Many of the area’s top swimmers competed in the Tom Dolan Invitational at George Mason University over the weekend, posting fast times in the meet’s biggest field yet. There were 8,500 swims in all, and some of the best times of the weekend came from Maryland, D.C. and Virginia high school swimmers.
Rockville-Montgomery Swim Club’s Jack Conger (Good Counsel) broke the national age group record for 15-16-year-olds in the 200 backstroke, posting a time of 1:43.16 — five-tenths of a second under the previous record. Conger also took first in the 100 back (47.95) and third in the 50 free (20.45).
In the boys’ 500 free, RMSC’s Garrett Powell (Walter Johnson) edged out Curl-Burke’s Kurtis Ratcliff (Westfield) with a time of 4:31.33. Curl-Burke’s Chuck Katis (Langley) won the 200 IM (1:50.27) ahead of Machine Aquatics Charlie Putnam (McLean, Sr.) who also took second in the 200 back. Ratcliff finished second in the 200 fly, followed by Curl-Burke’s Mark Sarman (Broad Run). Curl-Burke swept the top two spots in the 400 medley relay with Sarman, Philip Hu (Oakton), Zach Hayden and Joe Pascale finishing first (3:23.54) followed by the foursome of Katis, Kyle Tyrrell (Annandale), Cyrus Hashemi (Marshall) and Ryan Dunne. Hu, Katis, Sarman and Pascale also took first in the 200 medley ahead of Powell, Jonathan Ekstrom (Georgetown Prep), Conger and Sean Rhinehart (Wootton), who also finished second in the 400 free relay.
In the girls’ events, Curl-Burke Janet Hu (Oakton, Fr.) piled up second-place finishes in the 50 free (23.52), 100 back (54.77) and 200 back (1:58.97) and added a pair of third-place finishes in the 200 fly and 200 IM. Teamed with Osbourn Park‘s Courtney Mizerak, West Potomac‘s Hellen Moffitt and Gar-Field‘s Taylor Vincent, Hu won the 200 medley relay (1:45.67), narrowly edging out RMSC’s Ashleigh Ferguson (Holy Cross), Sarah Haase (Good Counsel), Natalya Ares (Churchill) and Emily Ryczek (Sherwood), who finished less than one second behind in third place (1:46.60).
Hu’s senior teammate with Curl-Burke and at Oakton, Kaitlin Pawlowicz, also had a big weekend as she won the 200 fly (2:00.39) and took second in both the 500 free (4:48.67) and 1,000 free (9:50.62).
Haase took second in the 200 IM (2:.03.18) and third in the 200 breast and teamed with Ferguson, Ryczek and Elizabeth Pepper (Walter Johnson) to claim the top time in the 400 medley relay (3:23.54) ahead of Curl-Burke’s Hu, Rachel Canty (Robinson), Moffitt and Jayme Katis (Langley). Haase, Pepper, Ryczek and Ares also won the 400 free relay (3:26.48), narrowly getting past the team of Hu, Pawlowicz, Vincent and Kendall Hough.
Caroline Fosburgh (Wilson) of Machine Aquatics finished second in the 100 free (51.31) and was followed by Ryczek in third and Ares in fourth. Pepper took second in the 200 fly behind Pawlowicz.
Katie Ledecky – a 13-year-old who competed primarily in open division events rather than the 13-14 age group – had a stellar weekend all around. She bested Curl-Burke teammate Pawlowicz in the 500 free (4:48.11) and finished first in the 13-14 1,000 free – distancing herself from the field by more than 47 seconds to finish in 9:50.58.
Bethesda-Chevy Chase downs Montgomery County boys’ champions Wootton
Facing Wootton in a dual meet is never easy. Bethesda-Chevy Chase Coach Jason Blanken is well aware of that. So when the Barons took on the Patriots on Saturday, he shuffled his lineup and hoped for the best.
“They have so much club swimmers on their team, both girls and boys,” Blanken said. “It’s hard to match up with that sometimes.”
The BCC boys scored a big win, beating defending Montgomery County Public Schools boys’ champion Wootton, 87-82. The weekend’s Tom Dolan Invitational thinned the Patriots’ talented roster, but Blanken and the Barons were still pleased with the result.
“It was huge for us,” Blanken said.
(Blanken admitted that if Wootton had its full roster, “the meet turns out very different.”)
Junior Jackson Fritz was spectacular, notching a pair of wins (both personal bests) in the 100 freestyle (51.84) and the 200 freestyle (1:57.21). Gabe Gan, who’d been battling a sinus infection, put together a gutsy performance, finishing third in both the 500 freestyle (5:32.96) and the 100 breaststroke (1:10.84).
Still, it came down to the wire.
“I knew it was gonna be close,” Blanken said. “At halftime of the meet, we were down four points.”
Bobby Witkop added wins in the 50 freestyle (23.63) and the 500 freestyle (5:27.62) for the Barons, who were able to hold on. …
On the girls side, Wootton pulled away for a 97-74 win. Liz Dickerson was a double individual winner for the Patriots, notching victories in the 50 freestyle (26.82) and the 100 butterfly (1:07.26). She also swam the anchor leg of the winning 400 freestyle relay team (3:59.97). (Tessa Urovsky, Kimberly Klausing and Katie Bolek took care of the first three legs.) Klausing also won the 200 freestyle (2:03.95) and the 500 freestyle (5:26.20).
Heritage drops in enrollment, picks up steam in the pool
Leesburg’s Heritage High School was hit hard this summer when nearby Tuscarora opened up, siphoning off a healthy chunk of the student body. This is the second and final year the Pride will compete in the AAA Cedar Run District, but despite a drop in enrollment that has the school facing AAA competition despite its AA size, Heritage is off to a great start to the season.
The Pride swept a pair of meets against district rivals Osbourn and Loudoun Valley Friday and Saturday to jump out to a 2-0 start. Against Osbourn, the Heritage boys claimed a 153-133 win while the girls won their side of the meet by a nearly identical score of 150-133. Senior Damon Rosenburg swept the 200 IM (2:00.98) and 100 free (50.62) while sophomore Daniel McAllister took first in the 100 fly (58.47) and 500 free (5:25.86). Senior Tim Melhuish nabbed a pair of second-place finishes in the 500 free and 100 breast. Against Loudoun Valley, all three swimmers were double winners.
Sophomores Kaleigh Rosenburg (100 free, 100 breast) and Allison Grecco (100 fly, 100 back) were also double winners against Osbourn and senior Jordan Gold swept the 200 (2:24.95) and 100 free (1:01.73) against the Vikings on Saturday.
“These results show that despite Heritage’s small size, we are a new team this year and can hold our own against the larger AAA schools,” Pride Coach John Kilmartin said.
(Maryland swimming beat reporter Alan Siegel contributed to this report.)