All Belmont High School Girls’ Swimming Head Coach Ev Crosscup wants are a few freestyle swimmers who can quickly travel from Point A to Point B.
That would make the legendary coach happy.
After the season opening duel meet clash with powerhouse Acton-Boxborough High at the Wenner Field House Pool in Belmont, on Wednesday Sept. 10, Crosscup was clearly pleased with the overall performance of his team as the Marauders held their own against the visitors who placed fourth in last year’s Division 1 championships.
“I thought we had some real strong efforts. I was happy and pleased with that but we have to get better in some important areas,” he said, after the final score, a 96 to 87 A-B win, was announced.
And that area is the team’s current deficit in the shorter-distance freestyle events. The lack of a steady point producer in the 50 and 100 yards has been a thorn to the team’s side for the past few years and Wednesday’s opener was not an encouraging one for Belmont’s long-time coach.
“That was glaring again as it was last season,” said Crosscup, a season which Belmont took second in the Division 2 state championships.
In the 50, 100 and 200, Belmont’s highest placement was third with the remaining swimmers finishing in 5th and 6th while the 200 relay finished in the bottom
“We don’t seem to have that sprint freestyler and that killed us again today,” he said.
While the shorter free distance races didn’t go to plan, there was a nice surprise in the 500 yard free with Sara Noorouzi taking first, breaking six minutes, with a 5 minute, 50.72 second race, and bringing home the sweep as Elizabeth Levy (5:57.21) and Dervela Moore-Frederick (6:07.07) followed.
As expected, Belmont’s big hitters came through, led by junior star Jessie Blake-West who won her speciality, the 100 fly (which she won the state championship last year), already breaking 59 seconds with a 58.75 in addition to winning the 200 Individual Medley by just about 10 seconds over teammate Maya Nagashima (2:13.41 to 2:23.31).
Also showing great form was Emily Quinn who held off A-B’s Tiffany Shao – who finished second in the Div. 1 state meet last year – in the best battle of the afternoon, taking the 100 breaststroke, 1:12.28 to 1:13.93.
Blake-West and Quinn have returned to swim the 200 Medley Relay this season – the relay is the defending state championships – finishing second to A-B’s number one in 1:58.03, swimming with Solvay Metelmann and Maya Nagashima
Nagashima placed second in the 100 backstroke in a fast time of 1:04.06.
And junior Thea Kelsey scored three 8’s for her reverse dive in the pike position which help win her the 1 meter diving competition with 210 points.
“You can see the effort they are putting into their swimming. It’s a good start to the season,” said Crosscup.
Now, about those freestylers.