Walpole’s Joey Ahmed competes in the freestyle during the Barracudas’ 113-110 season-opening win over Medfield on Thursday evening. Photos by Ned Sheehan
By Ned Sheehan
Hometown Weekly Intern
On Thursday night, dozens of swimmers and their parents gathered at Central Pool in Walpole for the first Suburban Summer Swim meet of the 2017 season, as the Walpole Barracudas narrowly defeated the Medfield Marlins in an exciting swim meet that saw Medfield battle to the bitter end despite having far fewer bodies.
Over the course of the dozen or so races, all of which had the audience watching in rapt attention, it quickly became clear that this would be a narrow and down-to-the-wire contest. Walpole coach Cheryl Cavanaugh praised Medfield for competing to the bitter end despite being outnumbered and having to compete in each race on shorter rest.
“We had more racers, but the Medfield racers consistently did very well. It was a close meet,” said Cavanaugh.
Neither team pulled ahead for an extended period of time throughout the match as more and more swimmers lined the edges of the pool, cheering on their teammates louder and louder as the evening wore on.
Ultimately, Walpole prevailed by a score of 113-110, narrowly edging out a resilient group of Marlins. The Medfield coaching squad was led by Michelle Pound, who swam under Cavanaugh and babysat her daughter Carlie just a few years ago. Carlie now competes for the Barracudas.
“It was a great start to the season,” said Carlie Cavanaugh on the Barracudas’ performance. “We had an awesome meet, and I expect there to be many more like that this season.”
Pound says that while the outcome may not have been ideal for her Marlins, Thursday’s meet showed the toughness of her team and that they expect great things to come this summer in the pool.
“It was a great first meet,” said Pound. “We’ve had four new coaches, and they’ve made a big impact. I expect big things for this season.”
Swimming enthusiasts should certainly follow this year’s groups of Barracudas and Marlins. Walpole’s next home meet will be July 18 at 5 p.m. against Dedham while Medfield will host Canton on July 11 at 5 p.m.