It's been a very special year for Ev Crosscup, Belmont High School's long-time Girls' Swimming head coach. His 2012 Marauder team defeated dominate Reading High School for the first time in 11 years and captured a part of the Middlesex League championship.
And Sunday, Nov. 19, the team put an explanation point to this already great season by placing third in the Division 2 State Championship.
Belmont finished with 232 points, trailing only team winners Bishop Feehan (336.5) and Middlesex League rivals Reading (313).
And it was the youngsters who led the team into the top three.
Freshman Jessica Blake-West capped a successful first high school season staying within arms length of junior MacKenzie Niness of Norte Dame Academy of Worcester at the first 50 of the 100 butterfly before fading to finish second in 59.14.
Fellow 9th grader Cynthia Kelsey jumped from seventh in the semifinals to finish fifth in the one-meter diving event with 359.80 points, less than a point from fourth.
Belmont's 200 free relay took three seconds from their best time to finish third in 1:43.27 as Blake-West, junior Ana Pulak and sophomore Eunice Lee provided captain, anchor and senior Emily Butte a great send off of her high school career.
And the Marauders 400 free relay lowered their seasonal best by five and a half second to finish fifth in 3:50.85 with junior Haruka Uchida, Pulak, Lee and Blake-West.
Sophomore Maya Nagashima knocked off a second from best time in 2012 to come home in third in the 100 backstroke in 1:02.41.
Uchida took off five seconds off her best time this season in the 500 free to touch the wall in fourth in 5 minute, 27.91. She also took eighth in the 200 free in 2:04.94.
The Marauders got off to a fast start finishing fourth in the 200 Medley relay (junior Angela Li, junior Taylor Coutinho, Blake-West and Pulak) in 1:54.87 with Blake-West swimming the second fastest 50 butterfly leg in the meet in 26.94.
Belmont's trio of breast stroke specialists freshman Emily Quinn (1:11.95) and Coutinho (1:12.74) taking off around a second each to finish seventh and eighth as sophomore Sara Osborn took 13th in 1:15.16.
Also swimming events was Li in the 100 backstroke (1:06.44), Lee (1:04.37) in the 100 butterfly, Pulak (25.99) and Butte (26.47) in the 50 free, and Coutinho (2:23.59) and Lee (2:25.06) in the 200 free.