EAST PROVIDENCE — The East Providence High School and St. Raphael/Providence Country Day co-op swims teams engaged in a couple of spirited Division IV meets Wednesday night, Feb. 1, at the Boys …
EAST PROVIDENCE — The East Providence High School and St. Raphael/Providence Country Day co-op swims teams engaged in a couple of spirited Division IV meets Wednesday night, Feb. 1, at the Boys & Girls Club East Providence pool, the boys’ competition decided in the Townies’ favor in the final event of the evening.
Trailing by two points overall heading into the 400 yard freestyle relay, the quartet of Ryan Branch, Kevin Bettencourt, Gavin Hanley and Nicholas Capobianco got the better of the opposition with a time of 4 minutes, 8.77 seconds to secure six points and give EPHS the narrowest of meet wins, 44-43.
The victory in their regular season finale left the Townies with a 3-1 record in league meets and guaranteed of at least a share of first place with the next door neighbor Knights’ co-op. St. Ray’s/PCD dropped to 2-1 with one outing left February 10 at Mount St. Charles.
EPHS, St. Ray’s/PCD and Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy, which handed the Townies’ their lone loss, are likely headed to a three-way tie for the regular season top spot. The Knights beat BVP 41-38. BVP in turn topped EPHS, 40-37.
“It was a great boys’ meet. The best win for the boys all year,” said EPHS head coach Bob Hassan.
Of how taking down St. Ray’s/PCD portends for the Townies’ future in the upcoming D-IV championship meet, Hassan added, “We have a good chance for the division title if everyone is healthy and nobody goes away for school vacation.”
The four division title meets are scheduled to take place at Roger Williams University in Bristol the weekend of Friday, Feb. 17, the start of the aforementioned school break.
Meanwhile, first-place the St. Raphael/Providence Country Day girls’ co-op upped its unblemished mark to 4-0 with a 61-23 win over East Providence. The Townies saw their regular season end with a 2-3 mark. The St. Ray’s/PCD girls also concluded their meet slate at Mount on February 10.
Of his female squad, Hassan said, “The girls’ team is gaining experience and will be growing in the next two years.”
More boys’ notes
Individually, Capobianco swam personal bests in winning the boys’ 100 backstroke with a time of 1:02.79 and in placing second in the 200 individual medley with a 2:20.02. Both times qualified Capobianco for the state meet in those events as well. Matt Cabral of St. Ray’s/PCD won the boys’ 200 IM in 2:18.35.
Branch, Bettencourt, Capobianco and London Coogan gave EPHS a lead it would maintain for the bulk of the meet with the victory in the opening 200 medley relay in 2:09.13.
Branch followed with a winning time of 2:11.22 in the 200 free. Coogan added a first in the 50 free in 28.65.
Cabral got the Saints/Knights going with his second win of the night, clocking a 1:03.54 to take the 100 butterfly. St. Ray’s/PCD’s Martime Conceicao then won the 100 free in 1:04.75 with Owen Bruno third to cut the team’s deficit to a pair, 25-23.
Branch next put EPHS back in the win column with his first place time of 6:15.16 in the 500 free, that kept the Townies just in front overall, 29-27.
But the St. Ray’s/PCD grouping of Bruno, Hugo Sotelo, Calvin Tu and Samuel Wells followed with a win in the 200 free relay. Their six points finally gave the Saints/Knights their first lead of the meet at 33-29.
Capobianco’s backstroke win kept the Townies close and Bettencourt’s first-place swim in the 100 breaststroke of 1:30.85 along with the third-place finish of Marco Cordeiro brought EPHS within the two points heading the into the 400 free finale.
More girls’ notes
The Townies’ evening was highlighted by Ines Benadouda who won the 100 back and also qualified for states in 100 butterfly with a time of 1:02.88.
Korryn Cartwright of St. Ray’s/PCD won the 100 fly. Cartwright actually helped her side get off quickly Wednesday night, as she Abigail Waring, Finley Stock Guild and Maggie Iannella won the opening 200 medley relay in 2:12.72.
Leah Blanchette followed with a win in the 200 free for the Saints/Knights in 2:45.11. Meg McCann next took the 200 IM in 2:21.8. Waring followed with a winning time of 28.52 in the 50 free then after Cartwright’s fly victory she added a win in the 100 free in 1:06.67.
St. Ray’s/PCD continued its winning ways in the 500 free as Denise Castano clocked a 6:43.78. In the 200 free relay, Stock Guild, McCann, Blanchette and Iannella took first in 2:06.99.
McCann won the last solo event, the 100 breast in 1:27.92. She later teamed with Waring, Blanchette and Iannella to close out the meet with a win in the 400 free relay in 4:37.24.
— East Providence Post and eastbayri.com contributing photographer Tyler Maxwell shot the accompanying gallery of photos.