Sacred Heart freshman Alexandra Bastone outdid herself at Sunday’s NEPSAC Division I Swimming Championships.
Bastone broke her own record in winning the NEPSAC Division I title in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:55.81. Her All-American consideration time was also a personal-best showing and school-record time. She edged Suffield Academy junior Erin Jachym (4:55.93) for top honors in the event, which took place at Hotchkiss School.
“When she got up for the 500 free, our whole team was on the side of the pool yelling as she battled for the win,” Sacred Heart coach Keegan Reed said. “She fought with every stroke she took, as the competition was neck-and-neck for the entire race. After 19 laps and one to go, Bastone went all in, as she left any energy she had left, in the pool to take the win with only 1.2 seconds to spare.”
Bastone also placed fourth in the 200-yard freestyle for the Tigers, registering a time of 1:52.82 in the race, which was won by Greenwich Academy’s Claire Michalik (1:52.10).
“Bastone is an outstanding swimmer,” Reed said. “At New Englands, she raced hard at the preliminaries securing high seeds, going into the finals on Sunday.”
In the 200-yard freestyle relay finals, Bastone anchored the event for the Tigers, who placed seventh in 1:42.89. The 200 freestyle relay squad also included Jane Cary, Grace Lillis, and Emma Robredo.
“With her time in the relay, Bastone could have tied for third place in the 100 freestyle at New Englands if she would have swam that as in individual event,” Reed said. “She is a well-rounded swimmer that tries hard in any race she is put in and she is a fierce competitor when it comes to race time. Even as a younger athlete on our team, she is a motivator for all of the swimmers. They support her and she helps inspire them to push themselves in their swims.”
Sacred Heart’s 400-yard freestyle relay team of Bastone, Elisa Taylor, Cary and Robredo placed ninth overall at the New England finals (3:45.65).
Rory Keller, an eighth-grader, won the B final and was ninth overall in the 500 freestyle (5:14.89) for the Tigers. She also posted a top-15 finish in the 100 backstroke (1:01.90). Keller, Taylor, junior Karina Adams and Lillis combined for a ninth-place finish in the 200 medley relay at the New England finals (1:57.60). Cary (200 freestyle, 100 freestyle), Robredo (100 freestyle) and Taylor (100 breaststroke) each finished among the top-20 in their respective events at the regional meet. The Tigers placed 10th overall in the team standings, which saw Greenwich Academy earn the team title.
“I am proud of how our season went,” Reed said. “Some of the meets during the season were hard and tiring for the swimmers. We had our ups-and-downs, but when it came down to the meets that mattered most, the girls dropped time across the board. It’s nice to win meets throughout the season, but it feels even better to see the team swim fast at championship meets, as the reap the benefits of the work they have put in during the season.”