Big Red athletes make their mark

Exeter girls and boys swimmers claim third place in New Englands; track team breaks records.

Brian Muldoon
March 6, 2022
Phillips Exeter Academy Swimming

The girls 200 yard medley relay team of Brianna Cong '25, Claire Han '23, Amy Benson '23 and Sydney Kang '22 pose with their first-place medals on the podium. 

Updating the record boards in the Nekton Pool and Thompson Field House is becoming a rich, annual tradition as Big Red student-athletes continue to shatter longstanding marks.  

Swimmer Sydney Kang ’22 was an absolute standout in the pool this winter. She now holds a whopping seven of the 11 school records in girls swimming, as well as a New England record. Kang set the New England, school and facility record in the 100-yard butterfly at Franklin & Marshall College as she swam to a first-place time of 54.17 at the prestigious Eastern Interscholatics meet, and added a Division I record and New England title to her résumé one week later at the New England Championships. Kang also helped set new marks in the relays as she teamed up with a talented group, including Sophie Phelps ’25, Brianna Cong ’25 and Amy Benson ’23, to break school records in both the 400-yard freestyle relay (3:27.96) and 200-yard freestyle relay (1:35.44). Kang, Benson, Cong and Claire Han ’25 also worked together to set a school record in the 200-medley relay (1:45.61). The Yale-bound senior wraps up her illustrious career with school records in the 200-medley relay, 200 freestyle, 200 individual medley, 50 freestyle, 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle relay and 400 freestyle relay.  

Alongside Kang, a pair of preps wasted little time in getting their names on the board. Sophie Phelps ’25 smashed a pair of individual records set by Big Red swimming legend Lauren Brady ’07. Phelps swam to a time of 1:51.55 to win a New England title in the 200-yard freestyle, topping Brady’s former top mark of 1:53.12. She then shaved more than five seconds off of Brady’s 2006 record in the 500-yard freestyle, coming in with a time of 5:00.75.  

Brianna Cong ’25 snapped a nine-year-old record while also earning a New England title in the 100-yard backstroke when she raced to a time of 56.50. The previous record was held by Olivia Jackson ’13.  

On the track, Byron Grevious ’24 paced the way for the Big Red indoor season with some impressive marks that garnered eyes from around the country. Grevious snapped a 50-year-old school record in the two-mile run with a blistering time of 9:04.27. The previous mark was held by G. Andrew Walker ’72. Grevious, who also was the individual New England Cross Country Champion this past fall, also set a new school mark at 3,000 meters with a time of 8:22.87. Both marks were the fastest by any 10th grader in the country.  

Jaylen Bennett ’25 set three new Big Red prep records in the 200-meter (23.30), 400-meter (50.31) and 600-meter (1:29.26) races. His performance in the 400-meter run was the fastest of any freshman in the nation.  

Big Red also established a record in a newly minted event, the 4x400 mixed-gender relay. The relay, which was introduced at the Tokyo Summer Games as a medal event, was added to the Exeter/Andover Prep/Lower meet where William Simpson ’24, Tenley Nelson ’24, Jannah Maguire ’25 and Jaylen Bennett ’25 established a time of 4:05.84.