SWIMMER TO WATCH
The Texas-bound senior and reigning All-Met swimmer of the year won region and state titles in the 200 IM and 100 butterfly, with automatic all-American times in both events and a national high school record in short-course meters in the former (2:16.39). Pawlowicz will once again lead a strong Cougars’ lineup looking to improve on last season’s fourth-place finish at the AAA state meet.
The two-time All-Met set a meet record in the 200 IM last at the Montgomery County championships last winter, but a stomach bug caused her to struggle at Metros. Expect a big year from the Florida State recruit.
1. Can Whitman repeat?
The Vikings won Metros for the first time in program history last winter. All-Met Danielle Schulkin is now a freshman at Harvard. Still, the Vikings are poised to have another big year. “When you lose some of your top-notch swimmers,” Whitman Coach Geoff Schaefer said, “who’s gonna replace them?” Maybe juniors Reia Tong (freestyle) and Victoria Kuhn (freestyle, backstroke), who Schaefer said can “pretty much guarantee first place” every time they swim.
2. Severna Park stacked again?
With Virginia-bound All-Met Emily Lloyd leading the way, the Falcons won the Maryland 4A/3A team title last winter, their third championship in four years. Can Severna Park make it four out of five? “We have a lot of questions,” Coach Mike McTammany said. Sophomore Katelyn Sowinski, a transfer who moved to the area from Texas, will be a big edition to the team, McTammany said. Broadneck and South River will challenge the Falcons Anne Arundel County this winter.
3. Will Robinson keep it going?
The Rams rolled to a sizeable victory and a second straight Virginia AAA title last February using depth to compensate for just a single top finish in the 200 medley relay. Robinson returns junior Rachel Canty – who took third in 100 breast fifth in the 200 IM – but will be challenged by Concorde District rivals Oakton and last year’s runners-up, Langley.
AROUND THE AREA
Two-time All-Met Emily Ryczek, who won both the 50 and 100 freestyle events at Metros for the second straight year last winter, will be a force once again for Sherwood. Ryczek will swim at Virginia Tech next year. Sherwood’s Megan Conrad and Rikki Sargent – who finished 17th in the 200 IM at Metros last season – will both contribute. … Walter Johnson divers Annie Kastler, the reigning county champ, and Katie Collins are both back. … Churchill junior Natalya Ares could have a breakout season. She finished fourth in the 50 freestyle and third in the 100 fly at the Montgomery County championship meet last winter. … Gaithersburg’s Ellen Anderson will be tough to beat this season. The junior All-Met honorable mention won the 500 freestyle championship at the county meet last season. … Richard Montgomery sophomore Brittany Dickerson is an up-and-comer. She finished sixth in the 100 fly at last season’s county meet. Junior Faye Hixenbaugh, a sprint freestyler, will also help out the Rockets this winter. … Rockville senior Michaela Kerem placed third in the 100 freestyle at last season’s Montgomery County Division 3 meet. … Promising Wootton sophomore Allie Klatzkin, an honorable mention All-Met, finished fourth in the 100 fly at the county championships last season. … Urbana junior Alexa Santis swam a leg of the winning 400 free relay team at last season’s 3A/4A championship meet. … Holy Cross senior Katie Rogers will look to build on a junior season in which she owned the area’s fastest times in both the 200 (1:50.60) and 500 freestyles (4:55.11), winning Metros titles in both. Junior teammate Ashleigh Ferguson finished third in the 100 back and fourth in the 50 free at Metros. Wilson senior Callie Fosburgh will look to improve on a second-place Metros finish in the 200 IM. … Two-time All-Met Sarah Haase swept the 100 breast (1:01.77) and 200 IM (2:02.34) at Metros with a pair of automatic all-American times and a record-setting mark in the medley. The junior will lead a Good Counsel team that won 12 straight Metros titles before Churchill snapped their streak in 2009. Haase and company, who finished second to Whitman last year, have their sights set on taking the title back. … Nationally ranked freshman Janet Hu (24th in 200 fly at short-course nationals) will give Pawlowicz and Oakton a big boost in backstroke and the fly. … Three-time defending Liberty District champions Madison bring back sophomore Laura Kellan, who finished seventh in the 100 freestyle at states, will look to make it for in a row, but Langley should give the Warhawks another strong challenge atop the district. Seniors Jayme Katis (Virginia Tech) and Megan Howard and sophomore Abi Speers were both part of the Saxons’ state champion 200 free relay squad (1:48.94) and combined for four top-six individual finishes in freestyle events at the state meet. … McLean senior Eva Greene (Cal-Berkeley) is coming off shoulder surgery, but once healthy, could show the form that earned her second-place finishes in the 100 free and back at states. … West Potomac junior Reanna Dona posted a pair of top-10 state times in the 50 free and 100 back and Wolverines sophomore Hellen Moffitt finished third in the 50 free and second in the 100 fly. … Sinhye Won of West Springfield returns as the Viginia breastroke state champion. … Yorktown has won 17 straight National District titles (every one since the league formed in 1993) but will rely on a strong class of incoming freshmen to extend that mark. … State, Northern Region and Liberty District diving champion Kelli Stockton (445.10) returns for her senior season at Fairfax. …Forest Park finished seventh at the state meet last season and could make another strong showing behind junior Northwest Region 100 fly and 200 freestyle champion Shannon Harper, senior Briana Murphy (sixth in 100 free at states), and sophomore Ally Bodmer. … Gar-Field’s Taylor Vincent finished second in the 50 free and third in the 100 free at states. … After finishing fifth at the AAA state meet in 2009, Osbourn moved up to third last season and hopes to challenge for another title. … Osbourn Park‘s Emma Skelley set a school record in the 500 free in the team’s first meet of the season. … Briar Woods will look to build on last year’s fourth place finish at the Virginia A-AA championships. … Rachel Swarts is the returning 100 fly and back champion for Flint Hill in the ISL where Holton-Arms takes aim at an eighth straight title. … Seton, Bishop Ireton and Madeira will all be in the mix for the VSIS Div. II state title once again. … Maret sophomore Sofie Pietrantonio swept the 200 IM and 100 fly at the WMPSSDL championships.
KEY DATES (Boys and Girls)
Feb. 3-5: Virginia AAA Northern Region championships, Oak Marr ReCenter.
Feb. 12: Montgomery County Division 1 championships, Martin Luther King Swim Center.
Feb. 17-19: Montgomery County championships, Martin Luther King Swim Center.
Feb. 18-19: Virginia AAA state championships, Princess Anne Community Recreation Center, Virginia Beach.
Feb. 24-26: Virginia AA/A state championships, Christiansburg Aquatics Center, Christiansburg.
Feb. 26: MPSSAA 1A/2A/3A (4 p.m.) and 3A/4A (10 a.m.) state championships, University of Maryland College Park.
Feb. 26: Metros championships, Germantown Indoor Swim Center.
(Maryland swimming beat reporter Alan Siegel contributed to this report.)
Tags: AAA Northern Region, Abi Speers, Concorde District, Eva Greene, Janet Hu, Kaitlin Pawlowicz, Liberty District, Maryland High School Swimming, Montgomery County High School Swimming, National District, Northern Region, Oakton High School, Sarah Haase, Virginia High School Swimming