With nearly a pool-length lead in the final event at the Division 2 state championship meet Sunday, the Weston boys’ 400 freestyle team was only racing against the clock.
The all-senior foursome of Jack Blyzinskyj, Ian Delaney, Ryan Burrow, and Tommy Peacher, finished in 3 minutes 9.42 seconds, less than one second short of their own state record set in 2008, as the Wildcats captured their 21st state title in 31 years.
“I’m really proud of our senior class,” said coach Claude Valle. “They just missed [winning] freshman and sophomore years and finally won last year. This year was just kind of a celebration.”
“We’ve been swimming together since freshman year. I feel like we’ve come full circle as a group,” said Peacher.
Wayland opened the meet with a first-place finish in the 200 medley relay, with the team of Doug Curtin, Mark Karlson, Matt Cramer, and Charlie Nuss finishing in 1:40.15. Peacher won the first individual event, the 200 free, in 1:43.09. He also took first in the 100 free (47.16).
Kevin Bradley of Milford was a double winner, capturing the 500 free in 4:36.29 and topping Burrow in the 200 individual medley (1:52.81). But Burrow took home first place in the 100 butterfly with a personal record of 52:00.
Blyzinskyj’s 50 free might have been the standout performance of the afternoon. His time of 20.50 broke the previous state record of 20.77 set by Weston’s Graham Frankel in 2008.
“I’m pumped about that! That’s the highlight of my life right there,” said Blyzinskyj, who is committed to swim for the University of Florida in the fall. “I just wanted to swim as fast as I could with my team.”
Blyzinskyj’s times in the 50 free and his winning time of 49.68 in the 100 backstroke each earned him All-America honors.
In the 200 free relay, Weston’s team of Peacher, Burrow, Blyzinskyj, and Sam Cekala set a meet record with a time of 1:26.39.
“When you have a senior class like this, it isn’t hard [to win],” said Valle. “Coming home from an overnight trip, I overheard one of our guys say, ‘We have no lives. This is our life, this team.’ That’s exactly their attitude. They have been focused from the beginning.”
Valle also sung his praises for senior diver Jamie Packs who came in fourth behind Wellesley’s Brendan Connors (456.90).
“Jamie has been outstanding for us,’’ Valle said. “I am very proud of him. It’s not a swimming team and a diving team; we are really one big team.”
Karlson, a Wayland senior, also won the 100 breaststroke with a 59:39.