SWIMMER TO WATCH
Bradley Phillips, Oakton, Sr.
An All-Met selection last season, Phillips is the leader of an Oakton team with its sights set on taking the Virginia crown from seven-time champion Robinson. Winner last season of the 200 freestyle and second in the 500 free, both with automatic all-American times of 1 minute 40.62 seconds and 4:30.89, respectively, Phillips has committed to the University of Virginia.
1. Can Anyone Beat Robinson?
As is the story every year, teams around the area are aiming to knock the Rams off a perch they have held soundly for the past seven seasons. Oakton beat Robinson for the Northern Region crown last year but fell flat at states, and they along with teams like Langley, Madison and others will try to see if they can take the title off a Rams team that remains strong in its depth.
2. New Suits, New Times
One of the major changes during the high school offseason was the banning of the high-tech, full body suits that accounted for some of the fastest times the sport had ever seen. The impact of the suit goes beyond the world level, with many high school swimmers now adjusting to life without the LZR. How much will times at the major championships take a hit? Will any state or Metros records fall?
3. Georgetown Prep’s To Lose
After dominating the competition last year en route to WMPSSDL and Metros titles, the Little Hoyas remain the team to beat in the area. Considered the heavy favorites despite losing All-Met swimmer Brady Fox, it will be difficult to knock a deep team led by All-Met senior Matt Thomas out of first place especially with some programs, including Gonzaga, rebuilding. The list of teams hoping to take the title, however, is a long one: Churchill, Good Counsel, Sherwood, Whitman, Wootton and Walter Johnson.
AROUND THE AREA
Robinson will be under the direction of a new coach, Clayton Joyner, for the second consecutive year. The Rams bring back sophomore diver Cory Bowersox, the defending state champion, and boast plenty of depth. ….. Seton (Va.) All-Met senior Jameson Hill (a Georgia recruit) returns as one of area’s best and competed last summer at the World Cup in Stockholm and Berlin. ….. Oakton brings back Phillips and K.J. Park, and will be bolstered by the addition of freshman Philip Hu. …..
Georgetown Prep will be aided by the addition of junior transfer diver, Mike Mosca. ….. Gonzaga lost several seniors, including All-Met Pat Sullivan, and will be rebuilding. ….. Good Counsel lost the core of its third-place Metros team but will rebuild with young talent. ….. Langley returns junior Chuck Katis and senior Stephen Richards, both of whom swam automatic all-American times last year. ….. Senior Chris Verboncoeur and Churchill finished fourth at Metros last season and are a threat again with a loaded sophomore class that includes Chris Wysocki, Collin Stanhope, Timothy Faerber and Colin Asbury. ….. Whitman will not be far behind with Serge Gould, who finished 21st at Metros, leading the way and freshman standout Pat Scordato in the fold. Scordato placed second in the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle at last weekend’s Tom Dolan Invitational. ….. Sherwood returns a pair of talented seniors in Eric Conrad, who won the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke, and Mike Anderson, who won the 200 and 500 freestyle at the Montgomery County championships. ….. Senior Andrew Tollefson turned in an all-American time in the 100 breast at Metros and should excel in his final season at Walter Johnson. ….. Richard Montgomery is expecting big things from junior transfer Clemens Kaiser. ….. Senior Taylor Smith and junior James Robichaud lead two-time defending Maryland 3A/4A champion Broadneck as it makes a bid for a third consecutive title. …..
Keep an eye on Bishop Ireton, led by senior Angus MacDonald. ….. Another challenger in Virginia is Madison, which despite losing All-Met swimmer of the year Sean Fletcher now has a deeper team. ….. McLean returns junior Charlie Putnam, who had automatic all-American times in the 200 IM and 100 backstroke last season. ….. Keep an eye on South Lakes with seniors Brad Dillon (Maryland) and Mike Grimmett-Norris (Fordham). ….. Other names to watch include Edison senior Balazs Kiss, St. Albans senior Danny McDermott (Yale), Fairfax senior Jake Baumgardner (George Mason), St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes junior Cabell Perrot, Fairfax senior Joey Kelly, Broad Run sophomore Mark Sarman, Battlefield senior Nick Tremols and Landon junior Robert Spencer.
KEY DATES (Boys and Girls)
Feb. 4-5: Virginia AAA Northern Region championships, Oak Marr ReCenter.
Feb. 6: Washington Metropolitan Prep School Swimming and Diving League championships, George Mason.
Feb. 20: Virginia AAA state championships, Princess Anne Community Recreation Center, Virginia Beach.
Feb. 27: Metros championships, Germantown Indoor Swim Center.
Feb. 27: Maryland 1A/2A/3A and 3A/4A state championships, University of Maryland.
Tags: AAA Northern Region, Concorde District, Maryland High School Swimming, Matt Thomas, Montgomery County High School Swimming, Nick Tremols, Northern Region, Oakton High School, Philip Hu, Serge Gould, Virginia High School Swimming