Sports Roundup: Jake Johnson Shines At MIAA State Swim Meet Over The Weekend

David Creed •

This Whaler Sports Roundup includes an initial look at the Nantucket swimmers who competed in the MIAA state meets over the weekend and the girls hockey team, who ended their season on Saturday with a home loss to Brookline.

Johnson On Cusp Of History After Strong State Meet

Jake Johnson 2024 MIAA State Meet
Jake Johnson placed fourth in a pair of events at states over the weekend as he chases history in the 50 and 100 freestyle events. Photo courtesy of the Whaler swim team.

Junior swimmer Jake Johnson has been a key part of the Whaler swim program since he was in eighth grade. He has shown a knack for putting together his best swims of the year when the lights are shining the brightest.

Over the weekend at the MIAA state meets, Johnson had a pair of top five finishes in the 50 and 100 yard freestyle events (placed fourth in both events).

Johnson’s 50 free time of 21.73 was just two tenths of a second behind the winner. Johnson also excelled in the 100 free – breaking the 48 second mark with a time of 47.96 seconds. Both of Johnson’s swims are good for the third fastest in school history according to former Nantucket swim coach Jim Pignato, who has a chart of the fastest recorded swims in each event by Whaler swimmers over the years.

The record for a Nantucket swimmer in the 50 free is 21.61. It was set by Tyler Roethke, the most explosive swimmer in school history who is now a member of UMass Amherst’s Div. 1 program. Former Whaler Grant Beebe, who is also a member of UMass Amherst’s Div. 1 program, has the second fastest time by a Nantucket swimmer in the event (21.68).

As for the 100 free, Roethke also holds the record in that event by a Whaler swimmer with an incredible time of 45.80 seconds. Beebe has the second fastest swim with a time of 47.79.

It should also be noted that in both events on Sunday, Johnson placed behind three seniors – making him the logical favorite to win both events next year on his current trajectory.

The scores for the remainder of the boys and girls swimmers who participated in the state meets were not made immediately available and will be included in Wednesday’s Sports Roundup.

Girls Hockey Ends Season With Home Loss To Brookline

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Photo by David Creed

The girls hockey team ended their season on Saturday with a loss to Brookline High School 7-2. Senior captain Emerson Pekarcik and senior assistant captain Bailey Lower scored Nantucket’s two goals.

The Whalers also played on Friday against Dennis-Yarmouth on the road, losing that game as well 7-2. Sophomore forward Sadie Paterson scored her first career goal in that game and nearly scored again on Saturday with a high-quality chance in front of the net. Lower had the second Whaler goal on Friday.

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Claire Misurelli. Photo by David Creed
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Emerson Pekarcik. Photo by David Creed

The Whalers ended the season without a win but head coach Andrew McNeilly was still proud of how his team competed and the growth he saw from the group, even if it wasn’t reflected in the final scores of any games. He spoke highly of his four seniors (Claire Misurelli, Bailey Lower, Emerson Pekarcik, and Siena Monto) in particular after Saturday’s game.

"They do have a lot to be proud of. That first day they walked into the rink getting a new coach for their senior year and the first thing I noticed is nobody looked upset to be playing hockey,” McNeilly said. “Everyone looked very happy. Then standing in the hallway and watching them walk in today, it is the same look. They never let their emotions get the best of them this season and that was great to watch for them to just stay happy all year long. The season could have gone one or two ways - they could have hated each other and not been friends or anything but they're still happy to be around each other. They’re still enjoying hockey.”

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Bailey Lower. Photo by David Creed
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Bailey Lower. Photo by David Creed

"They do have a lot to be proud of hockey-wise too. That first game against the Vineyard until now, their intensity changed, their hockey knowledge changed. Everything they did just improved throughout the season. Unfortunately, the score just never reflected how we played a single game.”

The Whalers season comes to an end with an 0-16 record and the program will now look ahead to next winter.

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Photo by David Creed
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Photo by David Creed
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Photo by David Creed
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Monday, February 19th:

The boys hockey team will begin Hayes Tournament play at the Gallo Arena in Bourne - facing the North Reading Hornets at 4 p.m. They are the only team in action on Monday.

Tuesday, February 20th:

The boys hockey team, depending on whether they win or lose against North Reading, will play the winner or loser of Auburn and Sandwich at a time to be determined.

The girls basketball team will hold their senior night game and host Bristol-Plymouth Regional Technical School at 5 p.m.

To view the MIAA's latest power rankings, click here. To follow Nantucket Current Sports on Instagram, click here.

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