On Friday night, the W.T. Woodson swim team members sat for three hours in their bus on the way home from a meet against Annandale, victims of the snowstorm and the traffic nightmares it caused on the weekend.
Lucky for the bus driver, however, the Cavaliers were in a good mood following a fourth consecutive victory that allowed them to remain undefeated on both the boys’ and girls’ sides. The Woodson boys downed Annandale 210-105 and the girls also won convincingly, 208-107, as the Cavaliers moved to 4-0 in their first season in the Virginia AAA Patriot District.
“I know everyone says the dual season doesn’t matter,” Woodson Coach Susie Hamrock said. “But it’s exciting and it gives you momentum – and it is a lot of fun to win.”
On the boys’ side, the Cavaliers have several strong swimmers bolstered by a deep team that picks up points on the back end. Led by Kevin Vest (50 and 100 free), Brady Baffer (butterfly), Michael Chesnut (200 and 500 free, 100 breast) and Bo Ilgenfritz, Woodson’s boys have yet to win a meet by fewer than 101 points.
“The boys team is so strong and so deep,” Hamrock said. “We have an incredible sophomore class, really strong juniors, incoming freshman that are already placing for us, so we’re excited about the boys team going through the district and we’re hoping to be in the top five at regionals and place well at states, too.”
The girls also have a number of strong swimmers picking up points, including Morgan Bui, sophomores Rachel Rogers and Maggie Rodgers, Betty Fan, Caitlin Rider, Jill King and Kristen Lauer.
Going into winter vacation, Woodson has proven it is a contender this season – and it will face its toughest challenge yet when it gets back from break and takes on West Springfield on Jan. 15.
Hamrock said the team feels confident after yet another win before the break — though the weather nearly kept it from getting home after the latest victory. When a traffic update from a diving parent had the bus drivers avoiding a treacherous Beltway, Woodson opted to use Old Keene Mill Road to get back to the school.
Instead, they ended up in a traffic jam that had them snared for nearly three hours and they didn’t get back to the school until 1:40 a.m., while parents waited in the parking lot for their kids to get home.
“I felt bad because so many parents were at school waiting, we had no phone service in the alley at bottom of hill and parents were wondering what happened to us,” Hamrock said. “Then people still had to get home to [neighborhoods like] Fairfax Station after that. It was a little scary. No one was in danger, it was just a long night.”
Jefferson stays undefeated
While the snow wiped out all of Saturday’s events, Jefferson was also able to get one more win in before going into winter break and also remained undefeated on the year with a convincing win over South Lakes.
A traditional power, Jefferson may again prove to be among the challengers in Virginia, as the boys downed the Seahawks 212-97 while the girls took home a 216-98 win.
Double winners for Jefferson included Anna Lan (200 and 100 free), Katie Bennett (200 IM and 100 back), Alex Dona (200 free and 100 fly), Matt Callahan (100 free and 100 breast), and Stephen Seliskar (500 free and 100 back).
Saturday’s Montgomery County high school meets were canceled due to the snow and, according to Churchill Coach Rodney Van Tassell, it is unlikely they will be made up later in the season.
With schools closed through the holiday weekend, high school teams will not be able to practice between now and the new year, but that should not have much of an effect on the majority of the area’s swimmers.
“Most of the best swimmers and divers in the county compete for private clubs as well, so they will not miss much,” Van Tassell said.