Heading into the season, Clarksburg’s first-year coach Jennifer Thai knew she had a talented freshman class with the potential to make a run at the Division IV title. After a critical dual meet against Einstein that came down to the final event Saturday, the Coyotes appear right on track.
As front-runners in the division heading into the season, Einstein earned a 98-72 win on the girls’ side but had to sweat out the final relays after a strong performance by the Clarksburg boys. The Titans notched second and third place finishes in both 400 free relays to narrowly edge Clarksburg overall, 172-168.
Led by freshman Joshua Kiehl, the Clarksburg boys held their own without freshman Andrew Qian, who was competing in Arizona over the weekend. The Coyotes won eight of the 11 events to claim a 96-74 victory. Kiehl was a triple-winner, taking the 200 freestyle by more than 12 seconds (1:51.16), winning the 500 free with a time of 4:52.66 and anchoring a first place 400 free relay team (3:58.34) that also included Nicholas Civetti, John Bernard Willis and Thomas Le.
“I didn’t think we would do so well without our second best swimmer in Andrew,” Thai said. “But our boys swim really well. A lot of them dropped time, we won a lot of the close races and we took both relays.”
The Coyotes did not have as much luck on the girls’ side against Einstein, which was without a couple of its top swimmers. Carol Anderson won both the 200 (2:13.06) and 500 free (5:59.57) and swam the final leg for the 200 medley relay (2:08.85), which also took first place. Stephanie Pratt was also a triple-winner, finishing first in the 200 IM (2:31.75) and 100 back (1:09.14) and swimming the first leg of the 200 medley relay.
Junior Lily Amberg swept the 50 free (27.77) and 100 fly (1:13.09) for Clarksburg and anchored the first place 400 free relay team (4:42.02), but the Coyotes won only one other girls’ event on the day. The loss was the first for both of Clarksburg’s teams this season.
“Our girls lost a lot of close races and we had some DQ’s as well,” Thai said. “Einstein is strong on the girls’ side and they beat us even without a couple of their top swimmers.”
Coming off a first place finish at their divisional relay carnival, the Coyotes are looking to improve upon last season’s Montgomery County championships when they managed only a single point between their combined teams.
“I honestly think we can win the division and that’s what we’re shooting for,” Thai said. “Obviously Einstein will be our toughest competition with their girls being so strong. But with Andrew and Josh in the lineup, I definitely think we can make an impact at counties and Metros.”
Elsewhere in Montgomery County Division I, the Whitman boys took first in the final event of the day – the 400 free relay – to get past Walter Johnson 86-84. On the strength of their girls, the Vikings rolled to a 189-151 overall victory.
Serge Gould was a triple-winner for Whitman, taking the 200 IM (1:55.97), 100 free (49.04) and anchoring the 400 free relay (3:19.17). Patrick Scordato and Katie Mahaffie also swept their respective events for the Vikings.
Loudoun County, Freedom hit state marks as Raider girls eke out one-point win
Loudoun County earned five state cuts during the meet, with their 400 freestyle relay of senior Will Shoemaker, sophomores Cort Clark and Jake Koenig and freshman Nick McCord turned in a time of 3:36.71.
“I told these guys to rest up and get that state qualifying time this afternoon,” Loudoun County Coach Nick Grzeda said in the team’s press release. “The time was all I cared about, and apparently it was all they cared about too! We have two out of the three relays in states this year and that is a heavy burden lifted off our shoulders.”
Clark also qualified for states in the 500 freestyle (5:14.02), a school record, while the girls 400 freestyle relay of seniors Julie Strange and Elise Rivera and sophomores Sophie Newton and Katie Russell also secured a state cut at 3:58.76. Newton also picked up two other state qualifying times in the 200 IM (2:20.36) and 50 freestyle (26.52) for the Raiders’ girls, who improved to 3-1.
For Freedom, state qualifiers included Amanda Smith (50 free – 26.33, 100 breast – 1:14.67), Chris Crampton (200 IM – 2:10.59), Stephanie Clark (200 IM – 2:23:31), Andrew Smith (50 free – 23.51), the boys 200 medley relay of Nick Campbell, Andrew Smith, Crampton and Ozan Duran (1:48.67) and the girls’ 400 freestyle relay of Clarke, Amanda Smith, Katie Johnson and Rachel Moffitt with a time of 4:00.46.
Cavaliers remain undefeated, down Spartans
The Cavaliers girls’ managed a 15-point win over the reigning Spartans, while the boys team rolled to a victory by more than 100 points.
The win gives W.T. Woodson an edge going into the district meet in two weeks, but prior to the meet Cavaliers Coach Susie Hamrock warned that whatever the result in the dual neither team could afford to put too much stock in it for the district meet.
“Being undefeated would be awesome going into the district meet but the district meet is going to be a three-to-four way dogfight as far as first place,” Hamrock said. “It could be anyone’s meet. We have been at an advantage having depth on our team and getting second through fifth places whereas other teams are getting first, but districts is going to be challenging” to get those points.