Victor Lambert leads new Skippers swimming team
History was made on Monday night as the brand new North Kingstown High School boys' swim team had their inaugural meet against Portsmouth High School at the Newport Boys and Girls Club. Ironically, Portsmouth is also a new team and was swimming their first meet against North.
The Skippers easily won the meet and took first place in all but two of the eleven events. The first race was an exciting 200-yard medley relay led by islander Victor Lambert. The relay team took the win with a time of 1:53.81. The other three members of the winning relay team were Ben Evangelista, Trevor Kenyon, and Zack Loughlin, all of North Kingstown. Lambert took first place in the 500-yard freestyle after a head-tohead race with former fellow-independent swimmer Matt Solomon of Portsmouth. Midway through the race the two were going head to head, but Lambert pulled away in the last 100 yards of the race for the win with a time of 5:44.21.
Lambert had another strong race in the 100-yard backstroke, which he won by an arm's-length with a time of 1:04.76. North took first and second in the night's final event and Lambert was on the winning 400-yard freestyle relay team along with John Covell, Loughlin, and Evangelista.
The Skippers won their first meet in the school's history by a score of 63-30.
When asked why it took so long to have a boys' team, North Kingstown High School Athletic Director Keith Kenyon said, "There weren't any numbers that supported it. We always had a couple of guys, but not enough to sustain a team."
According to Kenyon, "A survey of the entire district was conducted in 2004 and they knew they had the numbers to warrant a girls' team right away but the guys really weren't there. This was the year that we could start a guys team."
Lambert and Evangelista represented the Skippers as independent swimmers last year and are happy to be officially part of the team of nine this season. Lambert, a junior, joked, "Freshman year it was just me on the guys team and the girls didn't even know I existed until the state meet. Then the next year it was Ben (Evangelista) and I and we beat teams at states by ourselves."
First year Head Coach Jillian Oarsmen was thrilled with the team's performance. "It is exciting. It was a great way to start the season, and let them know we are here." She is happy with the depth of both the girls' and boys' teams and is looking forward to the rest of the season. The teams practice together at URI and St. George's in Newport.
Lambert's performance was perfect with four first-place finishes in his four events of the night. Lambert summed up the challenge the boys will face for the remainder of the season. "Pretty much every other meet for the guys will be tough because we are Division I," he said.
The Skippers take on Westerly High School tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the St. George's School pool.