Records Fall at MCSL Coaches Invitational

Records Fall at MCSL Coaches Invitational

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Audrey Richter, 10, of Norbeck Hills, wins the Girls 9-10 100 meter freestyle at the 33rd MCSL Coaches Invitational Long Course meet at Rockville Municipal Swim Center. (By Deb Lindsey, The Washington Post)
Audrey Richter, 10, of Norbeck Hills, wins the Girls 9-10 100 meter freestyle at the 33rd MCSL Coaches Invitational Long Course meet at the Rockville Municipal Swim Center. (By Deb Lindsey, The Washington Post)

The best of the Montgomery County Swim League was on display at Rockville Municipal Swim Center last night at the 33rd Coaches Invitational Long Course meet.

The top eight swimmers in each individual event competed against each other in the late-season all-star meet. The swimmers certainly proved they were the league’s elite, setting new Montgomery County Swim League records all night.

Lauren James, 12, of Poolesville set the meet record in the night’s second event, finishing the girls’ 12-and-under 200-meter individual medley in 2:32.58. Carderock Spring’s Charlotte Meyer, 14, did the same just two events later, in the girls 13-14 200-meter IM, shaving almost two seconds off the record with her 2:24.40 finish.

Tilden Woods’ Timmy Ellet, 8, set the record in the 8-and-under 50-meter freestyle with a time of 32.73, as did Caroline McTaggart, 12, of the Chevy Chase Recreation Association in 11-12 100-meter free with a time of 1:00.62 (Katie Ledecky, 12, of Palisades finished second in the race and also broke the existing record with her time of 1:00.97). Hallowell swimmer Brady Fox, 18, set a record in the 15-18 200-meter free, finishing in 1:54.53. He also lost a record when Flower Valley’s Jack Conger, 14, bested Fox’s old record in the 13-14 100-meter backstroke with a time of 59.15. Conger later broke another of Fox’s old records, in the 13-14 100-meter butterfly, with a time of 57.75. Palisades swimmer Grant Goddard, 12, broke the record in the 11-12 100-meter fly, finishing in 1:07.08, while Potomac Woods’ Kaitlin Mills, 17, broke the record in the 15-18 200-meter backstroke with a time of 2:19.14. (Woodley Gardens’ Ashleigh Ferguson, 15, also broke the record, finishing second with a time of 2:21.06).

“This is fastest meet besides metros, it’s literally the fastest of Montgomery County’s swimmers,” Mills said. “It shows that all our hard work pays off for something.”

Mills said that the meet was more intense than others because it is in the long-course format, meaning that it is swum in a 50-meter pool, rather than the 25-meter pool used for every other MCSL competition. All of the events are doubled, meaning that swimmers must work harder than usual to finish and to win.

“Everything is doubled, so it’s a much tougher challenge for the swimmers,” organizer Martin Cohen said. “You see some varying times and seeding changes because of it.”

The organizers use the long-course format for this event so swimmers could use their times to qualify for USA Swimming national meets and teams. It makes for a much more important meet than usual, according to Flower Valley swimmer Sarah Haase, 15.

“This is more serious,” Haase said. “It’s not so much team-oriented. It’s more about who’s first or who’s fastest.”

The MCSL also recognized its introductory Hall of Fame class Tuesday night. The league, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, honored 32 of its founders, notable volunteers, coaches and swimmers with plaques. It was the first time back for some people who had been associated with the league long ago.

“It means a great deal for me to be here, see Bill Bullough, Clay Britt, people who were there then that are here today,” league founder Stan Tinkham said, as he looked around the room at the honorees. “That was such a fun time in my life.”

Tinkham, the 1956 U.S. Olympic swim team coach, said that he marveled at the organization of the league, and how efficiently it is run for such a large institution.

“We had 350 kids back then,” he said. “Now to see how important it is, how big it is — it’s an exciting time.”


  1. I hope none of these kids were wearing fast suits. that would be immoral. Fast suits should be banned from any junior competition including youth olympics and junior worlds.

  2. Almost all of them were wearing racing suits. I personally have no problem with the suits. Everybody has the opportunity to get one, so its not like they have an advantage over one another. In fact, I was wearing one.

  3. I agree with PMoney. There is really no reason for technical suits to be worn at that level of competition. I hope these swimmers realize they are fortunate to have the means to have the suits available to them. Sorry J. Foster, you are mistaken in assuming “everyone has the opportunity to get one.”

    However, the opportunity that is available to every swimmer is to choose how they train. There are no short cuts, and everyone involved in the sport knows the time and effort it takes to achieve success. If you want to get faster, put your head in the right place and practice, practice, practice. The reward of success might just be a little sweeter.

    So, save those suits for the NCAAs, Olympic Trials, etc. Put on your speedo brief or lycra suit and show us what you can really do. How about it parents?

  4. Of course these suits should be allowed. This is not a normal MCSL dual meet. I would bet at least 80% of these kids are swimming 10 hours or more a week. As stated in the article, “The organizers use the long-course format for this event so swimmers could use their times to qualify for USA Swimming national meets and teams”.

    If these suits weren’t allowed, these swimmers, who work their butts off, would be at a disadvantage vs. other national swimmers in qualifying times. While for a large portion of MCSL swimmers, thisis a summer pasttime, for some it is incredibly competitive and a way for them to get to college and possibly the Olympics. This meet is set up for swimmers to get qualifying times to compete at higher levels.

  5. AK, it is a summer league meet, not a duel meet but still a very competitive summer league meet…It is NOT an olympic qualifying meet or a meet widely attended by college coaches that are recruiting . A time is a time is a time. The suits are for older athletes that swim at a high level like nationals or NcAA’s, not for a dressed up summer league meet. 500 dollar suits were not meant for 14 year olds that want an AAAA time.We are not talking Jr Nationals here..
    Let me ask you a question..what do you think is more meaningful, A kid that can break a record in an older suit or one that can break a record by 2 seconds in a LZR or Jaked or Arena..Give me a break..And I will tell you something else, college coaches know and ask about suits and they dont like them any better then most of us.
    If your kid is a hard worker, puts in the hours in the pool..good for hi. He should be applauded, swimming is a great sport..If they are a high level age grouper, tell them to save the tech suit for Jr Nats or a sectional meet..
    Summer league is fun..and parents need to excersise a little commen sense and set a good example for their kids,
    I would love to see NVSL, CSL, MCSL and all the others ban the them for the big I said, I have yet to see a college coah recruiting at a summer league meet

  6. You all bring up good points but ask any of the coaches, they will tell you this is a big meet, much like Metros and many kids use the meet to make cuts for the US Open by swimming fast against other talented swimmers. Although it invloved MCSL swimmers, the meet is sanctionned by PVS.

    Interesting to note that some kids with the latest suits did not do very well at all.

    On another note, if it were up to me all kids would be using the suits used byt the Mark Spitz generation. Just my opinion.

  7. this is freaking ridiculous. who cares whether the person next to you is wearing a LZR and your stuck wearing just the old fastskin. The suits mean nothing unless you have trained hard and are mentally and physically prepared for a meet and race. Congrats to you if you can afford a LZR or another high end suit and if you can’t like me then just suck it up and train harder and stop hating on those who can afford to buy one.

  8. I still think that the suits should be allowed. To quote an Olympic swimmer whose name escapes me, but I read this in Michael Phelps’ autobiography, “I tested the suit. I threw it in the water and it didn’t move at all, so I still have to swim.” If this is the case, why wouldn’t the suits be allowed?

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