Photo: Belmont’s 2017 senior swimmers: Alison Sawyer, Sophie Lefebvre, Olive Kozelian, Olivia Hardy, Caroline Daskalakis, Julia Cunningham, Julia Bozkurtian. (Captains: Kozelian, Daskalakis, Cunningham and Bozkurtian)
A strong performance against some of the toughest Division 1 competition last Saturday has Belmont looking for a top-five finish as the Marauders head to the Division 2 state finals early Sunday morning in Worcester, Nov. 19.
Belmont’s 165 point total at the North Sectionals at MIT, Saturday, Nov. 11 earned the Marauders fourth place, one point ahead of Middlesex League rival Melrose. Andover took the title with 409 points followed by Reading (356) and Acton-Boxborough (264).
After so many recent season without top-line sprint talent, Belmont has three as junior Sophie Butte and senior Julia Bozkurtian both recorded season-best times in the 50 yard freestyle with Butte finishing fourth in 24.74 seconds and Bozkurtian in seventh in 25.49, while sophomore Anna Doherty brought home a 10th place medal taking nearly a second off her best for a 25.68.
Bozkurtian returned to the sprints with an eighth in the 100 free (55.35) while Butte equaled her teammate’s placement in the 100 backstroke in 1 minute 1.84 seconds, dropping nearly four seconds from her qualifying time. Senior Julia Cunningham took two and half seconds off her previous best to grab 12th in the 100 butterfly in 1:02.49 while Doherty finished 15th in 1:02.86. Cunningham would come back with a one-point grab taking 16th in the grueling 500 free (5:44.19, taking 11 seconds off her best) following sophomore teammate Mary Kilcoyne who finished 13th in 5:42.80.
Belmont put two swimmers in the scoring column in the 100 breaststroke with junior Angela Li (1:12.07) and sophomore Katarina Chen (1:13.41) coming in 12th and 15th.
Over in the diving area, two of Belmont’s three freshmen competed with Marina Cataldo finishing in 10th with 328.95 points followed by Sophie Cormier (319.2 points) in 12th. Also scoring for the Marauders was Li in the tough 200 individual medley coming in 11th in 2:17.29.
Belmont garnered a total of 72 points from three outstanding relays; a 9th in the 200 free (Doherty, Olive Kozelian, Kate Sandage and Anna Bauerle in 1:47.72), 7th in the 200 medley (Butte, Li, senior Julia Cunningham and Bozkurtian in 1:55.32, an improvement of four seconds from qualifying) and 4th in the premier relay event, the 400 as Doherty, Li, Bozkurtian and Butte powered through in 3:44.00, taking 4th.