2008-02-28 / News

Erin Anding leads high school swim team

By Stephanie Heelan Cotsonas

The girls' 200-yard medley relay team took home a state championship from Saturday's meet. The swimmers are, from left, Emma Jackson, Grace Palmer, Erin Anding and Liz Beisel. Photo by Caitlin Downing The girls' 200-yard medley relay team took home a state championship from Saturday's meet. The swimmers are, from left, Emma Jackson, Grace Palmer, Erin Anding and Liz Beisel. Photo by Caitlin Downing The North Kingstown High School girls' and boys' swim teams wrapped up their seasons last weekend at the state meet held at the University of Rhode Island's Tootell Pool.

The Lady Skippers surprised and upset the competition as they took third place in the meet after going into the last event in fifth place. Islander Erin Anding was part of the winning 400-yard freestyle relay along with teammates Elizabeth Beisel, Emma Jackson, and Lory Marscocci.

"We were not expecting to win that, we just wanted to go in there and have fun and we did and it worked out really well," exclaimed Anding. "I swam first and came in second by .2 (seconds) and then Emma got in the water and got the lead and then Lory got in the water and kept the lead up until the last five yards and then the girl out-touched her, then Liz (Beisel) got in the water and she just took off and beat the girl."

The boys also showed off their hard-earned medals for placing in the 200-yard medley relay team. The boys are, from left, Zach Loughlin, Ben Evangelista, John Covell and Victor Lambert. Photo by Caitlin Downing The boys also showed off their hard-earned medals for placing in the 200-yard medley relay team. The boys are, from left, Zach Loughlin, Ben Evangelista, John Covell and Victor Lambert. Photo by Caitlin Downing Beisel, who has been swimming on an international level, will be heading to the Olympic trials in June. Beisel easily won her two individual events, the 200-yard freestyle and the 100- yard backstroke, while setting state high school records as well as breaking long-standing URI pool records, one of which was set by Olympic gold medalist Jenny Thompson. "For a 15 yearold girl to come in and take that record down like it was nothing was cool to watch," said North's Head Coach Jillian Oresman.

After winning the relay which secured their third place finish in the meet, Anding said, "I have never seen our coaches jump so much, they were so happy." Oresman agreed. "It was exciting and a lot of fun to watch. We were on our toes the whole meet, especially with that 400 free relay, it just took us by surprise."

Jamestown resident and senior Kelly Wooley qualified for the meet but was unable to attend. "She has so much talent and she has improved so much from when she first started," praised Oresman. "She would have scored if she was there. She is a huge asset for this team."

Anding was also part of the winning 200-yard medley relay along with Grace Palmer, Jackson and Beisel. "We totally took everyone, especially Prout, by surprise in that first relay," said Anding.

La Salle won the meet and East Greenwich placed second. North took third place and beat Prout by a half a point.

Oresman was pleased with Anding's season. "We called her our secret weapon because she was new to the state so no one knew who she was. She is a very good swimmer and we could put her in almost anything and she would score points for us."

As a first year team, the boys' held their own at the state level and were led by islander Victor Lambert. The boys placed sixth out of 19 teams, which was a great accomplishment in their first year. Ben Evangelista took second place in the 200-yard breaststroke.

Oresman said, "The boys did really well, everyone had at least one best time. Our relays held their own for only having seven guys on the team. Victor swam well, but Divisions was a better meet for him." Anding was happy for the boys and their first season as a team. "They have been doing really well for only having six or seven guys, I am really proud of them."

Oresman is looking forward to next year, she said. "Almost everyone is coming back and Victor will be a senior next year." She added, "They are all so talented and they get so into it, it is just so exciting. Their hard work and dedication and the way they committed themselves to practicing was great."

Anding summed up the meet and season and said, "It was amazing, we were so happy. I love swimming with this team and the state meet made it all worth it." Anding and the other three relay team members will be heading to the New England Championships next weekend at Roger Williams University.

Island resident Ian Watters also had reason to celebrate on Sunday. Watters and the Bishop Hendricken Hawks took home the boy's team state championship, winning by a margin of 43 points over Barrington.

Watters was the top individual scorer for the Hawks, with a third place finish in the individual medley and a second place finish in the 500-yard freestyle. He also took second place as part of the 200-yard medley relay team.

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