Westerly Sun

PROVIDENCE — Chariho High’s Hannah Benavides is somewhat of an expert when it comes to the 100 breaststroke.

She thinks the turns in the race are very important to success and she has a one-word response to describe a good turn off the wall: “Fast.”

“You really want to get in and push off real quick,” Benavides said Saturday at the RIIL girls state swimming championships at Brown University. “You really don’t want to take a lot of time on the turns because then you are wasting time.”

Benavides must have been pretty darn good off the wall — she earned the state championship in the race with a time of 1:05.42.

“I was trying to have really fast turns. I think I did pretty well, but I still have some room to grow, obviously,” Benavides said.

It was the junior’s first state title.

“It feels pretty good. The girls on either side of me did really well. The times were close. I think it was a really good race,” Benavides said.

Benavides is Chariho’s only swimmer. She competes as an independent swimmer and does her training with her club, the Connecticut Aquatics Club in Groton.

Benavides also placed third in the 200 individual medley in 2:10.34. She placed 16th as a team with 36 points.

Westerly finished 10th in the team standings with 102 points. The top 16 in each event scored.

Melanie Gomes finished fifth in the 100 breaststroke (1:10.09) and eighth in the 100 freestyle (56.13).

Jessica Burke placed sixth in the 500 freestyle (5:32.84) and 10th in the 100 butterfly (1:02.47).

Jenna Burke was 12th in the 50 freestyle (25.96) and 15th in the 100 backstroke (1:04.50).

The Burkes, Gomes and London Armitage placed seventh in the 200 medley relay (1:55.82). The same group finished sixth in the 200 free relay (1:46.21).

Barrington won the team title with 304.5 points, and La Salle was second with 229.

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