Manchester High School boys’ swimming makes turn toward conference meets

By Corey AmEnde - Staff Writer
Manchester - posted Fri., Jan. 24, 2014
The MHS boys' swim team won its first three meets of the season.  Photos by Corey AmEnde.
The MHS boys' swim team won its first three meets of the season. Photos by Corey AmEnde.

The Manchester High School boys’ swimming team is off to a strong start this season, after winning its opening three meets.

“I definitely think we’re a good team,” said junior co-captain Quinn Packer. “We have a lot of depth and everyone is swimming better than they have before.”

The Indians dropped their first meet of the season on Wednesday, Jan. 22, on the road at Hall to fall to 3-1 on the season. “Everybody was talking about beating Hall,” said senior Anthony Burke. “We were so confident, and then once it happened, it happened. We just fell a little bit short.”

Following the loss at Hall, the Indians opened a five-meet home stand, starting with a meet against Suffield on Friday, Jan. 24. The Indians were scheduled to begin their league meets on Tuesday, Jan. 28, when they host South Windsor. They also have home meets against Glastonbury on Tuesday, Feb. 4, Windsor on Tuesday, Feb. 11, and East Catholic on Friday, Feb. 14.  All meets start at 3:45 p.m.

“I think we’re at a turning point where we’re facing harder competition, harder teams to beat,” said sophomore Garrett Wlochowski. 
The Indians finish the regular season with a meet on the road against East Hartford.

Head coach Melvin Siebold said the meets against South Windsor and Glastonbury loom as tough opponents. “We have some boys that will compete with them and beat them in some of the races,” said Siebold. “We don’t have the depth those schools have.”

Siebold anticipates the meet with the cross-town Eagles to be a close one. “East Catholic will be touch and go,” said Siebold. “I think we can do it, but it will be a tight meet.”

The Indians are led by junior co-captains Packer and Robert Adams-Michaud, who is an All-Conference swimmer in multiple events.  Adams-Michaud also holds the school record in the 100 butterfly (53.68) which he set at the Class LL meet last season.

Adams-Michaud describes this year’s team as a squad that knows how to have fun, but can also be serious at the same time. “We get along real well,” said Adams-Michaud. “We have a lot of fun, but we work hard.”

Cameron Atzbach, a four-year member of the boys’ swimming team, said the strong team chemistry really pays off during the meets.  “Since we’re so close we can all just cheer on whoever and we know that us cheering them on will just help them out, no matter what race they're swimming,” said Atzbach. “Even if they’re in first place, cheering them on could push them to [go] even faster than they would be able to normally.”

In addition to Adams-Michaud and Packer, Siebold said Wlochowski and sophomore Greg Lucas round out the top four swimmers on the team. Lucas and Wlochowski were co-rookies of the year last season. 

Despite the loss to Hall, Lucas said the team is right where it wanted to be at the mid-point in the season. “We’re right where we were last year, and we lost a lot of good swimmers last year, so if we can stay at the same spot, we should be good,” said Lucas.


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