Freshmen provided to be the power source behind Belmont High School's impressive showing yesterday, Saturday, Nov. 10, at the North Girls' Swimming and Diving championships held at MIT.
The three-way co-champions of the Middlesex League, Belmont finished 7th with 151 points, one shy of Haverhill and within shouting distance of Lexington's 167. Last year, Belmont finished in 9th with 99 points.
Andover High School, which has a 2012 US Olympic Trials participate on the team, won going away with 466 points.
Next up for Belmont swimmers and divers will be the Division II championships later in November.
Topping the list of top freshmen performers Saturday was Jessica Blake-West who took nearly a second off her best time this year in the 100-yard butterfly touching the wall in 58.73, finishing third (and earning 16 points) behind Acton-Bourough's Lucy Chai (56.91) and Notre Dame's Mackenzie Niness who swam nearly two-and-a-half seconds faster then her seasonal best to out-touch Blake-West.
Blake-West warmed up for her speciality by winning four points by cutting four seconds off her 200-yard freestyle time (2:04.34) finishing 13th.
Over at the diving venue, Belmont frosh Cynthia Kelsey came away with fifth place and 14 points with a total of 350.40 points in the one-meter springboard.
The Marauder's most "profitable" event was the 100 yard breaststroke as freshman Emily Quinn (1:13.51), junior Taylor Coutinho (1:13.97) and sophomore Sarah Osborn (1:14.29) finished seventh, eighth and ninth earning 27 points with Osborn lopping off nearly three seconds off her season's best.
Junior Anastasia Pulak came in 12th in the 50-yard free in 26.19, dropping her time by half-a-second, and 18th in the 100.
Sophomore Maya Nagashima came home in 12th (1:04.49) in the 100 yard backstroke and junior Haruka Uchida also took 12th in the 500 yard free in 5:32.21.
Belmont's relays also took points Saturday with the 200 yard Medley relay coming in 6th and 7th in the 400 yard and 200 yard freestyle.