By James Kinneen
Hometown Weekly Reporter
Robin Bauer, Medfield High School Class of 2004… we’ve got some bad news.
In fact, we’ve got bad news for lots of former Medfield swimmers who set records during their time wearing the white and blue.
See, at the beginning of the year, Medfield purchased a record board, where they will display the swimming records just outside of the gym. A huge part of this year’s team’s motivation has been to put as many of their names, and take off as many alumni names, as they could.
And to that end, they did quite well.
This year alone, school records the girls team set included Nora Herbstzuber’s 100 back, Kylie Herbstzuber’s 200 IM, the relay team of Nora and Kylie Herbstzuber, Izzy Brown and Jill DePiero in the 200-medley relay, and the team of Kylie Herbstzuber, Rachel Parry, Jill DePiero and Izzy Brown in the 200 free relay. Records the boys broke included David Sapozhnikov in the 100 breast, the team of Max Lodkin, David Sapozhnikov, Jayden Clayton and Quinn Borchers in the 200 medley relay, and Quinn Borchers alone in the 200 free, 200 IM, and 100 back.
But while the Medfield boys swimmers performed very well individually, as a team, they were 0-8 in the TVL. While Quinn Borchers was apparently scorching the pool with a second in the state finish in the 100 backstroke and a third in the state finish in the 200 free, the team only had five people on it, so it really struggled to win meets.
The girls team, on the other hand, went 7-1 in the TVL, losing only to Holliston, who they beat by a point and a half in the TVL Showcase, and outscored at both sectionals and states. What killed Medfield against Holliston in their league matchup was that the Warriors had a bunch of girls in COVID quarantine (while the quarantine period was just five days for other sports, it was ten days for swimming, because athletes cannot wear masks in the pool). When pressed on if that devastated the team, Coach Linnea Borjestedt explained that while it hurt, her team didn’t dwell on it. Instead, they regrouped for the TVL Sectionals, which was the meet she pointed to as the one that stood out to her on the year.
“The one that stands out is the TVL Showcase meet, where we were against every other town in the TVL,” she explained. “Our kids were so determined to win that, they really wanted it and they came and they showed themselves. Every race mattered, and they came out and worked hard, and we won by a point and a half. And then they threw me in the pool afterwards.”
Yes, they threw Borjestedt in the pool in what Medfield swimming considers their version of the Gatorade bath. But Borjestedt made sure to note she let the kids do it because she was, and remains, so proud of the team.
“I just really loved how much of a family this team was. Our captains, Izzy Brown, Kelley Regan, Rachel Perry and Max Lodkin, were like the glue to this team. They really stood out and were the best leaders I could possibly ask for. They kept this team as like a family and did a good job keeping everyone together, keeping everyone’s morale high. It was wonderful working with them, and I’ll truly miss them next year.”
While the captains made the team feel like family, two members really are. One departing senior is Kylie Herbstzuber, who will be swimming at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in the fall, while her sister, Nora Herbstzuber, is only a sophomore. Teammates this year, the two don’t swim against each other often, as in dual meets the team fares better with them both winning separate events than placing first and second in the 100M breaststroke. Using this strategy, because Kylie is a senior, Nora was nice enough to let her sister swim in the 100 M breaststroke at Kylie’s final TVL meet, despite Nora’s qualifying time being faster. But at states, where the Medfield girls wound up in sixth place overall, the Herbstzuber sisters faced off in the 100M breaststroke -- and in the lanes directly next to each other.
“Since states didn’t occur last year, this was the first year that I was racing against my sister in high school,” Kylie Herbstzuber explained. But, with so many different races, why do the two both specialize in the 100 M breaststroke? While you might suspect it’s because they’re very similar in appearance, Nora’s three inches taller than Kylie. Instead, Kylie thinks it’s because she refused to flutter-kick in various swimming strokes until she was like eleven, and that her sister was copying her, so they inadvertently developed great breast stroking fundamentals.
Finishing third and fourth, Kylie won by .01 seconds. But she didn’t rub it in her sister’s face. Instead she went so far as to note that Nora had just finished the 100M backstroke, so her sister didn’t have as much of a rest as she did before the race, and that the result might have been different if she had. Instead, Kylie wanted to point talk about what a great moment it was getting to stand with her sister on the podium.
“We’re both really happy for each other. it was a nice moment to have. I really enjoyed being on the podium with my sister. It was super special for me, and that was honestly my favorite moment of my high school career.”
Kylie explained that the two will compete at everything from swimming to Mario Kart (Nora’s better) and Guitar Hero (Kylie’s better, plus she can play a real guitar), so she knows her sister well enough to guarantee any thought of letting her big sis win was out of the question, as “She tries so hard in every race, and she definitely feels no sympathy if she beats me.”
While the two have joked about a rematch in college (if Nora were to swim for Holy Cross -- though she has her sights set on Brown), Kylie has high hopes for her sister’s high school career. While the two have already knocked their aunt’s name off the record board, Kylie would be happy to see her sister replace her name on the board, next year.
Knowing that might be coming, Kylie’s excited to get her picture taken in front of her record on the board as soon as they put it up, which is smart. Thinking the same thing, Coach Borjestadt texted a player she used to coach to tell her they’ve got a new record board and that “you’re going to need to come back to see your name up there.”
After all, at the rate Medfield’s swimmers are going, it may not be up there much longer.