BRISTOL - Instead of focusing on individual times, the Plainville girls swim team is looking to be one of the top competitors as a team this season.
Earlier this week, the Blue Devils took down Bristol Eastern for the first time in the last six seasons. Friday afternoon Plainville came out on top again, but this time to Bristol Central.
It was a 96-87 victory that solely relied on strong finishes especially during the back half of the meet.
“Central started to creep up,” Plainville head coach Chris Zagorski said. “They actually took the lead in the middle of the meet so we really had to come back in the last four events and that’s what we did.”
The Rams took control of the meet after the 500 freestyle. Central’s Camille Attle took first with a time of 6:15.90, while Plainville’s Phoebe Gediman took second with a time of 6:30.81.
Central managed to rack up enough points during the event to put it ahead by one, 63-62.
The Blue Devils knew in that moment that they needed to step up, and they did. Plainville took first and third place in the 200 freestyle relay. The team of Emma Miller, Bella Samperi, Alyssa Macomber and Lydia Weinberg finished in a time of 2:00.31, while Plainville’s other relay team of Ashleigh Bantz, Julia Smith, Olivia Unwin and Tessa Susco finished in a time of 2:11.39.
Bristol Central’s relay team of Christina Tomcak Samantha Chapman,B Lamothe and Alayna Lawson finished second with a time of 2:10.95.
“We were pretty much just going for best times,” Bristol Central head coach Adrieene Bentley said. “We were trying to put together some different lineups with different girls, just to see what they could do. They pretty much pulled threw, we got a lot of best times today. I’m so super excited about that.”
The Blue Devils’ Morgan Rogers finished in a time of 1:04.93, taking first place in the 100 backstroke. The Rams’ Rachel Wolf finished in a time of 1:17.64, taking second.
Plainville had a one-two-three finish during the 100 breaststroke. Miller finished in a time of 1:25.25 with teammates Smith (1:26.24) and Unwin (1:31.34) behind her.
Finishing first, second and third sealed the deal for the Blue Devils, causing the meet to go unofficial after that event.
The only even left was the 400 freestyle relay. Plainville’s relay team of Samperi, Gediman, Rogers and Weinberg finished in 4:12.83. The Rams’ relay team of Attle, Erin Petke, Wolf and Mackenzie Pina finished in a time of 4:19.16.
“This meet, we knew it was going to be a hard one,” Petke said. “We lost one of our really good swimmers. We didn’t really know what to expect so we just told the girls race yourself, race the clock and that’s what they did.”
The Rams came out firing with intensity during the 200 medley relay. It was a back and forth battle between Plainville and Central. The Blue Devils relay team of Rogers, Miller, Kayla Foster and Gediman were able to push ahead in the end, finishing in first with a time of 2:12.47.
The Rams’ relay team of Attle, Pina, Wolf and Lawson finished second with a time of 2:15.44.
Pina took first place in the 200 yard freestyle with a time of 2:12.28, while Weinberg came in right behind with a time of 2:15.21.
Plainville’s Rogers and Smith one-two finished the 200 IM with times of 2:227.17 and 3:04.15.
“They swam not too bad today,” Zagorski said. “It’s a different pool and they had to get used to the water but they did a good job. They knew they had to take advantage of coming in first and second in the IM and carrying that through the meet.”
Attle came in first in the 50 freestyle with a time of 27.67 while Samperi took second (28.62) and Gediman took third (29.01).
Petke took first in diving with a score of 202.45. Her score not only qualified her for states, but she also beat her personal record and former Bristol Central record of 188. Behind her was teammate Emma Toth who finished with a score of 152.65. Plainville’s Jill Arens was third (147.85) and Susco was fourth (139.45).
“We’re doing really good this year as a team,” Susco said. “It feels really good to beat a Class M team.”
After diving was complete, it was the 100 butterfly up next. Pina and Weinberg were neck and neck throughout the entire race, but Pina was just an .08th of a second faster, touching her out with a time of 1:07.12.
Central also claimed first in the 100 freestyle. Wolf was the victor with a time of 1:05.69 while Miller came in second with a time of 1:06.62.
“It’s a good feeling [to beat the larger schools],” Zagorski said. “In the past we’ve normally focused on beating Class S teams and then we try to compete against the bigger schools the best we can. But this year we actually have an opportunity to take it to them and come out with victories which make it a lot more fun.”