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Senior Kayla Mendonca claimed first place in the 100 backstroke to lead the Hand girls’ swimming and diving team to a second-place finish at the Class M State Championship. Mendonca also swam on the Tigers’ victorious 400 freestyle relay at the meet. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Source | Buy This Photo)
Sophomore Abby Chemacki paced herself to a first-place performance in the 500 freestyle to help the Tigers take second place at states last week. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Source | Buy This Photo)
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The Hand girls’ swimming and diving team won three events on its way to taking second place at the Class M State Championship at Southern Connecticut State University on Nov. 20. Senior Kayla Mendonca finished first in the 100 backstroke, sophomore Abbi Chemacki won the 500 freestyle, and the 400 freestyle relay took first place for the Tigers, who scored 599.5 points to earn runner-up honors at the state meet.
Mendonca swam a time of 56.83 seconds on her way to winning the 100 backstroke at states. Senior teammate Erin Reilly finished second in the event with a 59.84. Mendonca had recently won the backstroke for the fourth-consecutive year at the SCC Championship. She also placed second in the 100 butterfly at states by swimming a time of 57.98, only finishing behind Jordan Macdonald of Foran (57.53).
Chemacki recorded a time of 5:10.63 to claim top honors in the 500 freestyle for the Tigers in the Class M meet. Chemacki was nearly four seconds better than Mercy’s Elisia Pagliuca, who finished second at 5:14.16. Chemacki also placed fifth in the 200 individual medley behind a time of 2:16.69.
In the 400 freestyle relay, Hand’s team of senior Ruby Redlich, Reilly, junior Ava Keane, and Mendonca timed in with a mark of 3:37.40 to finish well ahead of the unit from Windsor Locks-Ellington-East Granby (3:43.15). Mendonca, Chemacki, and the 400 freestyle relay earned All-State honors for Hand by virtue of their performances at the meet.
Also at states, the Tigers’ 200 medley relay of Mendonca, junior Ava Dougherty, Reilly, and Keane posted a time of 1:52 to come in third place. The 200 freestyle relay of Redlich, freshman Julia Urbowicz, sophomore Kacie Wines, and junior Emma Ruffo finished fifth with a time of 1:45.42.
Redlich also took fourth place in a pair of individual events for Hand. The senior finished fourth in the 200 freestyle at 2:00.17 and was fourth for the 100 freestyle with a time of 54.81. Keane finished fifth in the 100 freestyle (54.91) and took sixth place in the 50 freestyle (25.31).
Ruffo placed fourth in the 500 freestyle (5:19.80) and finished 10th in the 200 IM (2:19.76). Reilly claimed sixth place in the 100 freestyle by clocking in at 55.07.
Dougherty took ninth place in the 100 breaststroke (1:10.92) and finished 16th for the 200 IM (2:23.67). Junior Sophia Cadematori finished ninth in the 100 backstroke (1:03.48) and placed 21st in the 100 butterfly (1:06.74).
Wines finished 10th (2:02.72) in the 200 freestyle and was followed by seniors Kylie Scarpellino (2:07.91) and Grace Vest (2:09.27) in 15th and 21st place, respectively. Scarpellino also finished 13th (5:43.68) for the 500 freestyle, while Vest placed 15th (5:45.58) in the event.
Freshman Julia Urbowicz took 12th place in the 50 freestyle (26.24) and finished 15th in the 100 butterfly (1:03.99) for Hand. Sophomore Catherine Arrandale finished 24th in the 50 freestyle with a time of 27.65.
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