Wk 1 Meet of the Week: Wakefield Chapel @ Hamlet
It’s finally the start of NVSL competition! Week one is in the books–despite fears of bad swimming weather–and there was plenty to be excited about if you found yourself on the pool deck Saturday morning!
The week 1 matchup between the Hamlet Green Feet and the Wakefield Chapel Wahoos eluded the Ninjas this week, with our prediction being a bit off in terms of score. After being unable to win a single meet in Division 1 for the past two seasons, the Wahoos showed up hungry for a victory and got it done 238-182. Despite the score, this meet was back and forth with plenty of good races to keep parents, fans, swimmers, and Ninjas on the edge of their seat, as we anticipated one team finally gaining an advantage. Furthermore, we had a great view to enjoy some high-quality NVSL spirit, as both teams brought their energy to the sidelines throughout the meet. Hamlet can certainly put on a show, and made this a fun ride before the first race of the day–Chapel matched that energy in their own way with body paint, blue man outfits, crazy costumes and more! However, the Wahoos managed to harness that energy better and make it show up in the pool.
While we missed the mark in terms of score and who would win, the Ninja prediction was dead on in terms of details. Hamlet took advantage of their strong 10-under swimmers to take 84 of the possible 144 points total in the individual events. However, WC did their job of significantly cutting into that margin to keep things close for their older swimmers to go to work. The 13-14 age group was devastating for Chapel, as they took 50 of 72 total points, often providing important momentum shifts back to their sideline, allowing the Wahoos to sustain the blow Preseason First Team All Swim Ninja selection Katie Mack had, as she cruised to victory in free and powered through a hard-fought butterfly race. Ultimately, it was the depth picking up second and third place points for Wakefield Chapel that inched them ever closer towards the needed 210.5 winning mark. Chapel went into relays only needing 2 of 12 to go their way to seal the victory for the first time since 2015!
Hamlet was missing a few important swimmers, which hurt them in the final point tally but not before a number of their swimmers put on a show. The 9-10 boys led by Preseason First Team All Swim Ninja selection Charlie Palma and helped out by teammates Cameron Kuhn and Ryan Flickinger were nearly unstoppable–after locking down 31 of 36 possible points for the age group, the boys went out and won their relay by half a pool length. Additionally, the Green Feet got a number of great swims out of their 8-unders that left the coaching staff feeling optimistic about staying competitive the rest of the way.
Wakefield Chapel was a team on a mission in this one–they set their target and executed. However, Hamlet is a streaky team that can jump up and surprise you, given their well-rounded talent that will bring home big points regardless of who they are swimming. It will be interesting to see if the Wahoos can knock of Little Rocky Run, who has retained their place at the top of the division after winning last season, but early on it appears as though WC has been emboldened by their experience in the top grouping of the NVSL. We are excited to see what both teams do in the coming weeks!
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