HS Roundup: Turners Falls swimmers all about improvement

Staff Writer
Published: 1/14/2022 9:13:17 PM
Modified: 1/14/2022 9:12:24 PM

TURNERS FALLS — It was always going to be a steep battle for the Turners Falls swim team against Amherst on Friday. 

The Thunder had far fewer swimmers than the Hurricanes, leading to the Amherst boys picking up a 75-10 win and the Hurricane girls winning, 74-19. 

The final score didn’t show how well the Thunder swam, however, with Turners focusing on itself and looking to improve its individual times during the meet. 

“I think we were a little intimidated because Amherst has a lot of swimmers,” the Thunder’s Lillian Poirier said. “We made sure everyone knew they were swimming against themselves and trying to beat their own times. We had a lot of personal bests tonight.”

Nik Martin was the lone Turners swimmer to come away with a first-place finish, winning the 100 free with a time of 1:02.43, a personal best. 

Going against a strong team like the Hurricanes helped push Martin to the time. 

“That is what makes me go faster,” Martin said. “I had a personal best in the 100 free. Keeping up with them made me keep on going.”

This season is the first that the Thunder team is in a co-op with Franklin Tech and Frontier, helping Turners with numbers. 

While the numbers still aren’t big enough to compete with bigger schools, the Thunder feel good about the progress they’ve made so far this season. 

“I thought today went really well for us,” Martin said. “Being such a small team, us captains are the only returning swimmers from previous years. Having Tech and Frontier merge with us is giving us numbers and that is great for us. I thought we did really well. We all tried our best.” 

Martin also took third in the 200 free (2:17.17). Desmond Wallace placed third in the 100 back (1:18.31) and second in the 50 free (29.34) while Matthew Sibley placed third in the 100 breast (1:47.96) and fourth in the 50 free (37:09).

Multiple Turners girls earned top three finishes. Poirier took third in the 100 back with a time of 1:28.13. Leah Gump placed second in the 200 free (2:35.20) and third in the 100 fly (1:27.27), Sophia McComb finished second in the 200 IM (2:52.30) and 100 backstroke (1:16.09), Ella Guidaboni took third in the 100 free (1:24.31) and 50 free (35.78) and Bri Kempf took third in the 500 free (8:36.84) and 100 breast (1:58.81). 

The relay team of Poirier, McComb, Gump and Guidaboni took third in the 200 medley while the same group took second in the 200 free relay. 

Like Martin, going against a fast Amherst squad pushed the girls to strong times. 

“You’re trying to keep up and trying to win your race,” Poirier said. “It’s nice to have someone you’re racing against in the lane next to you.”

After a season in which the meets were virtual, the Thunder are pleased to be back in the pool with other teams there with them. 

Friday’s meet was also the first in nearly a moth for Turners, which made getting a meet in that much better. 

“Last year when COVID came down and we had virtual meets, that took a toll on us,” Martin said. “Coming back to competitive swimming, it’s a different atmosphere. We have some swimmers who are close to school records. We’ll keep pushing them to hit those.”

Girls basketball

Athol 51, Pathfinder 31 — The Bears put up 17 points in the first quarter and the strong offensive performance lasted through four quarters as Athol cruised to a win over the Pioneers on Friday in Three Rivers. 

Emma Bacigalupo put up 23 points for Athol (2-4), with Lizzy Mailloux adding 12 points and Reily Polana scoring 10 points. Sammy Mailoux, Lindsey LeBlanc and Jenna Bonenfant each had a basket in the win. 

Boys basketball

Mt. Greylock 54, Turners 22 — The Thunder fell behind early and were unable to recover, falling to the Mounties in Hampshire League North action in Williamstown on Friday. 

Levin Prondecki had 18 of Turners’ 22 points in the loss. Blake Pollard and Kiri Corbin each added two points for the Thunder (0-6, 0-3). 

Middle school basketball

Sungmin Ahn knocked down a 3 with one minute left that lifted the Frontier middle school boys basketball team to a 29-26 win over Four Rivers on Friday. 

Ahn had 10 points in the win while Diego Frazier and Daniel Widmer each had four points for Frontier. 

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