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Boys Swimming Wins Founders League Title

The boys varsity swim and dive team won the Founders League championship on Saturday, February 29, at Miss Porter’s School.

The meet started on Wednesday, February 26, when the divers gathered at Choate for the championship 11-round event, featuring senior Anthony Lo and sophomores Liam Hochman and Henry Wang, who finished in third, fourth, and seventh places, respectively, all recording personal bests as well.

Their strong performances generated momentum and enthusiasm among their teammates, who exploded on Saturday, beginning with a third-place finish in the medley relay from senior Min Jun Jung, junior Justin Wu, sophomore Trent Hieber, and junior Kai Sheng Tham in a season's best time of 1:39.93. Senior Gus Hawley, junior Max Therrien, sophomore Nick Guenther, and senior Lawrence Lee followed close behind in sixth place with a season's best of their own.

From that point forward, the energy and speed snowballed, commencing with second-, fourth-, and sixth-place finishes, respectively, from Guenther, sophomore Drew Boutry, and freshman Kaeden Freston in the 200 freestyle and continuing to include second-, third-, sixth- and 14th-place showings from Jung, Hieber, Wu, and sophomore Shawn Meng in the individual medley. Kai Sheng Tham and senior McIntyre Pahl sustained the tempo with a second-and third-place photo finish in the 50 free, and Lee won his heat to claim eighth place overall.

Following a short interlude, the Pelican butterfly trio of Hieber, Tham, and Guenther dominated the tight race, finishing in second, third, and fifth places overall, as Loomis began to pull away from the pack of other contending teams.

Then Pahl, Freston, Lee, and sophomore Andy Seo made a commanding appearance in the 100 freestyle, placing third, fourth, ninth, and 12th, respectively, and in an unusually exciting and dramatic 500 freestyle, Boutry claimed the Pelicans' first victory of the afternoon, with Hawley in fourth, and junior Qais Hijazi swimming to a stunning 20-second time drop for sixth place.

Not to be outdone, the Loomis sprint relay team of Tham, Lee, Freston, and Pahl won the team's second event of the afternoon (the 200 free relay) with another season's best mark, and the backstroke swimmers, featuring captains Jung and Hawley, junior Andy Cao, and Seo, stroked to a third-, sixth-, 10th- place, and 12th-place conclusion.

The breaststroke group of Wu, Therrien, freshman Benson Wang, and sophomore Karan Kothari continued to stretch out the Pelicans' lead by claiming third, ninth, 14th, and 16th places, paving the way for their final-relay teammates to close out the team victory.

In the final race, Loomis's third event win of the day came from Freston, Guenther, Pahl, and Jung in the 400 free Relay, another season's best, chased by teammates Hieber, Hawley, Seo, and Boutry in sixth place.

The triumph marks the fourth consecutive league championship for the boys swimming and diving team, which now looks ahead to the season’s finale at the Division I New England Championships this weekend at Hotchkiss.