Way­land builds tra­di­tion

Boston Herald - - SPORTS - BY BREN­DAN CON­NELLY

Win­ning is look­ing to be­come the new tra­di­tion for the Way­land boys swim team.

One year af­ter cap­tur­ing their first ever sectional, the War­riors are back on top, as they took home their se­cond straight North ti­tle at MIT yes­ter­day.

“It’s re­ally a lot of the work that goes in all sea­son long,” War­riors coach Mike Fo­ley said. “And to­day, once again, it was the depth of our pro­gram that for­tu­nately al­lowed us to kind of pull ahead of St. John’s (Prep) a lit­tle bit as the meet just rolled on. Be­cause they are ob­vi­ously a phe­nom­e­nal team, and we knew they were go­ing to be a lot bet­ter than their seeds, than they looked on pa­per. So we just had to chal­lenge the guys, that we’ve got to get up and per­form the way we did here last year. Be­cause no one’s go­ing to hand us any­thing just be­cause we won a year ago. It’s a new year, it’s a new team, so let’s go see if we can do it again.”

The War­riors were pow­ered by sopho­more Jim­ing Xu, who took first place hon­ors in the 100 breast­stroke with a time of 58.61 sec­onds. Se­nior Nick Smith also proved to be a stand­out, help­ing Way­land to first place fin­ishes in the 200 med­ley (1:37.23) and 200 freestyle (1:28.91) re­lays, while tak­ing se­cond as an in­di­vid­ual in the 50 freestyle (21.90) and third at the 100 freestyle (49.05).

St. John’s Prep was car­ried to a se­cond-place fin­ish by Mitchell Lock­wood, who fin­ished the day a dou­ble win­ner by tak­ing the crown in both the 50 freestyle (21.45) and 100 freestyle (46.97) races. He would also an­chor the Ea­gles to a vic­tory in the 400 freestyle re­lay (3:17.80).

“I just wanted to swim fast,” Lock­wood said. “I’m here to race. Our team, we com­pete for each other. We work to­gether. We fight ev­ery­day. And I thought we did great to­day, even though we came in se­cond over­all. But I’m happy with our team.”

As for other in­di­vid­ual per­form­ers who went on to make noise at MIT, Scott Spear would place first in two events for Read­ing. The sopho­more star won the 500 freestyle (4:43.04), as well as the 200 freestyle (1:42.42).

While no records were bro­ken, his­tory was still made at the Ze­siger Fit­ness Cen­ter. Al­though Chris­tian Kin­non was a three-time win­ner on the statewide cir­cuit, he sur­pris­ingly never man­aged to win an event at sec­tion­als for Mys­tic Val­ley. Jake Wil­liams be­came the first in pro­gram his­tory to do so, win­ning the 100 but­ter­fly with an im­pres­sive time of 51.95 sec­onds, barely edg­ing out Malden se­nior Kevin Ochoa.

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