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Despite losses, Guertin swimmers hope to keep streak going

Photo courtesy of Bishop Guertin/Br. Ralph Lebel Connor Donoghue is one of the key returnees for Bishop Guertin in its pursuit of a Division I threepeat.

When it comes to high school swimming, is there really strength in numbers?

Bishop Guertin enters the season looking to defend consecutive Division I boys titles, but will do so with a small roster after graduation some talent.

“We lost a number of impact swimmers last year,” Cards coach Christine Rousseau said, “and replaced only a few of them. We’ll take a few hits during the regular season.”

But, Rousseau said, the Cards should have a strong showing in the Divsion I state meet in two months “with the small talented group we have.”

Keep an eye on Nashua North, which finished fifth in last year’s Division I meet and hopes to go even further this year.

“We’re looking to build on our best season in six years,” Titans coach Johan Massey said. “It will take a total team effort to reach our goals.”

Locally in Division II, it’s likely more about individual success, as Hanover has dominated both the boys and the girls in recent years. Milford will be bolstered by the return of defending 200 free champion Andrew Bartolomucci, a junior.

In the girls, Bishop Guertin has a nucleus of returnees from a team that finished third last year in a meet dominated by Exeter and Bedford. But keep an eye too on Nashua South, which finshed sixth in the girls meet last year and usually has a lot of depth. “We have a young team with a lot of potential,” Panthers coach Jenelle Dolan said.

Souhegan hopes to improve on last year’s ninth place finish in both boys and girls. Hollis Brookline finished 10th in the girls state meet last year and with several returnees could improve on that.

In Division I, Merrimack hopes to improve on last year’s eighth place finish in the boys and 11th in the girls. However, repeated attempts to get more specifics from the Tomahawks were not successful.

The season begins today with Nashua South and Alvirne competing, but most teams don’t start until next week, if not later. Here’s a capsule look:

GIRLS

ALVIRNE

COACH: Brendan McLaughlin (second season).

LAST SEASON: Eighth in state meet.

RETURNING SWIMMERS: Bianca Freitas, so.; Zaria O’Leary, jr.; Katerina Szwec, sr.; Brittney Whiting, sr.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Alexis Marble, fr; Marissa fr.; Natalie Szwec, fr; Malia Downey, fr.; Kendall Nagle, fr.; Samantha Poole, sr.

COACH’S COMMENTS: “This group is extremely young but willing to learn,” McLaughlin said. “This will be a great rebuilding season for the Broncos.”

BISHOP GUERTIN

COACH: Christine Rousseau (fourth year)

LAST SEASON: Third in State Meet.

RETURNING SWIMMERS: Michaela DosSantos, sr.; Grace Wang, sr.; Oliva Shusta, jr.; Mia Januario, so.; Moira Thompson, so.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Meghna Sridhar, fr.

COACH’S COMMENTS: “We have a solid group of returning swimmers that will lead and guide the large number of new swimmers,” Rousseau said. “Looking forward to seeing them blend together as a team.”

NASHUA NORTH

COACH: Stephanie Desmond (sixth year).

LAST SEASON: 15th in State Meet.

Kat Juris, sr.; Katie Roscoe, sr.; Jaidan Ackerman, jr.; Isabella Davidson, so.; Ana Haight, so.; Aurora Holland, so.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Rhea Mallya, fr.

COACH’S COMMENTS: “We believe hard work now yields fast results later,” Desmond said. “Our swimmers are successful both in and out of the water. We’re looking forward to a fast season.”

NASHUA SOUTH

COACH: Jenelle Dolan (fifth year); Ed Bryan (first year)

LAST YEAR: Sixth in state meet

RETURNING SWIMMERS: Hailee Swabowicz, jr.; Hailey Dion, sr.;Caroline Shea, jr.; Sue Mai White (diver), so.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Carolyn Byrne, Katrina Norton and Aania Garg.

COACH’S COMMENTS: We, as coaches are very excited for the 2019-2020 season. We have a young team with a ton of potential.”

DIVISION II

HOLLIS BROOKLINE

COACHES: Bob Ouellette (20th year), Elissa McCormick (seventh year).

LAST SEASON: 10th at State Meet

RETURNING SWIMMERS: Mary Martin, sr.;Victoria Rezzarday, sr.; Tasha White, sr.; Paisley Broadhurst, sr.; Elise Dinbergs, sr.; Sienna Moskun, sr.; Lily Jackson, sr.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Ella Cunanan, fr.; Marlin Hubbard, fr.

COACHES COMMENTS: “We are pleased with the number of returning swimmers and, combined with our newcomers we expect to be more competitive this year,” Ouellette said.

MILFORD

COACH: Nancy McManus (ninth year).

LAST SEASON: 15th in state meet.

RETURNING SWIMMERS: Elaine Danas, sr.; Calista Chappell, sr.; Lillian Chappell, so.; Juliann DeGraffenried, so.; Kat Raiano, sr.; Erica Faucher, jr.; Sabrina Smith, jr.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Kyra Whitehead.

COACH’S COMMENTS: “As it normally is, our team is a balance between new swimmers, seasonal swimmers and year-round swimmers,” McManus said. “With a smaller team, we look at improvement from the beginning of the season until the end.”

SOUHEGAN

COACH: Dan Thibodeau (second year and Nicole Gagnon(first year)

LAST YEAR: Ninth in State Meet.

RETURNING SWIMMERS: Amanda Jordan, sr.; Alexa Leary, sr.; Jaye Griffin, sr.; Bella Walton, so. Joely Brammer-Depuy, so.; Kelly Mahoney, jr.; and Emma Geary, jr.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Hunter Daily, fr.; Felicity Howard, fr.; and Brielle Berube, fr.

COACH’S COMMENTS: We have more depth this year which will allow us to be more competitive.

WILTON-LYNDEBOROUGH

COACH: Nancy McManus (via Milford)

LAST SEASON: 12th in state meet.

RETURNING SWIMMERS: Ava Rondeau, Elisabeth Jacob, Maddy Smith.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Madeline Straw.

BOYS

ALVIRNE

COACH: Brendan McLaughlin (second year).

LAST SEASON: Ninth in state meet.

RETURNING SWIMMERS: Wade Dalton, so.; Akash Gundagathi, so.; Parker Hilton, so.; Evan Beals, jr.; Murray Reynolds, jr.; Anthony Beaulieu, sr.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: N/A

COACH’S COMMENTS: “We have a very small but talented group,” McLaughlin said. “With finishing in top five in two of three relays at states last year, they’re hungry to improve on that. These boys are very motivated and driven to be successful.”

BISHOP GUERTIN

COACH: Christine Rousseau (fourth year).

LAST SEASON: Won Division I title.

RETURNING SWIMMERS: Connor Donoghue, sr.; Matthew Crane, jr.; Ivan Dodor, jr.; Jack Januario, jr.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Eamon Griffin, fr.

COACH’S COMMENTS: “We’ll take a few hits during the regular season,” Rousseau said, “but should do well at states with the small talented group we have.”

NASHUA NORTH

COACH: Jothan Massey (sixth year).

LAST SEASON: Fifth in state meet.

RETURNING SWIMMERS: Mario Rodriguez, sr.; Cameron Lee, sr.; Sayan Ghose, jr.; Joseph Pappas, jr.; Nicholas Roscoe, sr.; Anthony Milani, sr.; Benjamin Klein, so.; Matthew Klein, so.; Nasa Ho, so.; Ethan Paquin, so.; Adam Es-Sabir, so.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Rittivuth Chea, fr.; Owen White, fr.; Simon Costa, so.

COACH’S COMMENTS: “I’ll be looking to our strong senior class and promising young talent to keep improving as a team,” Massey said.

NASHUA SOUTH

COACHES: Jenelle Dolan (fifth year); Ed Bryan (first year)

LAST SEASON: 11th at state meet

RETURNING SWIMMERS: Jason Lam, jr.; Caden Hedquist, sr.

SPROMISING NEWCOMERS: Sarthka Mandavia.

COACH’S COMMENTS: “We as coaches are very excited for the season,” Dolan and Bryan said. “We have a young team with a ton of potential.”

DIVISION II

MILFORD

COACH: Nancy McManus (ninth year)

LAST SEASON: 11th in state meet.

RETURNING SWIMMERS: Cam Mitchell, sr.; Josh Anderson,jr.; Andrew Bartolomucci, jr.; Brady Mitchell, so.; Griffin Carpenter, sr.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Jonathan Faucher, Roley Hansen, Gene Lamaire.

COACH’S COMMENTS: “We work really hard,” McManus said, “and it’s fun to see the results at the end of the season.”

SOUHEGAN

COACH: Dan Thibodeau (second year) and Nicole Gagnon (first year)

LAST SEASON: Ninth in state meet

RETURNING SWIMMERS: Ethan Lim, jr.; Miles Lim, so.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: N/A/

COACH’S COMMENTS: “We have more depth this year,” Thibodeau said, “which will allow us to be more competitive.”