A complete team effort powered the Lincoln-Sudbury girls swimmers and divers to a dramatic second-place finish with 202 points at the Division 1 State Meet on Sunday at Harvard University's Blodgett Pool.
The gang of nine L-S athletes who met the stringent state meet qualifying standards included swimmers Megan Griffin, Catherine MacKeen, Alicia Perry, Leah McCabe, Jenny Genovese, Ansley Baker, and divers Kimberly Yang, Emma Jarczyk and Clara Shealy.
Westford Academy finished first with 305 points.
"With just six swimmers and three divers, we didn't have a big team this year," said senior captain Megan Griffin. "But we showed a lot of heart throughout the meet and were fortunate to clinch second place in the very last event of the meet.
"Relays play a big role in championship meets and I think Alicia was a key to our success today. She qualified for individual events, but was willing to enter all three relays instead."
Each member of the team scored and had a hand in the effort. The 200-yard medley relay team of MacKeen, Baker, Perry and McCabe finished fourth (30 points) in 1:54.10. MacKeen followed up minutes later to add two points with a 15th-place in the 200-yard freestyle. Griffin, who is headed to Middlebury College in the fall, posted the team's only first-place finish of the day with a state championship time of 24.62 in the 50-yard freestyle.
Baker and McCabe logged strong 50-yard times of 26.28 and and 26.56, respectively. Griffin followed up the 50-free with a third-place finish (16 points) in the 100-yard butterfly, posting a near personal-best time of 57.71. And just on her heels was MacKeen adding 13 points to the cause with a sixth-place finish in 1:00.15.
The 100-yard freestyle saw Jenny Genovese earn the team five points with her 12th-place finish and personal best time of 56.68. Next up was the 200-yard freestyle relay, often the most exciting event of the meet, with four swimmers churning the water in all-out sprints of 50 yards each. The L-S team of Genovese, Baker, Perry and Griffin didn't disappoint and delivered 32 points with a third-place finish in 1:42.36, just 0.11 behind the second-place team from Westford Academy.
In the next to last event, Baker continued her emergence as one the state's leading breaststrokers with a personal best time of 1:10.01, good enough for seventh place and 12 points for the team.
Throughout the meet, the L-S divers were hard at work putting up more points than any other team. Yang, a freshman, earned 15 points with a fourth-place finish, junior Jarczyk finished eighth for 11 points, and Shealy scored seven points with her 10th-place performance, bringing their total to a meet-best 33 points.
And so it all came down to the final event, the 400-yard freestyle relay. Genovese, Perry, MacKeen and Griffin bettered their fifth-seed position with an unexpected third-place finish to edge King Phillip Regional High School in the team standings by a single point.
For the Lincoln-Sudbury swimmers and divers, this state championship meet had it all: drama, personal-best efforts, and in the end, a remarkable team performance. And with Griffin the only senior in this talented group of athletes, the future looks bright for the Warriors.