Pawtucket’s Magill leads way at Invitational
Fordham-bound swimmer earns pair of top-4 finishes at Brown
PROVIDENCE — At the 31st annual Bay View Invitational Swimming Championships, held at Brown University’s Katherine Moran Coleman Aquatic Center on Sunday afternoon, Bengals’ senior captain and standout Kate Magill had hoped to claim her two specialties – the 200 and 500-yard freestyles.
The Pawtucket resident failed in the former event, managing for her a “pedestrian,” fourthplace clocking of 2:01.45. At the longer distance, she appeared to have garnered a triumph with approximately 30 yards remaining..
East Greenwich High junior Audrey Brecher, however, had other ideas. She surged ahead with about 15 yards to go to win the 500, a race in which Magill is a three-time defending state champion, in 5:13.19. Magill settled for second, just four-hundredths of a tick behind (5:13.23).
“I’m not disappointed because I never taper for this meet, meaning I’m still working hard in practice,” stated Magill, who will further her academic and aquatic education at Fordham University later this summer. “I’m just taking this as a learning experience. It showed me what I have to work on to be at my best for the (upcoming) Division I and state championships. “I missed my final turn in the 500, which didn’t help matters, but that’s no excuse,” she added. “I think if I had worn the fast-skin suit and shaved and tapered, it would have helped me both physically and mentally, but this isn’t the time for that. I don’t think of this as a championship meet, but a preparatory meet for the
“That’s why I’m not bummed out. I think I could’ve raced better in the 200; I should’ve gone out faster, and – if I had – I would’ve finished stronger. I’m just moving forward.”
La Salle junior Madalyn Redding easily snared the 200 freestyle in 1:55.50, .70 seconds off of her seed time, while Brecher collected second (1:57.19) and North Smithfield junior Sara Gendron third (1:58.70).
Gendron also delivered a third in the 100 butterfly (58.30), and came ever-so-close to earning the Bay View Outstanding Junior of the Meet laurel.
Because she’s the lone aquawoman representing the school on Route 104, she has to train with Bulldogs Aquatics out of Bryant University, and admits she has bigger fish to fry once the championship season approaches.
“I didn’t taper for this meet,” meaning her Bulldogs Aquatics coaches didn’t slice her yardage so she could become stronger, swim with less fatigue. “I’m looking forward to the state meet, and then the USA Swimming-(affiliated) Sectionals meet at Ithaca (N.Y.) College. After that, I’ll go to the U.S. Junior Nationals in Clearwater, Fla.
“I don’t have to swim in high school meets like this, but I want to,” she continued. “It gives me a chance to swim against my Bulldogs teammates who do swim high school, kids I’ve been friends with since I started.
“I’m pretty happy; I think I had some pretty good times considering the fact I’m not tapered yet. I’m right where I want to be, so I’m more than satisfied.”
As well she should. The Northwoman, by her lonesome, supplied her school with 32 points, good for 15th in the 24-team field.
Cumberland led the area pack with 63 points and an 11th-place finish. The Clippers were a fry cry from scratching the top 10, as Middletown took that spot with 113.
Barrington, as anticipated with an unbeaten dual-meet squad, captured the meet title with 247 points, a mere five more than runner-up North Kingstown, and 30 better than third-place East Greenwich (217).
CHS freshman Caroline Shen, a teammate of Gendron at Bulldogs Aquatics, is a relative newcomer to interscholastic competition, but she already is turning heads – and not just during stroke work. She had been seeded fifth in the 50 freestyle with a 25.75 clocking, and nailed down that placement with a time of 25.87.
Later, she delivered a 57.18 in the 100 freestyle to snag sixth overall.
“The 25.87 wasn’t my best, but it’s still January, so we’ve got more than a month before the end of the season,” she noted. “We’re still in the ‘hard-work’ phase of our workouts, both at Cumberland and with Bulldogs Aquatics. Once we taper, the times should drop.
“My best time in the 100 is 56high, and I really wanted to go a best time here, so I’m a little disappointed,” she added. “It (nevertheless) shows what I need to work on. I’m trying to fix my stroke, (as) my coaches have told me I need to extend my arms and hands more to get the most out of each stroke.
“My hands don’t always enter the water at the same place, so they’ve asked me to stretch it out … Coming into this meet, I didn’t know what to expect; it’s my first really big high school meet, but I love it! Everyone seems so happy and motivated to do well, where USA Swimming (club) meets are more individualized, just you against the clock. There’s a lot more team-building in this (genre).
“It’s a really fun atmosphere. I thought it would be a lot more serious like a USS meet, but I’m with all of my friends. Some of us are on opposing teams, and we’re competing against each other, but in a more positive way.
Bay View senior Kate Magill, who is a Pawtucket resident, earned a second-place finish in the 500-yard freestyle at Sunday’s Bay View Invitational at Brown University.