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Branford girls’ swimming and diving claimed its 10th state title in program history on Nov. 13, winning the Class M crown at Wesleyan University in Middletown.
Taking home the title had been the lone goal for Scott Butler’s squad since placing second behind Wilton at last year’s Class M meet. With Wilton now in Class L, the door was open for the Hornets to cement themselves as Class M’s elite and that’s precisely what they did in winning their first state championship since 2006.
“From day one, our only goal was to win the state title and all the training we did focused on that,” said Head Coach Scott Butler.
The Hornets notched two first-place finishes en route to continuing their legacy as one of the state’s top squads as senior Lily Suhanovsky prevailed in the 100 breaststroke with the quartet of seniors Chrissy Beaulac and Chrissy Rasile, freshman Paige MacNeil, and junior Lauren Rasile winning the 200 medley relay. This was the second year in a row the 200 medley relay took first and it set a triumphant tone for the Hornets in the meet’s first event.
“We started out strong and pulled ahead with each event and seeing our score go up throughout the night have us that extra push,” Chrissy Rasile said.
Rasile captains Branford with Beualac and Abby Raynor, the latter who swam the 200 freestyle, 500 freestyle, 200 freestyle relay, and 400 freestyle relay. A few weeks ago Raynor said, “I think we will something amazing happen” at the Class M meet and she was certainly thrilled that she and her fellow Hornets’ hopes came to fruition with the Class M crown.
“It’s incredible. I still can’t even grasp what happened. Seeing the hard work we did every day that set the foundation for tonight and then to see the excitement on every girl’s face tonight was unbelievable,” said Raynor. “To continue the tradition of Branford swimming means the world.”