Bayside YMCA swimmers place at New Englands


Bayside girls and boys combined to finish in 20th place overall out of 75 teams across the region in the New England Championships at MIT recently. This was five places better than the team’s combined finish last year and 15 places better than the year before.

The swimmers who participated at the New England YMCA Swimming Championships were Kristen Baker, Nellie Peecher, Lily Swintak, Abby Butlin, Ben McDermott, Onson Tieu, Alexander Muller, Hunter Hughes, Zoe Webster, Rachel Baker, Emma DiGiacomo, Natasha Epps, Megan McDermott, Zachary O’Connor, Luke Gorham, Elijah Muller, Keeon Tieu, Georgie Alexandre, Melanie Baker, Ainsley Rose, Olivia Tine, Julia Zulker, Ellie Wind, Stella Alexandre, Eva Dupre, Mackenzie Connors, Ethan O’Connor, Collin Prebenda, Jackson Bennett, Will Arnone, Jeffery Tran, Hayden Ivatts, Harrison Martin, Evan Pomfret, Joé DeRiso, Tayla Slater, Monica Lethbridge, Emily Baker, Kevin Lethbridge, Michael Martin, Bryan Tran, and Bobby Jackson.

A total of 42 swimmers competed at the meet either as individual qualifiers or on a relay. There were many swimmers who placed in the top 16 and scored points either individually or on a relay.

A few swimmers finished in the top eight to receive a medal and stand on the awards podium: Kristen Baker dropped 0.1 seconds in 25 fly (16.73) and placed third for 8 & under girls. For the 9 & 10 girls age group, Rachel Baker dropped almost 1 second in 50 free (30.37) to place sixth. Natasha Epps dropped 1.4 seconds to place third in her 50 breaststroke (39.65). Also the girls 200 Free Relay (2:08.96) consisting of Zoe Webster, Rachel Baker, Meghan McDermott, and Emma DiGiacomo placed sixth overall.

As a team, the 9 & 10 girls finished in seventh place out of all 75 teams there. For the 9 & 10 Boys, Luke Gorham was the leading scorer dropping 0.3 seconds in his 50 Free (29.56) and finishing in fourth place overall. The 11 & 12 age group had some strong swims as well.

Ethan O’Connor dropped 0.67 seconds in his 50 Fly (26.41) to place second, he dropped 0.41 seconds in 50 Back (27.69) to place first, and he dropped 1.2 seconds in 100 Back (59.37) to place first. Ethan came within 0.37 seconds of breaking the New England record for 50 Back and within 0.52 seconds of breaking the New England record for 100 Back.

Ethan combined with Collin Prebenda, Jackson Bennett and Will Arnone to finish eighth in the 200 Medley Relay (2:06.74) and seventh in the 200 Free Relay (1:52.97). As a group, the 11 & 12 Boys age group finished in eighth place overall of the 75 teams competing.

The 13 & 14 age group was led by Jeffrey Tran who placed fourth overall in the 50 Free (23.67) dropping 0.36 seconds.


The Bayside YMCA Stingrays swim team competed in the Southeastern New England Cluster of YMCAs (SENECY) Championship meet at Massasoit Community College recentlty and performed extremely well.

This was one of the most exciting and one of the most competitive team finishes in years. Bayside moved back and forth between first and fourth place overall (among all 16 teams) throughout the entire weekend.

In the final session of the weekend, Bayside’s oldest swimmers (15 and over) moved into third place over Westerly going into the final 400 free relay. Bayside had a 30-point lead on Westerly at that point, but just could not match their depth. Westerly had three relay teams (2 women, 1 men) in the final 400 free relay.

Bayside was able to put relays together for the 200 medley relay and 200 free relay but did not have the depth to also include a team for the 400 free relay.

In the end, Westerly took third place over Bayside by just 16 points!

However, Bayside’s fourth place overall finish meant that the team won the “B” Division, beating Cranston, and also beat two other teams that were in a Division higher — Cape Cod and New Bedford.

Bayside also won the Spirit Award for best theme thanks to all the swimmers, parents, and coaches dressing in green for St. Patrick’s Day.

The awards did not stop there. The 9 & 10 boys took first place overall, the 9 & 10 girls took second overall, the 11 & 12 girls took second overall, and the 11 & 12 boys took third overall. Bayside now moves up into the A division for next year.

There were many great swims and many first place finishes for Bayside swimmers at this meet. Some highlights include Ethan O’Connor who broke a SENECY record in the 50 Back. His time of 28.10 broke the previous record of 30.49 set in 2004.

There were more New England qualifiers at this meet bringing the new total number of individual qualifiers to 21, the most the team has ever had.

Special congratulations to Georgie Alexandre who dropped 1.76 to qualify in the 50 fly, Jackson Bennett who dropped 1.89 to qualify in the 50 back, Ben McDermott who dropped 6.62 to qualify in the 100 IM, and Julia Zulker who dropped .62 to qualify in the 50 free.


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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.