WILLISTON — The Vergennes Champs visited Champlain Valley Swim League rival Edge Swim Club on Tuesday and came from behind to defeat the hosts 249-223 in a nail-biter.
Edge led for nearly the entire event. After splitting the first 10 races, the medley relays, 4-4 (with two disqualifications), Edge took the lead during the first individual event, the butterfly. While the Champs had first-place finishers in Jeff Stearns (10-and-under boys) and Moriah Cushing (U-12 girls), Edge topped that with seven age-group winners, taking a 70-64 advantage into the backstroke events.
Edge widened its lead in the backstroke, as the Champs again finished first only twice to Edge’s eight. Vergennes’ victories were close ones, as Anna Rakowski (U-8 girls) beat Lillian Schroeder by 0.63 seconds and Alyse Beauchemin (U-12 girls) beat Anna Ursiny by 0.09 seconds to collect the first of her three eventual first-place finishes. The Champs nearly grabbed a third victory in the under-10 girls race, but Edge’s Sarah Bialas beat Megan Tarte by just 0.04 seconds. The score was 121-102 going into the breaststroke events.
The Champs made up some ground in the breaststroke, as four swimmers took first place: Max Konczal (U-10 boys), Beauchemin (U-12 girls), Paige Vincent (U-18 girls) and Austin Burnett (U-18 boys). The Vergennes team trailed 162-150 heading into the final individual event, the freestyle.
Vergennes narrowed the gap even further during the freestyle races, again taking four victories. Gabe Quinto won the U-10 boys race, and Konczal added three points with a second-place finish. Beauchemin (U-12 girls) won her third individual race, and Burnett (U-18 boys) won his second. Nikkilette Salley (U-14 girls) won a tight race, beating Edge’s Anna Leffler by 0.37 seconds. Allyson Stearns of Vergennes was just 0.28 seconds behind Leffler for third in a race decided by a margin of just over half a second. The team score was 202-200, with Edge holding the lead, at the end of the individual races.
Vergennes and Edge traded free relay victories for the first four races, with Edge taking the first and third races (U-8 and U-10 girls) and Vergennes taking the second and fourth (U-8 and U-10 boys). At 216-214, however, the Champs went on a tear, winning the next three races (U-12 boys and girls, and U-14 girls) to take the lead for good. The U-18 teams of Casey Jones, Paige Vincent, Eva Kamman and River Hoffman (girls), and Joshua Cook, Silas Mullin, Matteo Palmer and Burnett (boys) sealed the victory, winning the final two races to make the score 249-223 in Vergennes’ favor.
Swimmers earning points by placing in the top three were:
• U-8 girls: 2. Grace LeBeau.
• U-8 boys: 2. Tucker Stearns.
• U-10 girls: 2. Leah Croke; 3. Emily Rooney.
• U-10 boys: 1. Jeffrey Stearns, 19:75; 2. Casey Kimball.
• U-12 girls: 1. Moriah Cushing, 35:69; 2. Sophie Ripner Donovan.
• U-12 boys: 2. Maxwell Bicknell; 3. Ethan Sausville.
• U-18 girls: 2. Paige Vincent.
• U-18 boys: 2. Joshua Cook.
• U-8 girls: 1. Anna Rakowski, 22:15.
• U-8 boys: 2. Carson Hoffman.
• U-10 girls: 2. Megan Tarte.
• U-10 boys: 2. Max Konczal; 3. Robert Kenfield.
• U-12 girls: 1. Alyse Beauchemin, 36:00.
• U-12 boys: 2. Bicknell; 3. Devon Kimball.
• U-14 girls: 2. Nikkilette Salley; 3. Bailey Bissonette.
• U-14 boys: 2. Silas Mullin.
• U-18 girls: 2. Casey Jones.
• U-18 boys: 2. Matteo Palmer; 3. J. Cook.
• U-8 girls: 2. Sydney Weber; 3. Rakowski.
• U-8 boys: 2. T. Stearns.
• U-10 girls: 2. Madeline Smith.
• U-10 boys: 1. M. Konczal, 22:78; 2. J. Stearns.
• U-12 girls: 1. A. Beauchemin, 40:75; 2. Olivia Hawkins.
• U-12 boys: 3. Sam Comai.
• U-14 girls: 2. Salley; 3. Kayla Charron.
• U-14 boys: 2. S. Mullin.
• U-18 girls: 1. P. Vincent, 36:86; 3. C. Jones.
• U-18 boys: 1. Austin Burnett, 37:96; 2. M. Palmer.
• U-8 girls: 2. LeBeau; 3. Emma Huestis.
• U-8 boys: 2. T. Stearns; 3. Shea McLaren.
• U-10 girls: 2. Megan Tarte; 3. Emily Rooney.
• U-10 boys: 1. Gabe Quinto, 16:43; 2. M. Konczal.
• U-12 girls: 1. A. Beauchemin, 29:76; 2. Cushing.
• U-12 boys: 3. Bicknell.
• U-14 girls: 1. Salley, 32:41; 3. Allyson Stearns.
• U-14 boys: 2. Mullin.
• U-18 girls: 2. P. Vincent; 3. C. Jones.
• U-18 boys: 1. Austin Burnett, 26:63; 2. M. Palmer.
• U-10 boys: 1. Jackson Hamelin, M. Konczal, J. Stearns, C. Kimball, 1:24:75.
• U-12 girls: 1. A. Beauchemin, Hawkins, Cushing, Ripner-Donovan, 2:30:66.
• U-12 boys: 1. Bicknell, Comai, E. Sausville, D. Kimball, 2:52:25.
• U-18 boys: 1. Burnett, M. Palmer, J. Cook, S. Mullin, 2:30:10.
• U-8 boys: 1. McLaren, T. Stearns, Ben Huston, Ian Henderson, 2:01:73.
• U-10 boys: 1. Quinto, M. Konczal, J. Stearns, C. Kimball, 1:11:25.
• U-12 girls: 1. A. Beauchemin, Cushing, Ripner-Donovan, Hawkins, 2:12:12.
• U-12 boys: 1. Bicknell, D. Kimball, E. Sausville, Comai, 2:29:37.
• U-14 girls: 1. Salley, A. Stearns, Charron, B. Bissonette, 2:16:50.
• U-18 girls: 1. P. Vincent, C. Jones, River Hoffman, Eva Kamman, 2:27:18.
• U-18 boys: 1. Burnett, M. Palmer, J. Cook, S. Mullin, 2:05:25.