For four years, Eva Greene couldn’t wait until her summer team, the Tuckahoe Tigers, moved back up to Division 1 in the Northern Virginia Swimming League. Greene grew up swimming against Division I foes, competing and making friends in the toughest of the NVSL’s 17 divisions.
When Tuckahoe returned to Division 1 for the 2010 season, excitement overwhelmed the entire team but the shift hasn’t come without growing pains. After tremendous success last summer – winning Division 2 and taking second at NVSL’s All Star relays – Tuckahoe opened its season with a 256-146 loss to powerhouse and 26-time division champion Overlee, which captured its 22nd consecutive meet victory in the win. Saturday, the Tigers must face another titan in 2009 Division 1 runner-up Chesterbrook.
“It’s definitely difficult going up against possibly the two toughest teams in the whole league,” said Greene, an All-Met from McLean who swims and coaches at Tuckahoe. “But it gives us a chance to work on all of our kinks, just have some fun and get better for some of the other meets later on in the summer.”
Greene believes the Tuckahoe girls, who won 102 of the team’s 146 points against Overlee, can excel against any foe, regardless of division. The 8-and-unders are led by Elizabeth Mennitt, who qualified for All-Stars as a seven-year-old in 2009, while Megan Howard and Greene anchor the older age group. They’re also hopeful that the mixed-ages 200 free relay, featuring Eva Greene, Claire Greene, Evie Giesman and Bethany Rysak might have a shot at breaking the NVSL record (1:58.46, set in 1998).
“I think we’d love to show (Division I) teams what we’ve got after being down for a little bit,” Eva Greene said. “I think everyone likes being back and being able to compete against some of the fastest swimmers in the area.”
Tuckahoe isn’t the only team trying to adjust to it’s new division early on this summer. Also in the NVSL, all six Division 6 teams are new to the classification. Fox Hunt, Hunt Valley and Sideburn Run all went 4-1 in 2009, earning a promotion from Division 7, while Orange Hunt, Pinecrest, and Waynewood moved down. The result is a hyper-competitive division with no immediate frontrunner.
Prince-Mont’s Division A welcomed Westlake Village to the fold after the Waves went 5-0 in Division B last summer. Westlake Village lost to league favorites the MVP Dolphins, 304-266, and Takoma Park, 337-232, but still boast bright spots among their younger swimmers. In the 8-and-under class Kerrigan McMillen and Anthony Nguyen have each won six individual events, and in 12-and-under Andrew Nguyen has won six as well.
Meanwhile in the Montgomery County Swim League, Flower Valley lost its first two dual meets in Division A – falling 506-286 to Tilden Woods and 439.5-351.5 to Bethesda — after moving up from Division B, where it finished second in 2009.
It’s not hard for Flower Valley’s Sarah Haase to find extra motivation against her new foes. But despite having won each of the individual events she’s entered through two weeks, Haase, who also helps coach, knows a few wins could go a long way with helping the team’s overall morale.
“It would definitely be good to win a couple but as a group we usually do well at things like the relays and divisionals, so it’s not too bad,” Haase said. “We have really good leaders on our team and so we try to keep our spirit up and make sure everyone’s learning what it takes to compete at the A level.”
Firecracker set for second year in Prince William
Bridlewood hosts the 2nd annual Firecracker Relays Monday July 5 beginning at 7:45 a.m. as 12 teams and approximately 650 swimmers from the Prince William Swim League compete and raise money for the Prince William Hospital Foundation.
The goal is to raise at least $3,000 for the hospital, carnival organizer Scott Deibler said, adding that Bridlewood will also be collecting food for SERVE, a homeless shelter in Manassas.