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Versatility helps Hopkinton swim team succeed

by | Jan 29, 2020 | Sports

The Hopkinton High School swim team raced to seven wins through mid-January, including five in Tri-Valley League meets, thanks in part to a talented roster that is willing to swim whatever races the team needs in order to succeed.

“It’s been going very well,” said first-year coach Kristen Webber. “The kids are flexible, which is good. Wherever you put them in, they will swim. They have been good about being versatile.”

Hopkinton has also done well to make the most of limited practice time.

“The kids are willing to do whatever is thrown at them,” Webber said. “We don’t have much pool time, so we have to be efficient with the time we have. They have done a good job of embracing any new drill I want to try with them. They respond so well to that and taking on whatever is thrown at them.”

Added Webber, a former assistant coach at Natick who swam at Boston College: “This has been very good to see, people willing to try new things or adapt to a new coach.”

The willingness to work hard has paid off. The Hillers have five swimmers and two divers who are set to advance to the postseason competitions.

Senior MaryLauren Burke is set to compete in the individual sprint events once the dual meet season comes to a close, having qualified in both the 50 and 100 freestyle races.

“She is one of our hardest workers in practice,” Webber said. “She is always pushing herself.”

Cassie White is another swimmer who has stood out in the shorter races, including the 50 and the 100. Webber highlighted White’s competitive nature, saying the junior tends to perform at her best when she has someone to push her.

“She thrives on the competition,” Webber said.

In the distance events, Alyssa Fischer has performed well, including the race Webber described as the “dreaded” 500 freestyle. Even though she excels at the distance events, Fischer has been one of those swimmers who is able and willing to swim wherever she is needed.

Tess Weatherhead and Juliana Lucas earned sectional spots in diving, with Weatherhead putting together an exceptional season that has seen her take first place in every meet.

On the boys side, Alex Mastsoukas embodies the team’s willingness to do whatever it takes to win, Webber said.

“He is very positive, willing to work hard and improve,” the coach said. “He is always asking for tips on how he can improve and steps up to swim wherever we need him. He has some of the top times in four different events, he can step up and do whatever is asked of him.”

Aiden Macdonald is another strong swimmer, specializing in shorter events like the 100 butterfly and the 50 freestyle, Webber said.

A season ago, Hopkinton had the top combined score between the boys and girls at the TVL meet, something Webber would like to see repeat this season. The Hillers figure to be strong at the relays, Webber said. In addition to performing well at leagues and in the sectional meets, Hopkinton is looking to finish the year strong by posting as many personal best times as possible.

“Our goal is to get everyone the best times throughout, whether they are going to the postseason or not,” Webber said. “A lot of swimmers have personal goals, whether it’s improving their stats or their finishes. And mostly we just want to have an enjoyable time and end the season on a high note.”

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