Hawks making waves
It was a big week for the Hendricken swim team.
First, the Hawks took care of East Greenwich on Thursday 61-33 to improve to 5-0 and put themselves two wins away from an unbeaten regular season.
Then, on Saturday, Hendricken took 10th place in the Eastern States Invitational at Nassau County Aquatic Center on Long Island. The team scored 194 points – up from 79 last year – and got a school-record performance from standout freshman Max Miranda.
The Hawks are rounding into form.
“We’re swimming well,” head coach Dave Hanson said. “We’re making progress. Max Miranda is just a gem. He’s just unbelievable.”
Miranda added to what has already been a dominant freshman campaign. Against the Avengers, he swam leadoff on the Hawks’ winning 200 medley relay team, teaming up with Jon O’Connell, Marc Andrews and Dan Fedorenko to get Hendricken an early lead.
Later in the day, he won the 200 individual medley and the 100 freestyle and anchored the winning 200 free relay team. Fedorenko, James Manni and Michael Sundberg swam with him on that team.
But Miranda’s biggest accomplishment came over the weekend. He won the 200 IM with a Hendricken record time of 1:56.61. He broke a 31-year-old mark set by Paul Mangili, which was the longest-standing record in program history.
Miranda also took third in the 100 fly.
“Max swam great out there,” Hanson said.
While Miranda was the name that stood out the most for Hendricken, plenty of others also had a strong week. Against EG, Manni won the 50 free and Andrews won the 100 fly and the 100 back. John Beretta won the 100 breast.
Sundberg took second place in the 200 free and the 500 free, Manni was second in the 100 free, Evan Kortick was second in the 100 breast, Fedorenko was third in the 50 free Jacob Fox was third in the 500 free, Beretta was third in the 200 IM, Brendan Crowe was third in the 100 fly and Crowe, Alex Vessella, Fox and Andrews swam to a second-place finish in the 400 free relay.
The Hawks have quite a bit of depth, and they’re all swimming well.
“James Manni is swimming very well,” Hanson said. “Michael Sundberg lost two races today, but he lost to a kid who was really, really good. He’s doing fine, he’s working. Marc Andrews is swimming well. A freshman, Alex Vessella, has been doing well. John Beretta is another freshman, just came out of nowhere.”
On Long Island, Sundberg finished third in the 500 free and ninth in the 200 free, Andrews was ninth in the 200 IM and also placed in the 100 butterfly.
Those finishes were especially strong considering the level of competition Hendricken faced.
“Overall, the kids swam fairly well,” Hanson said. “Really great competition. There was one kid who had four times that were high school All-American times. It was unbelievable.”
The Hawks are hoping it serves them well as the regular season winds down and the postseason begins. Hendricken has really only been tested once in Rhode Island, in its season-opening meet against Smithfield that it won 52-42. The Sentinels came in second at states last year and look to be the Hawks’ chief competition for the title once again.
“We were lucky to beat them,” Hanson said. “The meet just broke our way.”
Hendricken has two meets left. It hosts Prout Thursday at 4 p.m. at McDermott and then ends with La Salle on Feb. 5, also at McDermott.
After that, the Hawks will compete in the Division I Class meet at Roger Williams University on Feb. 16. The state meet is Feb. 23.
“Believe it or not, we’re better than we were last year – it still might not be good enough,” Hanson said. “We’re going to have 10, 11 guys hopefully score at states. It’s just a matter of where to put Max where he can do the most damage.”