It was the first meet of the season – a loss to host Newton North – for Belmont High School's Boys' Swimming team last Friday, Dec. 7, but already two swimmers and a relay have qualified on time to attend the Massachusetts State Championship meet in February.
Freshman Andrew Kelley joins a growing list of outstanding ninth grade athletes by qualifying for the 500 yard freestyle, finishing first in just under five minutes, 12 seconds, setting a new freshman mark for the distance.
Led by Kelley, the Medley Relay team which includes Kevin Chen, Ben Johnson and Thomas Zembowicz qualified to swim in the states with a time of 1:51.97.
Johnson joins Kelley and the Medley at states by finishing the 100 butterfly in 58.09.
In addition to the swimmers, senior Joe Tocci broke the school's varisty diving record with a score of 189.53, shattering the prior record of 98.65 which has been held for more than a decade. Tocci – who defeated three Newton divers to claim first – will also be heading to the state meet.
And Belmont's 400 yard freestyle relay team of Ryan Touzjian, Johnson, Kelley and Thomas Zembowicz, made the mark to move onto the sectional finals.
"We did a great job today and it's unfortunate the final score isn't representative of that. I could not have asked for anything more from the guys. They stepped up and gave it all they had," said new Boys' Swimming Coach Bobby Reardon.
Reardon recognized a several swimmers who stepped up into unfamiliar slots due to absences and injuries including Josh Lin, Hanz Hwang and Andrew Walsh.
Lin gave a valiant effort as a part of two freestyle relay teams, the first a 200 freestyle with Jack Stewart, Yeoman Yoon and Walsh, followed by the 400 freestyle relay with Morris Yau, Tocci, and Johny Lisitu.
Hwang who is just back from an injury put up good numbers in two breaststroke events, the 200 medley relay with Alex Son, Anthony Rodriguez, and Lisitu, followed by the 100 breaststroke against Belmont's Scott Stewart and Kevin Chen.
Finally, Walsh went in back to back events the 200 free relay and 100 backstroke where he put up a good race against Belmont's Brian Smith, and Zembowicz.
Up next is Lexington who the boys will face in the home opener the Friday, Dec. 14.