By TJ Millman
The Milford Bucs and Lake Forest Spartans added another page to their historic rivalry this past Tuesday. This time, however, they traded in their cleats and jerseys for swim caps and goggles. It was Senior Night for the Bucs as they looked to close out their season with a victory over their rivals of Lake Forest and the energy was electric. The Bucs got the better of the Spartans, picking up wins for both the Boys’ team as well as the Girls’ team. Milford’s Boys’ won by a final score of 95-74, and the Girls won by an even larger margin of 108-55.
The tone was set early when Milford picked up a first place for both Boys’ and Girls’ in the very first event, the 200 meter medley relay. It was a clear sign for things to come. For the Girls relay, the Lady Bucs jumped out to an early lead with junior Brea Wells setting a fast pace in the backstroke. Senior Hayden Shockley and junior Sydney Millman, swimming the breaststroke and butterfly respectively, held the lead even and set up senior Megan Wolfe to bring home the victory swimming freestyle. The Lady Bucs and Lady Spartans swapped victories throughout the meet, with Milford taking first in 6 out of the 11 events. It was Milford who picked up the supplemental points for third, fourth and fifth place finishes. Milford’s depth ultimately led to their victory, moving the Lady Bucs to 4-5 on the year. Individual victories came from sophomore Megan Vezmar in the 200 meter individual medley, senior Megan Wolfe in the 100 meter freestyle and sophomore Megan Vezmar in the 100 meter backstroke. The lady Bucs also took first in all three of the team relays, utilizing junior Brea Wells, senior Hayden Shockley, junior Sydney Millman, senior Megan Wolfe, senior Amanda Sauer, freshman Emily Dotterer and sophomore Silvara Santiago.
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Unlike the Girls, who swapped victories, the Milford Boys were reluctant to let any event fall into Lake Forest’s hands. The Milford Boys’ team took first place in 10 out of 11 events, dropping only the 100 meter backstroke by the slightest of margins. In the final event of the evening, the 400 meter freestyle relay, the Bucs solidified their win with a victory of only eleven hundredths of a second. The Bucs and Spartans were neck and neck through the first three legs of the relay, neither side giving an inch, when it came down to senior Cole Davis to bring home the win. Davis dove into the pool for his last race of the regular season, and it was obvious that he was not going out with a loss. Coming down to the final touch with the crowd on its feet, Davis left everything he had in the pool and came into the wall with authority. The victory moved the Milford Boys to a 3-6 record to finish out the season. Individual victories came from sophomore Stone Davis in the 200 meter freestyle, junior Nathaniel Hall in the 200 meter individual medley, sophomore Ben Sobota in the 50 meter freestyle, junior Nathaniel Hall in the 100 meter butterfly, sophomore Ben Sobota in the 100 meter freestyle, sophomore Ryan Mackesey in the 500 meter freestyle and sophomore Stone Davis in the 100 meter breaststroke. The Boys swept all three relays on the backs of sophomore Ryan Mackesey, sophomore Stone Davis, junior Nathaniel Hall, sophomore Ben Sobota, senior Cole Davis, freshman Chad Reichold, junior Kevin Rosetti and freshman Hazen Leighty.
Though both the Boys’ and Girls’ finished the season under .500, Coach Jenna Dodd was pleased as she looked back on the year. “We have swimmers who get those first, second and third place finishes that are important to win, but we also get excited for the swimmers who are just pushing themselves to do better each meet,” Dodd said.
Senior Megan Wolfe, a multi-sport varsity athlete, echoed this sentiment when asked about what makes swimming special to her. “Swimming is such a unique sport because you can win as a team, but you can also win as an individual by striving to better yourself,” she said.
One thing that is important to Coach Dodd is sportsmanship. She stated, “I’m always so impressed with how this team makes each other feel comfortable and builds each other up.” These values are clearly on display with the Milford Swim Team as the athletes cheer on every swimmer. Even the last swimmer to the wall is met with applause and congratulations from their teammates in a refreshing display of camaraderie.
Looking to the future, Milford Coach Amanda Terray notes that there are will be, “some big shoes to fill,” but senior Hayden Shockley is confident that this will not be a problem. Speaking of the future, Shockley said that she is optimistic. “The coaches definitely know what they are doing, and they know how to push us to be better,” Shockley said.
One thing that all of the seniors were vocal about, was showing appreciation. They wanted to thank their coaches, teammates and families for all of the time spent helping them get better. The Bucs will have one final event for this season on February 11 at the Henlopen Conference Championship. Individual swimmers Brea Wells, Megan Wolfe, Ben Sobota and Stone Davis will also compete at the State Championship Meet at the University of Delaware.
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