season, that they had a tough task on their hands to keep up.
"We wanted to give it our all since we beat them last year," said first-year Patriots coach Amanda Robson. "They're always a strong team. They're the No. 1 [in the Berkshire League] usually and they have a lot of kids on their team."
On the boys side, the Spartans were strong up and down their roster, winning every race, except for one.
Monument Mountain kicked off the boys races with a win in the 200-meter medley relay. The team of Sam Cybulski, Colin Thorp, Nick Dillon and Ethan Dean finished the race in 1 minute, 56.06 seconds to set the tone for the Spartans. MAU's Ben Medvedev, Anthony Mazzola, Devin Deets and Lucas Reutter weren't too far off the pace, finishing in second at 2:00.28.
From there, Monument Mountain went on a string of wins throughout the first half of the meet.
One of the most highly-competitive races of the day came in the boys 50 freestyle. The race came down to four swimmers, two from the Spartans and two from MAU. Monument Mountain's Dean finished first at 25.38 seconds, followed by teammate Jack Glantz in 25.59. The Patriots' Deets was close behind at 26.06, while Reutter finished at 26.50.
Dean had another individual win in the 100 freestyle.
Dillon had a pair of individual wins as well, in the 200 individual medley and 100 butterfly.
MAU's lone win came late in the meet during the 100 breaststroke. Mazzola was in a tough battle with Thorp to see who would come out on top. The Bennington Rec Center was in a frenzy as both swimmers took the final turn and Mazzola inched out Thorp to pick up the win. Mazzola touched the wall in 1:13.57, while Thorp finished in 1:14.53.
Robson was impressed with the effort Mazzola showed Friday.
"Anthony always gives a really good show. I can always trust that he's going to give his all," Robson said. "He's one of my strongest swimmers."
The Patriots were inches away from a win in the 200 free relay, but the team of Reutter, Deets, Mazzola and Tristan Thomas was edged by 0.01 seconds.
Other MAU swimmers that picked up second-place individual finishes were Deets (100 butterfly) and Fausto Pinto (500 freestyle). Their 400 free relay team was second as well.
Svirida preached consistency on the girls side and it showed, as Monument Mountain won every race.
"We're just staying consistent. I was pleased with the times on the board today and we just keep plugging along," Svirida said.
The Patriots had five second-place finishes on the day.
Their first came in the 200 medley relay when MAU's team of Savannah Robson, Lily Spencer, Sarah Ascuitto and Grace Burhans finished in 2:12.42, which was nine seconds off the winning pace.
Ascuitto finished second in the 50 freestyle with a time of 28.18. That trailed the Spartans' Anna Rubino, who finished in 27.09.
Burhans was second in 100 freestyle with a time of 1:01.50, trailing Monument Mountain's Olivia Rubino by less than two seconds.
MAU had a pair of second-place relays in the second half of the meet, racking up those finishes in the 200m free relay and 400m free relay.
The Patriots are back in action Tuesday against Hudson (N.Y.) on the road.
Adam Aucoin can be reached at email@example.com and followed at @AAucoin_Banner on Twitter.
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