By Steve Freker
It has been a strong start for the Malden High School (MHS) co-ed swim team, which has broken out of the starting gate with a pair of decisive victories to open the season. Malden improved to 2-0 in the Northeastern Conference (NEC) and 2-0 overall with an 85-52 win over Salem in its home opener at the MHS Pool.
“It was good way to start the season in a very competitive league,” said MHS assistant coach Jessica Bisson. “Our preseason is very short but we were still prepared, and a lot of our swimmers got off to good starts with their times.”
Against Salem, the 200 medley relay team of David Lombardi, Tony Giech, Kevin Ochoa and Haoxi Wang started the day strong with a winning time of 1:46.1. Abby Tang, Chloe Akombi, Joanne Ho and Olivia Forestier placed second at 2:06.2.
Ochoa won the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:52.66. Kevin Sathapornchaisit was second at 2:14.1, and Pamela Coelho came in third for a 1-2-3 finish for Malden at 2:40. Lombardi got another win in the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:09.47. Giech was second at 2:22.12.
Wang won the 50 freestyle sprint to start a 1-2-3 sweep with a time of 23.75 seconds. Gilbert was second at 28.34 seconds, and Tony Luu third at 28.08. Ochoa won his second individual event in the 100 butterfly with a time of 52.78 seconds. Tang was second at 1:10.75.
In the 100 freestyle, Wang was the winner for the Tornados with a time of 58.50 seconds. Ho was second at 1:04.9 and Forestier fourth at 1:13.5. Akombi was the winner for Malden in the 500 freestyle at 5:47.03. Ryan Vasili was second at 6:25 and Tyler Lu completed the Tornado sweep with a 7:10.25 finish.
Malden’s 200 freestyle relay team of Ho, Coelho, Forestier and Akombi placed second unofficially at 2:01.15. Sathapornchaisit was first unofficially in the 100 backstroke at 1:06.81. Giech was first unofficially in the 100 breaststroke at 1:09.58.
Malden swims past Swampscott on the road, 90-75
Malden opened its season with a 90-75 NEC win on the road at Swampscott. Malden took first-place finishes in seven events, led by Kevin Ochoa, who took first place in the 100 butterfly at 55.15 seconds and in the 100 freestyle at 1:56:61. Ochoa also swam in the winning 200 freestyle relay with Abby Tang, Chloe Akombi, Joanne Ho and Olivia Forestier and a time of 1:49.1. David Lombardi and Haoxi Wang also won two events each.
The quartet of Tang, Akombi, Ho and Forestier placed second in the 200 freestyle relay at 2:06.2, and Sathapornchaisit, Vasili, Sebastian Romani and Luis Gilbert were fourth at 2:09.3. Sathapornchaisit was fourth in the 200 individual freestyle at 2:21.92.
David Lombardi won the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:10.87. Tony Green was third in that event at 2:23.7. Haoxi Wang won the 50 freestyle at 24.19 seconds. Luis Gilbert was third at 28.71 seconds. Romani (1:08.20) was second in the 100 butterfly and Tang (1:09.71) third.
Wang won the 100 freestyle at 55.26 seconds. Ho was third at 1:25.97. Akombi was second in the 500 freestyle at 5:55.45; Ryan Vasili third (6:35.65) and Tyler Lu (7:0.27) fifth. The team of Sathapornchaisit, Vasili, Romani and Tony Luu won the 200 freestyle relay at 1:58.01. Finishing third in that event were Ho, Coelho, Forestier and Akombi.
Lombardi won the 100 backstroke at 59.73 seconds. Sathapornchaisit was second at 1:07.39. Tony Green finished second in the 100 breaststroke at 1:10.64. Chloe Akombi was third at 1:13.99. Lombardi, Giech, Wang and Ochoa won the 200 freestyle relay at 3:46.90 to close out the Tornados scoring.
Malden now takes a lengthy break in the schedule and returns to competition on Thursday, Dec. 27, when the Tornados host NEC opponent Beverly at 4:30 p.m. at the MHS Pool.