BHS Swim & Dive Teams Send Five Athletes to States and Graduate 15 Seniors

February 13, 2024
The BHS girls’ and boys’ varsity swim teams are wrapping up the 2023-2024 season by sending 5 athletes to the State competition this weekend and graduating 15 seniors. Courtesy Image

The Bedford High School boys’ and girls’ swim and dive season is coming to an end as they send five athletes and two alternates to the MIAA Division 2 State Competition this weekend at MIT.

The relay team of senior Shae Arsenault, senior Ben Sedran, junior Aniq Syed, and junior Zach Wirth qualified to swim in the boys’ 200-yard medley relay (swimming backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, and freestyle respectively) and also the 200-yard freestyle relay. Senior Ryley Graham and first-year competitor Greg Sedran will serve as alternates. 

Sophomore Taelor Nichols also qualified to compete in the girls’ one-meter diving event at the State competition. 

Nichols placed fourth place in one-meter diving at the Dual County League Championships on Feb. 3, and then third place at MIAA North Sectionals with a score of 396.35 in the 11 dive competition during the weekend at WPI.

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The boys’ relay team also competed in the MIAA North Sectionals on Sunday. Syed also qualified and competed in the individual 100-yard butterfly event at Sectionals, dropping three seconds from his previous best time to place 10th in 55.24 seconds. 

“Our team is small,” explained head coach Sheila Page. 

The teams comprise 11 athletes on the girls’ team and 21 athletes on the boys’ team this season.  Because of the small numbers, the teams weren’t able to compete in every event and lost points on events they couldn’t fill so didn’t come home with many meet wins (the boys were 2-5 and girls 0-6), but were able to earn many personal bests throughout the season. 

Page is in her first year of coaching at BHS and is assisted by Beth Billouin, who has served as both assistant and head coach of the BHS team in the past. Nichols, who swims along with diving, also received diving coaching from Kim Donovan alongside the Concord-Carlisle and Westford diving teams. 

Page explained the season began with a bit of rough water with it being her first-year coaching, team members new to competitive swimming, and repairs being done at the Hanscom Air Force Base pool where the team practiced in the past.  

Millie Bonneau along with Hannah Messinger, Ben Sedran, and Ryan McWalter served as team captains this season. Courtesy Image.

“Despite the late hour of practice, long bus rides, and the short pool times the kids always had great attitudes and were ready to work hard at every practice. It is because of them that they had such a successful year.” 

With the help of Athletic Director Keith Mangan, the coaches scraped together pool and practice time, traveling to Wayland Community Pool and Shawsheen Tech at irregular hours, dryland training, watching video, sending divers to the Beede center with other towns, and making the best of the resources available. 

Page said the athletes and families made a lot of sacrifices with student and parent work schedules, but the team “rolled with the moving schedule and made it work.” 

The coach applauded the help and leadership of Captains Millie Bonneau, Hannah Messinger, Ben Sedran, and Ryan McWalter for communicating and coordinating last-minute schedule changes, as well as the leadership, example, and responsibility of all of the seniors. 

Page said, “It was wonderful having so many seniors! They are all also great friends and were so supportive of one another, which set a positive tone and example for the rest of the team. It was really fun having them.”

The seniors include Millie Bonneau, Shae Arsenault, Thomas Barney, Ryley Graham, Micah Harfield, Hamdan Khan, Vincent Mascia, Ryan McWalter, Siddarth Nandakishore, John Pearson, Nikolas Ryabinkin, Aleksandr Ryabinkin, Benjamin Sedran, Alex Zhang, and Cameron Zhu. 

The MIAA Division 2 State Competition this weekend is a limited-ticket event with a subscription plan live stream. 

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