O'Leary a double winner for LHS in BL swim meet
Litchfield swimmer Danny O'Leary gets a hug from his coach, Travis Morse, after winning the 500-yard freestyle in the Berkshire League swim championships at the Hotchkiss School on Sunday. Below, Litchfield's record-setting 400-yard freestyle relay team of, from left, Lucy Kraut, Claire Vailionis, Sarah McCarthy and Kenyon Prenoveau. John McKenna photos
By John McKenna
Two victories by Danny O’Leary and three outstanding relay performances were the keys to Litchfield’s runner-up finish in the Berkshire League swim championships at the Hotchkiss School on Sunday.
The hard-working swimmers of Travis Morse totaled 635 points in finishing behind the 672 points of Northwestern, which won its seventh straight BL title. Wamogo was fourth with 277 points.
“Everyone showed up and had great swims in the meet we had been pointing to all season,” Morse said. “I couldn’t be more pleased.”
O’Leary’s thrilling win in the 500-yard freestyle left Litchfield and Northwestern in a tie late in the competition, but the Highlanders superior depth allowed them to pull away.
O’Leary was matched stroke for stroke in the 500 by Northwestern’s Ashton Morrell, but just out-touched Morrell to capture the win in a time of 5:02.07. Upon climbing out of the pool, O’Leary was met with a bear hug from Morse.
“What a tremendous swim by Danny,” Morse said. “He’s the hardest-working kid on the team and he deserved it.”
O’Leary won the 200 freestyle and also swam a leg on the winning 200 medley relay team that included Jon Dieck, Kenyon Prenoveau and Carson Mello.
Two other Litchfield relay teams had big days too, with the 400 free relay team of Sarah McCarthy, Claire Vailionis, Lucy Kraut and Kenyon Prenoveau setting a BL girls record and a school record with a time of 3:40.83 and the 200 free relay team of McCarthy, Vailionis, Kraut and Ellen McCarthy setting a BL girls’ record of 1:42.97.
Sarah McCarthy, a senior, now holds seven school records and two BL individual records, and is part of two BL-record relay teams. She and her teammates will move on to the Class S championship meet.
Prenoveau in the 100-yard butterfly and Sage Sobek in the 500 freestyle added third-place finishes for Litchfield.
For Wamogo, Alex Sideris was third in the 100 breaststroke. Coach Bill Houle, whose team boasts a roster of 31 swimmers, praised his charges for a solid effort and, citing the high number of freshmen and sophomores who have been key contributors this season, said the future is bright for the Warriors.
Litchfield's record-setting 200 freestyle relay team of, from left, Lucy Kraut, Claire Vailionis, Sarah McCarthy and Ellen McCarthy.
Danny O'Leary cuts through the water in the 500 freestyle.
Danny O'Leary celebrates his win in the 500 freestyle.
Wamogo's Alex Sideris was third in breaststroke.
Sarah McCarthy swims the 100 freestyle for Litchfield.
Wamogo's Joe Sylvester in the 500 freestyle.
Litchfield's Will Rodriguez checks his time on the scoreboard after finishing the 100 backstroke.
Wamogo's Brooke Stanley in the 100 breaststroke.
Ellen McCarthy swims the 500 freestyle for Litchfield.
Garrett Deacon of Wamogo in the 100 backstroke.
Litchfield's Claire Vailionis in the 500 freestyle.
Wamogo's Brendan Smith does the 100 breaststroke.
Litchfield's Ethan Dyer competes in the 100 freestyle.
Sydney Donohue of Litchfield in the 100 breaststroke.
Litchfield coach Travis Morse encourages one of his swimmers.
Brendan Wilson, above, and Jon Dieck, below, race the 100 breaststroke for Litchfield.