H'kiss 87.5- LC 97.5
In what can only be described as an "epic battle," the Loomis Chaffee Pelicans and the Hotchkiss Bearcats squared off on Saturday in Lakeville in a fiercely competitive dogfight. The meet opened with a harbinger of things to come as the Bearcats and Pelicans swapped the lead several times in the 200 Medley Relay, with Hotchkiss eventually prevailing by just under a second over the Loomis team of Jamil Hashmi, John Furlong, Tripp Miller and Tucker Cheyne. Hotchkiss followed with a solid win in the 200 Freestyle, though both Jack Kilpatrick and Will Bogle posted season's best times in second and third place. Tripp Miller turned things around with a commanding win and season's best swim in the 200 Individual Medley, backed by solid races from Hashmi (3rd) and Jeremy Bogle (6th). Undaunted, the Bearcats bounced back with a 1-3-5 domination of the 50 Freestyle despite strong swims from Cheyne, Tyler Rehor and Jake Bosee. In the Diving, Hotchkiss stretched their lead to eleven points, their largest of the afternoon, despite Neil O'Brien's strong second place showing.
At that point in the meet, the Bearcats seemed to have all the momentum, but the Pelicans had more than a few remaining weapons in their arsenal. During the final lap of the 100 Butterfly, Furlong closed in on his Hotchkiss opponent, who had controlled the lead to that moment, and over the last four strokes of the race, slid into the lead with a lifetime best time that left his teammates in awe. Ramy Chin nearly passed the Hotchkiss boy in that final stretch, claiming second, with brother Geneth posting a lifetime best in fifth position. On to the 100 Freestyle, where the Pelicans, with Kilpatrick dominating in first, Tyler Rehor in second, and Bosee tied for fifth, again outscored their opponents. Clawing their way back into the fight, Hotchkiss then claimed victory in the 500 Freestyle, though Miller and Will Bogle fought nobly, each with lifetime bests, while Fred Mun nailed down his second fifth place finish of the day for the team. Both Bogle and Mun doubled right back to fuel the most dramatic race of the afternoon, the 200 Free Relay, in which, despite their exhaustion, they teamed up with Geneth Chin and Rehor to edge out Hotchkiss's 'A' relay to give Loomis a huge 1-2 finish in that race. Then the Pelicans continued to stretch their lead with a 2-3-4 showing in the 100 Backstroke from Jeremy Bogle, Geneth Chin and Jamil Hashmi, but Hotchkiss rallied back with a 1-3-4 finish in the Breaststroke, broken up with another strong race from Furlong. At that moment, the score stood at Loomis 87.5- Hotchkiss 83.5, requiring the Pelicans to claim at least second and third places in the final relay.
During the ensuing 400 Freestyle relay, our Loomis boys never looked back. Tripp Miller led the charge in the A relay and Will Bogle in the B group, and at the end of the first leg, Loomis stood in first and second place. Off dove Tyler Rehor and Jeremy Bogle, and although Hotchkiss pulled slightly ahead of our B relay, Tyler extended the A team's lead over the Cats. During the third leg, Tucker Cheyne sustained the tempo and the lead, while Jamil Hashmi kept our B team close on the Cats' heels. Anchoring the A team, Jack Kilpatrick fended off the Cats' best freestyler, claiming the race and the meet, while Jake Bosee brought the B group in just a few seconds behind Hotchkiss. Screams and smiles ensued: Loomis 97.5- Hotchkiss 87.5, the Pelicans' first conquest of the Bearcats in over a decade!
By the way, at the Canton Chipotle after the meet, the Pelicans defeated the burritos 73-62!