Belmont’s Butte Powers To State Div. 2 Championship in 50 Free Sprint

Photo: Belmont High’s Sophia Butte with her Middlesex League champions banner from 2017 which she finally received in September.

In her final high school meet, Belmont High’s Sophie Butte goes out a state champion as the senior co-captain out-touched the two co-favorites to capture the 50-yard freestyle sprint at the MIAA State Division 2 Swimming and Diving Championships held at Harvard on Sunday, Nov. 18.

Seeded third, Butte completed the up-and-back race at Harvard’s Blodgett Pool in 24.59 seconds to edge out Wellesley High’s junior Nellie Thompson (24.68 ) and number-one seed Reading Memorial High’s senior Alana Loughman (24.79) to win the title in the “splash and dash.” Butte took more than 2/10th of a second off her time (24.80) finishing third in the North Sectionals last week at MIT.

After winning the 50, Butte returned to the pool to finish fourth in the 100-yard freestyle in 54.40, showing the best improvement over her seeding time of 55.08 of all the finalist. 

Just as impressive as the 50 individual was, Butte topped her effort in the first event of the day, the 200-yard medley relay (with teammates Angela Li, Luisa November and Samantha Fogel) where she anchored the Marauders home swimming the final 50-yard leg in 24.19, the fastest sprint time during the meet, as she overtook two teams to take eighth in 1:57.14.

Butte ended her night leading off the 400 free relay (with Chloe Park, Anna Bauerle and Li) with a 55.13 split to set the team up to finish seventh, the Marauders best relay performance. 

Co-captain Li was also a two-time scorer in individual events. She stayed in contention for third in the 200 individual medley until the final 50, finishing in fourth in 2:14.42. She would come back to repeat in fourth in a Belmont specialty, the 100 breaststroke, nearly catching Natick’s Helen Zhao in the run in only to be out touched, 1:10.20 to 1:10.21. Alicia Lugovskoy (1:12.27) and Katarina Chen (1:12.61) gave Belmont three in the top 10 as they finish 9th and 10th.

The team of Park, Meredith Chasse, Lugovskoy and Mayura Thomas took 10th (1:47.43) in the 200 free relay. 

Belmont’s trio of sophomore divers showed promise through the rounds as Marina Cataldo (359.25), Sophie Cormier (359.05) and Sarah Firth (345.85) finished in 12th, 13th, and 14th. 

Under second-year head coach Gretchen Turner, Belmont finished in 7th with 153 points, trailing Reading which won its third consecutive D2 title with 402.5 points.

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