Julie Xiong '20, Alex Zha '22 win at Babcock Invitational
Xin “Julie” Xiong ’20 and Yuhan “Alex” Zha ’22 were great all regular season for the Wilbraham & Monson Academy Swimming team.
That hasn’t changed in the championship season either.
Against some of the toughest competition in the region, Julie and Alex won an individual event at the Babcock Invitational at Williston Northampton School in Easthampton, Massachusetts, Feb. 29.
Julie touched first in the 200 individual medley in 2 minutes, 19.60 seconds, and also took second in the 500 freestyle. Meanwhile, Alex won the 100 butterfly with a meet-record time of 56.05, and also finished third in the 200 IM.
WMA will compete in the New England Prep School Athletic Council Division III Championships March 7 at Cornerstone Aquatics Center in West Hartford, Connecticut.
Coach Jonathan Brook regarding Julie and Alex: “Both swimmers are quiet; dedicated to refining their strokes and perfecting their events. They are the most positive role models in regard to work ethic that the team strives for. They are humble in victory and graceful in defeat. Both work well with their teammates to swim seamless and very fast relays.”
Coach Brook regarding Julie: “Julie is almost in a league of her own but has been pushed by competitors in both the 500 and 200 IM, neither of which she came in less than first more than once or twice. She has a good future going on to swim at Smith College, and her legacy is secure on the school record board for the foreseeable future.”
Coach Brook regarding Alex: “Alex seems to grow into a different person when he gets into the pool. He swims like a giant despite his modest stature. Alex’s power is controlled by a very efficient stroke. We are lucky have him on the team for two more years.
Julie regarding winning the 200 IM: “I was hoping to get my best time and improve in the backstroke. It’s an honor to win it. There were a lot of strong competitors. From my point of view, my weakness is backstroke. This race I did that pretty well. I didn’t get caught by any other swimmers. The only downside was I didn’t sprint really hard in the freestyle. That’s something I could improve.”
Alex regarding winning the 100 fly: “I think overall I did pretty well. My start was pretty good. I think I could still improve on my turns. If I can make them faster I can improve my time.”