The Nantucket boys and girls swim teams are heading into their first season with head coach Dylan Jones leading the program, and Jones said that so far he has loved the energy his swimmers have brought to the pool each day.
“They just seem so dedicated and have a willingness to work hard,” Jones said. “We can do a lot with that. That is exactly what you want. They are communicating and coming in and working hard. (On Monday) we had a really great practice. We got after it. They were all red in the face. I had a swimmer come up to me saying how it was a very hard practice, but they really liked it and again, we can really work with that.”
Jones said on the girls side, the sophomore class may be their biggest and deepest group of swimmers led by Myah Johnson, Sara Dussault, Sutton LeBrecht, and Emery Bouchard. He said senior captains Hannah Harrington and Hannah Gerardi have also been doing a good job keeping things organized while looking poised for solid seasons.
Johnson in particular showed plenty of promise last year in the state meet and will look to build off of her strong freshman year. She competed in the 50 yard freestyle at states and earned a time of 25.21, which placed her seventh out of 25 swimmers. Her previous best time prior to the state meet was 25.34.
As for the boys, they have just five swimmers which will limit Jones’ options when it comes to setting up his relays.
“Basically everyone is going to be in a heat by themselves aside for one event which will have two swimmers,” Jones said of his five male swimmers. “I have told them that and that this is what it is going to be unless there is a really compelling reason. But I don’t think it would make any sense pointwise to leave an event vacant. So they’ll be out swimming on their own, but they’ll have the support of the rest of their team.”
All season long we will be monitoring the performance of junior captain Jake Johnson, who is entering this season looking to build on a tremendous sophomore campaign. He was outstanding in the MIAA state meet last year – placing sixth out of all Div. 2 swimmers in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 22.41 while also surpassing his previous best time in the 50 free of 22.56.
Johnson also competed in the 100-yard freestyle at states and swam a 49.11, which surpassed another career best of his (49.78). Johnson placed fourth in that event out of all Div. 2 swimmers.
Johnson, as well as freshman Eli MacIver, appear to be the two most versatile swimmers Jones will have to work with. He said he could move those two all over the lineup if need be.
"They do a great job of sort of swimming with each other in practice and then also you can just see (Jake) expects himself to do well,” Jones said. “I think when you have someone that expects that from themselves it sort of trickles to the people in the pool with them.”
There will be no male divers for Nantucket this year, but the Whalers will have four female divers including Brooke Damian, Gianna Quinn, Suz Peraner, and Ieva Meidus. The team could still use additional help with diving instruction - which at this moment is being overseen entirely by Jones. If anyone who has diving experience and an interest in devouting some time to assist these four divers this season, you can contact Athletic Director Travis Lombardi at email@example.com
Nantucket’s first meet will be on Thursday, December 7 when they host Barnstable at 5 p.m. You can access their full schedule here (boys and girls schedules are the same).