action:article | category:SPORTS21 | adString:SPORTS21 | zoneID:40

Home » Sports » High School Sports

February 09. 2013 10:15PM

Cardinals are in the swim


Matt Puksta, a senior, is shown during the Bishop Guertin High School swim team's workout at the Boys and Girls Club in Nashua on Thursday. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)


Today's Competition

What: NHIAA Swimming & Diving Championships

Where: UNH Fieldhouse, Durham
Division II boys & girls: 10:30 a.m.
Division I boys & girls: 4 p.m.

Diving: To run concurrent with division meets.

Meet of Champions: Canceled

If things unfold at today's NHIAA Swimming and Diving Championships the way Bishop Guertin of Nashua coach Brendan McLaughlin hopes they do, the BG boys will win their fifth consecutive Division I state championship. The BG girls will be celebrating a state title as well.

The BG boys and girls are among the favorites at this year's Division I meet, which is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. at the University of New Hampshire's Swasey Pool. The Division II meet will kick things off at 10:30 a.m., and the diving championships will be held concurrently with the divisional meets.

"It could definitely happen," McLaughlin said. "They know what it will take to win on both sides. It's just a matter of who swims the best. Coaching can only take you so far, then they have to do it themselves."

The state meets, originally scheduled for Friday (diving) and Saturday (Division I and Division II swimming), were postponed to today because of the winter storm. The Meet of Champions, which was scheduled for today, was canceled.

The Exeter boys may provide BG will its stiffest challenge. The Blue Hawks won a dual meet against the Cardinals by six points last month.

Senior Sam Root, senior Matthew Pucksta and junior Brett Seeley-Hacker are some of BG's top swimmers. Seeley-Hacker won the 100-meter freestyle and 200 freestyle at last year's Division I meet. Pucksta was the 2012 state champion in the 100-yard breaststroke.

In addition, BG's David Pfeifer has won the diving championship in each of the last two years.

Sophomore Zach Bishop (200 freestyle, 500 freestyle), junior James Mundy (50 freestyle, 100 freestyle) and sophomore Kellen Gray (100 backstroke, 100 freestyle) are some of Exeter's top swimmers.

"Honestly, I think Exeter is the favorite," McLaughlin said. "They're very talented and they're very deep, as are we. It's definitely going to be a dogfight. The girls side is more open."

The Dover girls won last year's Division I title. Julia DeGregorio (100 butterfly, 200 individual medley), Tessa Chapman (200 individual medley, 100 butterfly) and Sarah Wydra (100 freestyle, 100 backstroke) are among the reasons Dover is one of the favorites again this year.

BG, Pinkerton Academy of Derry and Exeter figure to challenge Dover for this year's championship. BG returned all but one swimmer from a team that finished third in last year's Division I meet.

"In my eyes it's going to come down to the last relay," McLaughlin said. "I wouldn't count out Exeter or Pinkerton."

Other individuals to keep an eye on are Nashua North's Nathan Garner, who won the 200 individual medley and 100 butterfly at last year's Division I meet; and Alvirne of Hudson's Rebecca Dionne, who has accepted a scholarship to swim at Savannah (Ga.) College.

"There are a lot of good female swimmers, but Becca does stand out," said Alvirne coach Sean McLaughlin, Brendan's brother. "She'll compete in the 50 freestyle and the 100 freestyle (today), but she's also a backstroker. She should do very well."

The Oyster River boys and St. Thomas girls prevailed in last year's Division II meet.

Oyster River freshman Matt Jones and Souhegan of Amherst sophomore Tyler Howard are among the top swimmers in Division II. Howard holds the school record in the 500 freestyle (4 minutes, 59.54 seconds).

Gilford freshman Rebecca Cook and Plymouth junior Kersten Dirrane will be two of the top girls competing in the Division II meet. Cook broke the meet record in the 200 freestyle (1:57.71) at the Bobcat Invitational - held at UNH - earlier this year, and Dirrane broke the state record in the 100-yard breaststroke in last year's Division II meet.

Athletes can compete in a maximum of two individual events and two relays, or one individual event and three relays in the state meet. The top 12 finishers in each event will earn points toward the team championship. The relays are worth twice as many points as individual events.


 NH Sports Angle more
Links to news and happenings around the world of sports with a Granite State connection, updated daily.

Sudanese runner with NH ties hoping to crowdfund way to 2016 Olympics

Former Wildcat van Riemsdyk undergoes successful surgery

Monadnock Speedway driver captures first Granite State NASCAR title

CASEY DeSMITH

Star goaltender DeSmith no longer on NH roster after assault charge

UNH squad practices without helmets, shoulder pads to reduce risk of head trauma

24 Hours Of LeMons: This Time We Went Fast, Briefly

NHRA president Tom Compton candid on series and its challenges

World's tallest pro basketball player is from Strafford, NH

NH-based hockey helmet maker Bauer to drop concussion protection claims

NH native's statistics help Padres win

UNH receives NFL funding for brain injury research

Olympic skier Krass helps Hanover High clinch soccer championship

'100: Head/Heart/Feet' film follows NH man in grueling world of ultra-running

Athletic director says no one injured in disturbance after Keene High football game

Fishers Cats extend agreement with Toronto Blue Jays through 2018

24 Hours of LeMons New England: The winners!

Kings use emergency-roster exemption before facing Penguins

NH man beat out 75,000 competitors to win $1M in fantasy football contest

Video: Exact moment NH man wins a million dollars on DraftKings

That 70s Line continues to work magic as L.A. Kings win sixth straight

N.H. Motor Speedway to become home of North East Motor Sports Museum

Keene pumpkin riot probe turns to technology inspired by Boston Marathon bombing

Riverside Speedway in Groveton on auction block Nov. 1

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

    SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

    ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!