Russell’s free reign

SPRINGFIELD – With the deluge of rain over the last two days, high school kids probably would have had an easier time swimming to championship events than dodging potholes and trying to keep from hydroplaning over large puddles of water.
Well, one team did get all wet, but it that was the plan for the Westfield Bombers swimmers.
Westfield went up against the best that the area had to offer, and one local swimmer came up out of the water twice with silver medals.

Westfield’s Tommy Russell flies off the block on his way to a second place finish in the 50 yard freestyle at the Central-West Division 1 Swimming & Diving Championships Sunday at Springfield College. (Photo by Randall S. Burlingame)

Westfield sophomore Tommy Russell finished second in two events to boast arguably the Whip City’s finest effort at the Western-Central sectionals Sunday at Springfield College.
Russell placed second in the 50-yard freestyle (22.02), just losing out to Northampton senior Quinn Nortonsmith (21.63).
A Blue Devil swimmer was also all that stood between Russell and gold as the Westfield Bomber claimed a second-place finish in the 100-yard backstroke (51.77). Northampton senior Nick Whitcomb won the event in 51.03 seconds.
Russell was also instrumental in helping teammates Patrick Lurgio, Jack Beaulieu, and Matt Morash forge a fourth-place swim in the 200 medley relay (1:42.18).
Morash recorded a seventh-place swim in the 200 individual medley (2:07.72), and eighth place in the 100 free (50.62), as well.
Cole Viamari placed sixth in the 500 free (5:08.93). Lurgio was seventh in the 100 breatstroke (1:04.41).
Two female swimmers and two relay teams for Westfield compiled top five finishes in girls’ competition Sunday.
Westfield junior Lizzie Fraser (200 individual medley, 2:18.93), sophomore Emilie Pease (100 backstroke, 1:03.37), the 200 free relay team (Alexa Richter, Sara Russell, Fraser, Kathryn O’Connor; 1:46.12), and the 400 free relay team (Richter, Pease, O’Connor, Emily Langlois; 3:53.13) each placed fifth.
Also for the Bombers, Richter placed sixth in the 200 free (2:03.73) and ninth in the 100 free (57.42), O’Connor claimed eighth in the 500 free (5:34.79), and Pease finished 10th in the 50 free (26.50).
As a team, Westfield finished fourth overall with 159 points behind Minnechaug (313 points), Longmeadow (300.5), and Westborough (163.5).
Results were not official as of press time.

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