Barrington High School swim teams finish third, fourth at states

Freshman Grace Bellamy smiles after winning the 100 breaststroke individual title last weekend. Freshman Grace Bellamy smiles after winning the 100 breaststroke individual title last weekend.

Freshman Grace Bellamy smiles after winning the 100 breaststroke individual title last weekend.

Freshman Grace Bellamy smiles after winning the 100 breaststroke individual title last weekend.

The Barrington High School boys’ and girls’ swimming teams capped the winter season with impressive performances at the state championship meet held earlier this month.

The girls’ team finished third among 26 Rhode Island schools while the boys’ finished fourth among 27 teams. Head coach Sandy Gorham had plenty of praise for both groups.

“They swam fabulous,” he said of the girls squad.

“Almost every single one of them had a personal best time.”

Leading the way for the girls was freshman Grace Bellamy who took home the individual 100 breast stroke title. Bellamy touched out her closest competitor by .08 seconds with a personal best showing of 1:08.92.

“She had a heck of a race,” Gorham said.

“It was one of the more exciting races of the day.”

Bellamy said she was “thrilled” to win the race. She described it as a “rewarding experience” and while she knew it was going to be a close one, Bellamy didn’t expect she would need a personal best to win.

Being a freshman didn’t make things easier, either.

“Honestly, [it] was very intimidating going into the race being only 14. My teammates truly supported me, cheering me on throughout the whole race and pushing me to do my best. I think a lot of swimmers dream of winning a first place at States, for me to win as a freshman was a dream come true-sooner than I had expected,” said Bellamy, who has had plenty of good things to say about the team as a whole.

“We were all so close and supported each other in every way. I know that most of my teammates also swam best times at states, and that everyone had a great season. We did team building activities like team dinners and even doing our own version of ‘The Harlem Shake.’ I’m definitely looking forward to swimming next year.”

Junior Haley Ryan scored a sixth place finish in the 200 individual medley, setting a new personal best time by 6 seconds. Ryan also dropped 3.5 seconds off her best time in the 100 freestyle to finish fourth.

Senior Olivia August, meanwhile, set a personal best in the 100 backstroke to finish 14th while freshman Libby Ryan finished 11th in the same event.

Sophomore Emma Gurchiek finished seventh in the 100 freestyle and fifth in 200 freestyle while Bellamy added a third place finish in the 200 individual medley.

Freshman Alicia Vesey dropped her best times in both the finished 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle where she finished 10th and 11th, respectively.

Additionally, Gorham highlighted the performance of sophomore Allison Bloom who fought through an injury to drop her best times in a number of events.

On the boys’ side, freshman Jack Fortin lead the way. He finished eighth in the 50 freestyle with a time of 22.81. Gorham said hitting 23 seconds in the 50 free is a “magical” mark and the race was one of the meet’s most competitive events.

“We were thrilled when we did that,” Gorham said.

“Our guys went cuckoo when we saw the board.”

Fortin also finished third in the 100 breaststroke.

Gorham said senior Zack Herchen also clocked a benchmark time. His time of 55.78 broke the 56-second mark and was good enough for third place. Herchen also finished fourth in the 200 individual medley.

Senior Andres Solanot finished seventh in the 200 IM and sixth in the 100 butterfly.

Junior Zeke DeWitt finished 10th in the 100 butterfly and 14th in the 500 freestyle.

Gorham also pointed out the performance of senior Ben Greenspan. Why he didn’t score in any event, Gorham said the captain was a leader for the team.

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