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Gazette Boys Swimmer of the Year: Colin Machat of Northampton

Colin Machat, of Northampton, has been named the Daily Hampshire Gazette Boys Swimming & Diving Player of the Year.

Colin Machat, of Northampton, has been named the Daily Hampshire Gazette Boys Swimming & Diving Player of the Year. Purchase photo reprints »

Northampton senior Colin Machat entered the swimming season with specific individual goals.

“I had certain expectations of myself before heading off to college,” Machat said. “I wanted to win (the) High Point (award) at Western Mass. Championships and I wanted to break a school record.”

Several months of intensive hard work later, he accomplished both. For his stellar season, Machat has been named the Daily Hampshire Gazette Boys Swimming & Diving Player of the Year.

At the sectional championship, Machat won the 100- and 200-yard freestyles. In the 100, Machat broke a 24-year-old school record, finishing in a time of 48.23 seconds.

Meanwhile, his two victories allowed him to take home the High Point award, an annual honor that goes to the senior with the most career points at the championship meet.

The following week, Machat again added his name to the school’s record book.

At the state Division 2 championships, Machat broke the 28-year-old school mark in the 200 freestyle when he finished second in 1:45.19. He then broke his own record in the 100 with a third-place time of 48:09 seconds.

“Going into the state finals after the Western Mass. championships I was simply overjoyed at the fact that I had already broken the school record so I went into the state finals with the mindset that it was just another meet,” he said. “After I got out of the water, I looked up at the scoreboard and saw my time. I immediately went over to my coach and asked him if I really swam that fast. I couldn’t believe it. I was shocked that I was able to best my own school record so quickly after I had just set it.”

Machat’s coach was the late Steve Constantine, who passed away suddenly on May 4.

Machat finished his career with three individual school records. He was also a member of three record-breaking relays.

“I’d have to say looking back on my senior year, I’m very proud of myself for being able to do what I put my mind to do,” the 17-year-old said. “I was really happy to see all of my hard work and persistence actually pay off. After putting so much into this season and setting my mind to those goals for so long, it felt really good. Overall, this year was a great accomplishment.

Machat will head off to New Jersey and attend Seton Hall University this fall on an athletic and academic scholarship. He plans to obtain a degree in environmental studies.

“I know going in that next year will be harder than anything else I’ve ever done,” he said. “I think that the expectations for doing well are going to be much higher at Seton Hall and balancing my time between swimming and classwork is going to be a real challenge. My primary goal is to get an education above anything else so I don’t want to neglect my studies. I’m excited though. I can’t wait to meet my new coach as well as my new teammates and I’m looking forward to having a successful collegiate career.”

FIRST TEAM

Eric Chen, junior, Amherst Regional

Cieran Dillon-Davidson, junior, Amherst Regional

Marc Klepacki, sophomore, Amherst Regional

Colin Machat, senior, Northampton

Ryan Maniello, sophomore, South Hadley

Alan Tang, junior, Amherst Regional

Aidan Winn, junior, Northampton

SECOND TEAM

Andrew Burns, senior, Belchertown

Hunter Carkhuff, freshman, Amherst Regional

James Connolly, sophomore, Northampton

Reeves Connolly, junior, Northampton

Robbie Lewis, senior, Belchertown

Elias Miller, senior, Northampton

Matt Quinney, freshman, Belchertown

Sam Scudere-Weiss, junior, Belchertown

William Sullivan, junior, Easthampton

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