Rebels Swim and Dive Defeat Ursuline on Senior Night

On Tuesday Oct. 22, Rebels Swimming and Diving faced Ursuline in their last home dual meet at Westwood High School. The Rebels won 93-81. After the meet, seniors posed for photos with family members and underclassmen, and celebrated with pizza and desserts.

The meet began with diving, in which seniors Emily Duseau, Catie Martin, and Dierdre McCarthy competed alongside junior Maggie Devlin and sophomore Maggie Singer. 

McCarthy received three sevens on her reverse dive, helping diving coach Chris Brady select her as one of the four divers that will be competing during Sectionals. As McCarthy is the only member of the team that competes in swimming as well as diving, her impact on the team has been immense.

McCarthy executes one of her dives during the meet.

“I am proud to have scored sevens on my reverse during senior night and become the first person in Rebels’ history to qualify for both diving and swimming for State Championship,” McCarthy said. “I feel a great sense of accomplishment for being a supportive team member and helping younger teammates get accustomed to the team atmosphere. I’ve helped younger kids figure out how to swim the 100 fly without being totally winded by the third lap and I’ve helped new divers learn skills.”

Duseau, similarly to McCarthy, met Coach Cheryl Cavanaugh through recreational swimming, but she found herself solely passionate about diving. This year, she nearly qualified six dives for the second regional meet next weekend. 

“I’ve finished the dual meet season four points away from a Sectionals qualifying score, but I’m not upset about that. I’m happy to end my diving career without attending tournament because I am a much better diver than I was freshman year. I am so proud of going from not having a six-dive program to having dives I never thought I would be able to do,” Duseau said.

Once diving finished up, swimming began. Seniors McCarthy, Owen Bailey, Ravi Bhatia, Ayush Bharadwaj, Brigham Byerly, Matt Ferraro, Zach Lavoie, Jillian Matthews,  and Matt Samargedlis each competed in two individual events and at least one relay. 

Samargedlis made a personal record during the 100-yard freestyle  with a time of 56.08 seconds, winning first for that event. He has also improved almost all of his individual times this season.

“I have had a very positive experience on the swim team and I have created friendships that I hope to maintain for the rest of my life.” Samargedlis said. “I am upset that swimming is over because it has affected my life in a ton of positive ways.”

He is not the only swimmer improving times and creating personal records, however, as Bharadwaj has gotten a faster time in all individual events this season. He has improved the most in 100-yard  breaststroke, which is his best event, and placed third on senior night.

“With breaststroke, I qualified for Sectionals then States this year,” Bharadwaj said. “Now that it is over, I’m mostly sad because I will miss the team and especially the boys I’ve gotten close to.” 

Bharadwaj swims butterfly in the 200 medley relay.

Despite not beating any of her best times on senior night, Mathews still enjoyed her last meet at Westwood High. 

“I enjoyed seeing people cry because they cared about each other. Emotional moments like this are what define teams that share a strong and healthy bond. I will miss the good things about swim, like water polo, the sentimental smell of chlorine, a number of people, and Cheryl,” Mathews said. 

Byerly is grateful for the connections he has made with his teammates, also. He reflects positively on his time spent being a captain and competing with this team, and is grateful for the effects it had and continues to have on his life. 

The relationships I’ve made with the people on this team have developed into some of my strongest and closest friendships. Since swim is a sport that does not cut, the community that it fosters is unlike that of any other sport and I am grateful to have been apart of that community during all my years at the high school,” Byerly said. “I do not feel that it is completely over. The friendships that I’ve made on this team will carry with me even as this season comes to a close and I’ll continue to remain close with Cheryl and, of course, the boys.”

Ferraro, who is also one of this season’s captains, shares how one of his goals was accomplished and how this team has been one of the best things for him. 

“I am proud that the captains and myself were able to give back to our team and focus on multiple team bonding activities, so that every athlete would genuinely feel apart of the team,” Ferraro said. “Rebels Swim and Dive team has been nothing less than that of a family. Because swimming and diving is the only sport that is co-ed, we embody a lot of aspects and personalities into our team. I have been supported by every member on our team through rough times, hard practices, challenging school days, and so much more. There has never been an instance where I have felt that there was a click in swimming. We are all one team.”