They made names for themselves in Massachusetts swimming circles this season and now three members of the Belmont Aquatic Team , the Belmont-based USA Swim Team and member of New England Swimming, have begun to make their presence known on the national scene.
Lead by long-time BAT and Belmont High School Girls’ Swimming Coach Ev Crosscup, Jessica Blake-West, Belinda Donohoe and Andrew Kelley swam many personal best times, including six top-ten times in the 16 & Under age group at the NASA (National Age-Group Swimming Association) Junior National Championship Cup held in Clearwater, Fla during the last week of March.
In their specialties, Blake-West swam a 55.39 in the 100-yard butterfly for fourth and 24.83 in the 50-yard butterfly to finish third, Kelley swam a 51.57 in the 100-yard backstroke for seventh and Donohoe swam a 52.45 in the 100-yard freestyle, all personal best times.
Belmont High sophomores Blake-West and Kelley were crowned state Div. 2 champions (Blake-West in the 100 butterfly and 4×100 medley relay, Kelley in the 100 backstroke) during their swim seasons while Dana Hall student and Carlisle resident Donohoe was named an Eastern Independent League All Star as a freshman.
This meet, which wrapped up the team’s short course season, rewarded the hard work and dedication of the coaches and swimmers throughout the season.
Additional highlights from the meet included 17-year old Simone Manuel of Texas-based First Colony Swim Team breaking Natalie Coughlin’s three-year old American Record in the 100 freestyle with a time of 46.83, and Indie Swimming member, 14-year old Michael Andrew breaking two of his standing National Age Group records in the 100 freestyle and the 100 breaststroke.