The boys’ and girls’ swim teams from Londonderry High and Pinkerton Academy helped to keep the intense rivalry between their local schools very healthy last Saturday, Jan. 5, when they engaged in a great battle in the Southern New Hampshire University pool in Manchester.
And all four teams were able to walk out of the humid conditions in the pool area and out into the bitter cold of an early-January day wearing smiles as the Lancers and Astros all had reasons to be pleased with what they’d accomplished.
In girls’ action, the Lady Lancers became the very first opponent to outscore the previously-unbeaten 2017-18 Lady Astros by a tiny, 86-84 margin. And Londonderry also defeated its other three opponents in the meet to go a perfect 4-0 on the day.
For their part, the Lady Astros also beat their other three opponents to go 3-1 on a strong day.
In boys’ competition, the Pinkerton males remained perfect on the campaign by steamrolling all four of their opponents, including Londonderry by a 110-60 tally. And the LHS Lancer males’ lone loss was the one to Pinkerton as it went a fine 3-1 on the day.
Along with their narrow defeat of Pinkerton the Lady Lancers downed Bow (93-69), Hopkinton (126-25), and Campbell of Litchfield (133-13) in notching the sparkling, 4-0 day.
The Lady Astros were far better than Bow (91-69), Campbell (126-16), and Hopkinton (122-25) in tallying the strong 3-1 mark on the day.
The Londonderry performance was spearheaded by Kaitlin Witkop, who won two individual events and also swam on a victorious relay team.
Witkop proved unbeatable in the 100-meter butterfly (time of 1 minute, 12.42 seconds) and the 100-meter breaststroke (1:22.53), and she teamed up with Caity Mahan, Elizabeth Allen, and Jasmine Brown on a win in the 200 medley relay (2:19.19). Allen also delivered an individual victory in the 200-meter individual medley (2:53.50).
The Pinkerton girls got exceptional work from a number of sources, and that group was led by Olivia Neville who was nearly omnipresent among event winners.
Neville won the 400 free (5:09.90) and the 200 free (2:24.03) on her own and teamed up with Camelia Hannah, Maya Hedstrom, and Zoe Freedman on victories in the 200 free relay (2:05.44) and the 400 free relay (4:37.88).
The Lady Astros also snagged second places in both the 400 free relay and the 400 freestyle.
The Astro males powered their way past Londonderry, Hopkinton (127-0), Campbell (123-14), and Bow (125-16) in tallying the 4-0 day. Londonderry bested Bow (140-0), Campbell (134-14), and Bow (132-19) handily in tallying the 3-1 record on the day.
And the final event results ended up being absolutely packed with Pinkerton names like Gordon Suwirjo and Nathan Landry and Londonderry’s Brian Parrott.
Suwirjo won the 100-meter butterfly (1:04.85) and the 400 free (4:51.62), leading a top-two sweep in the butterfly and a top-three sweep in the 400.
Landry, who took second in the butterfly, won the 50 free in a time of 27.29 seconds, and Christian Nelson proved unbeatable in the 100 free (1:04.58). And all three of those young men played important roles on victorious relay teams.
Landry, Nelson, Chris Ploss, and Suwirjo teamed up for victory in the 200 free relay (2:00.53) – with another Pinkerton quartet also bagging second in that event – and Landry, Ryan Golobiewski, Nelson, and Suwirjo also proved unbeatable in the 400 free relay (4:22.52). The Astros also had another foursome snare second in that event.
Londonderry veteran Parrott showed his talent and importance to his Lancers by winning the 100-meter backstroke (1:14.33) and the 200-meter individual medley (2:38.63) and teaming up with Minsoo Kim, Luc Lafond, and Devin Janas on a win in the 200-meter medley relay (2:15.37).
The two LHS teams will have their next meet at home this Friday night, Jan. 12.