PROVIDENCE — Cumberland High senior co-captain Andrew Bauer took a specific but incredibly-optimistic plan into these R.I. Boys Swimming Championships on Monday night.
It was his lofty goal to break his own school mark in the 200-yard freestyle, then set new CHS marks at the 500 distance, not to mention the 50 and 100 freestyles.
Head coach Heidi Josephson had indicated prior to the meet that the tall, lanky Clipper could set those latter sprint marks if he led off the 200 and 400 relays of the same stroke, the reason being he'd initiate the events from a “dead” (as opposed to a “rolling”) start.
As lofty as those hopes were, Bauer remained undaunted. In his first race, the 200 freestyle, he achieved a high school-best clocking of 1:43.59, and bettered his own school mark by 2.74 seconds while defeating runner-up Mike Fedorenko of Hendricken by nearly five ticks.
Then, in the 500, he stroked to yet another individual title in a PR of 4:50.07, and made it look easy, as he crushed second-place finisher Mike Toolin of North Kingstown by 8.14 ticks. In the process, he also shattered Mark Bonneteymard's former mark of 4:53.00 (manufactured in about 1984-85) by 2.93.
He also opened the 200 freestyle relay with a stunning 50 freestyle split of 21.80, and that eclipsed the legendary Kurt Langborg's 36-year-old clocking by .02. The quartet, also consisting of kid brother Jack Bauer, Lucas Rundlett and Mike Constantino, finished fifth overall in 1:35.38.
Finally, the elder Bauer initiated the 400 freestyle relay with a 100 split of 47.61, and shattered Don Hunt's previous CHS record (from the mid-1980s) by almost a half-second. That foursome ended up fourth in a season-best 3:32.86.
When all was swum and done, Bauer and Co. manufactured a fifth-place team placement with 160 points, nine shy of fourth-place Barrington and just 4.5 more than sixth-place Cranston East (155.5).
Hendricken sailed to its 24th straight team crown with 309, outdistancing runner-up Smithfield by 84.5 points. North Kingstown managed third with 196.5.
“I honestly don't know how I did it,” the soft-spoken, consummate gentleman Bauer grinned after setting the four CHS marks in the span of not quite three hours at Brown University's new Coleman Aquatics Center. “I thought, in my heart, I could get three of the four records; the one I didn't think possible was the 50 (freestyle), because I was just coming off the 500.
“It really hasn't sunk in yet,” he added. “I didn't see myself in this spot right now. That feeling of victory, it just overcomes you. I don't feel that beat or tired because of the adrenaline, it's still pumping. That last 100 free, and to lead off that relay and get the record, it was just emotion and adrenaline.
“I'm so pleased! I don't know how I did it.”
Stated head coach Heidi Josephson: “In the 200, Andrew went out fast; you could tell he wanted to shatter it. He swam against some top-flight guys, and they were all confident going in. I didn't think he'd swim that fast, but he was spectacular.
“For him to do what he's doing, it's astonishing,” she continued. “Almost all of our boys swam their personal-best times; they just swam great.”
Actually, while Bauer the older was making Ocean State aquatic history, sophomore Jack was achieving some special moments for himself. After garnering fifth in the 100 butterfly with a lifetime-best 56.17, he took fourth in the 100 backstroke with another best-ever 57.64.
Between the two, he bettered his times by over two seconds.
“What a year he's having!” Josephson exclaimed afterward. “He didn't even swim for us last season, he was playing basketball, and now he's the fifth-best butterflyer in the state. The future in front of this kid is boundless. He didn't swim the fly initially. When he first came out for the team, I had him swimming the 50 freestyle and the 100 back because those are the easiest to teach.
“The only previous experience he had was swimming for Sher-Le-Mon (a summer cabana club squad),” she added.
The younger Bauer also achieved PR splits of of 22.99 in the 200 freestyle relay and 51.65 in the lengthier version.
There nevertheless other sterling performances, and two came from senior co-captain Constantino, who after taking 14th in the 200 individual medley in 2:18.62 (he bested his previous personal mark by nearly eight seconds), placed ninth in the 100 butterfly (PR of 58.44).
“What he did in those two events, it could make me cry,” Josephson smiled. “He wanted to break a minute in the fly so badly; he's been waiting about three years for this. He's been so close – 1:00.3, 1:00.7 – and now he's done it. He not only broke a minute, he shattered it.”
East Providence High may have finished 13th overall (52), but senior Andre Silva accounted for 29 all by his lonesome. He took third in the 200 individual medley in a best-ever 2:05.48, then collected seventh in the 100 breaststroke in 1:06.19.
“I'm pretty happy, no doubt,” Silva stated after warning down from the butterfly race. “This season hasn't been that great for me; I've had a lot of 'down' moments, but this gets me pumped up for more (competitions) with my USA Swimming club (Seacoast Swim Association of Seekonk) down the road.”
In other notable outings, Tolman sophomore Stephen Jameson tied for 11th in the 100 freestyle (52.03) by crushing his previous top clocking by well over six tenths of a second.
R.I. Boys Swimming Championships
At Coleman Aquatics Center, Brown
Team standings – 1. Hendricken 309; 2. Smithfield 224.5; 3. North Kingstown 196.5; 4. Barrington 169; 5. Cumberland 160; 6. Cranston East 155.5; 7. South Kingstown 137; 8. Westerly 115; 9. East Greenwich 108; 10. La Salle 80; 11. Middletown 77; 12. Classical 66; 13. East Providence 52; 14. Prout 41; 15. Narragansett 40; 16. Portsmouth 39; 17. Rogers 36; 18. North Providence 32; 19. Tolman 29/5; 20. (tie) Exeter/West Greenwich, Coventry 20; 22. Toll Gate 18; 23. Mount St. Charles 10; 24. (tie) Lincoln, Rocky Hill 6; 26. Mount Hope 4; 27. Johnston 1.
200y medley relay – 10. Cumberland (Killian Canavan, Steve Tower, Eric Henderson, Ben Emery) 1:56.89; 11. East Providence (Andre Torres, Andre Silva, Aaron Amaral, Chris Mastrangelo) 1:56.98; 14. MSC (Carl Ciullo III, Liam DeBeasi, Tyles Giles, David Bowen) 1:59.59; 15. Lincoln (Cameron Kimball, Spencer Good, Andrew Hebert, Austin Martel) 2:02.49.
200y freestyle – 1. Andrew Bauer (CUMB) 1:43.59.'
200y individual medley – 3. Andre Silva (EP) 2:05.48; 14. Mike Constantino (CUMB) 2:18.62.
100y butterfly – 5. Jack Bauer (CUMB) 56.17; 9. Mike Constantino (CUMB) 58.44; 16. Eric Henderson (CUMB) 1:04.00.
100y freestyle – 11. (tie) Stephen Jameson (TOL), Austin Harris (CE) 52.03.
500y freestyle relay – 1. Andrew Bauer (CUMB) 4:50.07.
200y freestyle relay – 5. Cumberland (Andrew Bauer, Jack Bauer, Lucas Rundlett, Mike Constantino) 1:35.38; 10. Tolman (Rafael Drake, Jonathan Chaisty, Zeth Tucker, Stephen Jameson) 1:41.92; 11. East Providence (Kevin Lethbridge, Chris Mastrangelo, Aaron Amaral, Andre Silva) 1:42.32; 13. North Providence (Brady Erickson, Trestin Wehbe, David Santamaria, Sean Crawley) 1:43.85; 15. MSC (Carl Ciullo III, Liam DeBeasi, Tyler Giles, John McCarthy) 1:45.02; 16. Lincoln (Cameron Kimball, Spencer Good, Austin Martell, Andrew Hebert) 1:45.33.
100y backstroke – 4. Jack Bauer (CUMB) 57.64.
100y breaststroke – 7. Andre Silva (EP) 1:06.19; 11. Steve Tower (CUMB) 1:09.15.
400y freestyle relay – 4. Cumberland (Andrew Bauer, Mike Constantino, Lucas Rundlett, Jack Bauer) 3:32.86; 12. Tolman (Rafael Drake, Jonathan Chaisty, Zeth Tucker, Stephen Jameson) 3:55.82; 14. North Providence (David Caracciolo, Kevein Yepes, Justin Alecio, David Samtamaria) 4:12.35.