The Hopkinton High School boys and girls swim teams capped off their league competition recently with strong showings in the Tri-Valley League championship meet, and they are hoping to carry that momentum into the sectional and state meets.
“A lot of them are seniors, so I want them to experience the atmosphere of these big meets,” said Hillers coach Blake Briner. “I remember that moment myself when I was a swimmer. I know, at those meets, the energy is unlike any other, so I hope they feed off that energy and do their best.”
The sectional meets for both the boys and girls are slated for the second weekend in February at WPI, with the state meets set for the following weekend at MIT. One swimmer who could make some noise is senior Davis Peishoff, who has qualified in numerous events and will only be limited by rules capping a swimmer at two individual races and two relays.
“He is one of the most talented swimmers I have seen in a while,” Briner said.
Fellow seniors Caleb Burke and Lucas Coffman also have put together strong seasons, with Burke achieving qualifying times in the 50-meter freestyle and the 100 backstroke and Coffman earning spots in the 50 and 100 freestyles. All three also are members of multiple qualifying relay teams, including the 200 medley and 200 freestyle relays, both of which are filled out by sophomore Andy Li. The three seniors and junior Kevin Zhu qualified in the 400 freestyle.
The boys team earned a fourth-place finish at the TVL meet, while the girls placed fifth overall despite having a relatively small roster. The girls 200 freestyle relay earned a state qualifying time with the quartet of Natalie Bouffard, Olivia Scalora, Maeve Hanscom and Anna Burke. The latter three swimmers and Maya Weil-Meggison came out of the league meet less than a second away from qualifying in the 400 freestyle relay, while Hanscom is a fraction of a second away from a qualifying backstroke time. Scalora qualified for states in the 50 free for the second year in a row.
Briner said he is starting to see some of his swimmers, especially the younger athletes, develop more of a competitive edge as the season has progressed. They also are thinking more about their own times and comparing them to the times of their competition in an effort to figure out what they can do to achieve their goals.
“I saw a lot of our sophomores and juniors really starting to focus on their technique and their swimming, which is something I promote a lot,” Briner said. “It’s fun to see them respond and have questions and be engaged and then try to replicate what they learn in their swimming.”