Rebels Swimming and Diving Defeats Framingham 99-87


Junior Sydney Gillis dives during the Framingham meet.


Junior Sydney Gillis dives during the Framingham meet.

The Walpole Rebels Swimming and Diving Team has become a force to be reckoned with over the past year.  Having gone undefeated in the 2009 season, with only one tie to tarnish their record, the Rebels are aiming for a second undefeated season this fall to prove it was not just luck that earned them the Bay State League title last year.  To keep the title within their grasp, the Rebels needed a win against Framingham on October 12. Though the meet was close throughout, and Walpole seemed to have been losing for the majority of it, the Rebels came out with a victory.

The Rebels got off to a slow start in the meet with junior Becky Idman, junior captains Sam Pomer and Jenna Harrop, and freshman Danielle Sauve placing second in the 200 medley relay–a race they are known for dominating.  Though the medley did not result in a win for the Rebels, the relay broke the 2005 medley relay school record, held by Meaghan Bailey, Megan Mclean, Nicole Keeman and Jess Gulla, by more than 2 seconds.  After the 200 freestyle and the 200 IM, the atmosphere was not optimistic for the Rebels. Although freshmen Jessica Sauve and Delaney Harrop placed first and second in the freestyle, and Idman placed first in the IM, the Rebels were still trailing behind Framingham in points. A second place finish in the 50 freestyle by Pomer gave Walpole a chance to catch up to Framingham, but they were still trailing by two points before the diving events.

Things seemed to go downhill for the Rebels during the diving competition, for Framingham took first and second place, widening the gap between the two teams. Junior Sydney Gillis, and seniors Lauren Kemple and Jessica Olsen took third, fourth, and fifth in the diving competition, gaining the Rebels some points, but not enough to keep up with Framingham.

After diving was concluded, the Rebel swimmers knew they would need to step it up if they were going to pull ahead of Framingham enough to win the meet. The second half of the meet started off with the 100 butterfly, which gained the Rebels many points with Jenna Harrop placing second, junior Kelly McGovern placing third, and sophomore Kristen O’Leary placing fifth.  Pomer and Jessica Sauve brought the Rebels back even more with a first and third place win in the 100 freestyle, leaving them only a few points behind Framingham’s lead. The 500 freestyle brought the Rebels even closer when Danielle Sauve and Delaney Harrop placed first and second in the event.

The turning point in the meet for the Rebels was the 200 freestyle relay. Senior Captain Meaghan Smith, freshman Gina Conti, junior Christine Drogan and freshman Jessica Sauve gained an impressive win in the event, putting the Rebels ahead of Framingham for the first time during the meet. The 100 backstroke, Idman placing second, sophomore Erin Myers placing third and McGovern placing fourth, gained enough points for Walpole to put Framingham even farther behind. The Rebels established their lead in the 100 breastroke. Pomer swam her best time this season in the event to get first place, while freshman Jessica Sauve placed third. Though the Rebels had gained the lead by the end of the breaststroke, the meet came down to 400 freestyle relay.

If the Rebels could not place well enough over Framingham, the win could shift from Walpole’s grasp. Idman, Pomer and the Sauve twins made up the Rebels 400 freestyle ‘A’ Relay, and they swam an extremely close race, but finished second behind Framingham.  Though they did not win the event, a second place guarenteed the win for the Rebels.

The meet ended with the Rebels winning 99-87, making the Rebels 7-0 on the season record. “We won because everyone gave it their all,” Coach Cheryl Cavanuagh says. “Everyone was pushing each other to do their best. Each and every one of [them] contributed to this win. Without all of [them], we couldn’t have done it.”  Having defeated Framingham, the Rebels are now one step closer to achieving the Bay State Champion Title and the Herget Champion Title for the second year in a row, and putting them in the record books as the greatest swimming and diving team to compete at Walpole High School.