PROVIDENCE — It was a morning of fulfillment for many local swimmers at the RIIL boys championships Saturday.
Personal records fell like droplets of water splashing out of the Brown University pool. In Matt Stanley's case, a personal record in the 100 breaststroke was also the resetting of his state record to highlight the Chariho High senior's two-win performance.
Stanley, who has swum four years as an independent competing at state meets, won his fourth and fifth state titles, finishing first in a record 55.76 in the breaststroke, beating his previous best of 56.27, and winning the 200 individual medley for the first time in 1:52.11.
He couldn't ask for a better swan song to his scholastic career. Next season, he will accept a full-tuition scholarship to attend St. Bonaventure University and swim for the Division I Bonnies.
"I accomplished pretty much everything I set out to do," Stanley said. "I wanted two wins and the record in the breaststroke. I wanted to finish my high school career on a high note."
In the breaststroke, Stanley won by three seconds over second-place Jack Benavides, his Chariho teammate, who was second in 58.95.
Stanley didn't set a record in the 200 IM, but he won by two seconds over Barrington's Aidan Lane. The two were basically even after the first two legs of butterfly and backstroke. Stanley pulled away on his specialty breaststroke and swam a strong freestyle,
"I thought my IM was pretty solid," Stanley said. "I wanted to stay even until taking over with my strong strokes."
Bishop Hendricken won the meet with 384 points, 50 more than Barrington, which topped the Hawks in the Division I championships. Hendricken freshman C.J. Sheldon of Ashaway had a big hand in the victory, swimming a leg on the winning 200 freestyle relay, and finishing third in the 500 freestyle and fifth in the 200 freestyle.
He accomplished this productive workload despite having 10 stitches on his shin courtesy of a tumble off an ATV last week.
"Maybe the stitches held me back a little because of the Band-Aids on my leg, but I'm pretty satisfied," Sheldon said. "Winning the 200 free relay was big. Barrington was seeded first ahead of us. All week we worked on our starts and finishes, and it paid off."
Stanley will continue a local pipeline to St. Bonaventure. Former Westerly standout Logan Hellwig is completing his senior year there.