If early-season results were not convincing enough, last weekend’s outcomes certainly confirmed the dramatic reordering that many districts across the Northern Region are experiencing this year.
Dating back to the 2006 Patriot District Swim and Dive Championships – South County’s first year of competition – neither the Stallion boys nor girls have finished above their Lake Braddock counterparts. Over that same period, Lake Braddock’s boys and girls placed no worse than third at the district championship. The Stallions, however, appear poised to jump the Bruins.
On Friday night, South County’s girls notched a historic victory over the Bruins, 165-150, making a clear statement that they are district championship contenders. The Stallions benefited from outstanding swims by juniors Stephanie Phillips (1st in the 50 free and 2nd in the 100 free) and Mackenzie Walsh (1st, 200 IM; 1st, 100 free) as well as winning the 200 and 400 freestyle relays.
But perhaps the bigger surprise for South County Coach Robert Jones on Friday night was the performance of his boys. Despite losing 146-169 to Lake Braddock, Jones was pleased with the effort. “The boys did better than I thought [they would] and it was not just the few stars,” he said. “We were able to finish seventh and not eighth in all but two races.” Mike Herrmann was a double winner for the Stallion boys, picking up first place in both the 100 fly and 100 back.
Both the girls (171-143) and the boys (173-142) cruised to sizeable wins en route to the top of the Concorde District standings.
For the Bulldog girls, the result was even sweeter, avenging a season-opening loss to the Rams. In that meet they suffered a 50-point loss but pieced together a nearly 80-point swing to drop the Robinson girls by 28 points on Friday. Westfield’s depth that made the difference. In week one, the Robinson girls took third place in 10 of the 12 events. This time around, the Bulldog girls surrendered just two third-place finishes while taking 10 of their own.
The Westfield boys put together a well-rounded effort, limiting the Robinson boys to just one individual victory in a swimming event (Ricky Munch, 100 breast). They will now look to close out an undefeated dual-meet season this weekend against the 0-6 Centreville boys.
Other notable weekend results from across the region include wins from the Oakton boys (175-140) and the undefeated Cougar girls (200-155) over Chantilly as well as Thomas Jefferson’s drubbing of Stone Bridge, both boys (202-84) and girls (204-82). The Jefferson boys are 5-1 on the year after this past weekend’s win; the Jefferson girls improved to 4-2.
Whitman girls, Walter Johnson boys split
For the Whitman girls to make a run at a second straight Metros title this season, they first need to navigate their way through the difficult slate of Division 1 foes in Montgomery County. Saturday they picked up another valuable victory, once again using their depth and versatility to hold off a charge from Walter Johnson, 93-78. Meanwhile, the Wildcat boys turned the table on Whitman with a 116-55 rout.
The Vikings won seven of the 12 events and finished 1-2 in four of them. Sophomore Charlotte Meyer continued her strong season with first-place finishes in the 200 IM (2:10.31) and 100 back (59.63). Junior Reia Tong was also a double-winner, taking the 50 (24.46) and 100 free (53.56), sophomore Audrey Gould won the 100 breast (1:08.73) and Sarah Kannan took first in the 100 free (56.38). Junior Katie Mahaffie turned in a pair of second-place finishes in the 50 free (25.81) and 100 fly (1:02.77). Tong, Gould, Victoria Kuhn and Sophie Pellegrini won the 200 medley relay (1:53.31).
But while the Vikings stayed perfect on the season, they were pushed. Senior Elizabeth Pepper – a Florida State recruit – swept the 500 free (5:11.64) and 100 fly (59.62) and along with Sidney Drill, Elizabeth Straathoff and Cara Machlin, dealt Whitman its first defeat in the 400 free relay since the 2008-09 season. Drill also won the 200 free (1:58.17) and Katherine Young took first in diving (131.70).
“When I watched the first two relays, I knew they were stacking the last one,” Whitman Coach Geoff Schaefer said. “I knew then that it would be a close meet and it was good to see our girls step up when they were pushed. Our girls are so strong in their events that we go into every meet expecting them to win — maybe you shouldn’t do that as a coach, but they keep winning.”
On the boys’ side, the Wildcats took control of the meet from the outset and never looked back. Barry Mangold took the 200 (1:48.62) and 500 free (5:09.26) and Fletcher Tollefson swept the 200 IM (2:06.85) and 100 breast (1:03.58). Other Walter Johnson winners included James Loos in the 100 back (59.25), Andy Miller in diving (124.55) and Jordan Ray in the 50 free (22.72) who just touched out teammate Garrett Powell (22.79). Powell, Tollefson, Patrick Berry and Brian Daza took first in the 200 medley relay (1:44.28) and Chris Root, Jean-Marc Nugent, Ray and Mangold won the 400 free relay (3:23.09).
Whitman sophomore Patrick Scordato won the 100 free (49.22) and finished second behind Mangold in the 200 free and Ben Bouvier took first in the 100 fly (57.33), edging Walter Johnson’s Arthur Arcaz by a narrow 0.03 seconds. But the Vikings’ lack of depth was exposed on a day when they were without senior Michael Kellman.
“We knew we didn’t really have a good shot to win the meet, so we put some people in different events to get exposure and qualify some kids for Metros,” Schaefer said. “We had a lot of holes in our lineup and WJ swam well.”
While Schaefer was happy with the win on the girls’ side, he knows times will start dropping in the coming months as teams gear up for divisional and county meets.
“The times were not stellar,” Schaefer said. “A lot of these athletes, their muscles are broken down from winter training with their club teams, so it’s to be expected. They’re not peaking yet, but that’s a good thing. You don’t want them to hit that point until February in the championship meets and Metros.”
“We’re going to have to throw the kitchen sink at them and see if they can hold it,” Schaefer said of the upcoming schedule. “There’s going to be a lot of sweating on the deck. Those are the types of meets that are very fun to watch as a spectator and incredibly frustrating as a coach.”
Montgomery County roundup
Elsewhere in Division I, Churchill doubled up Bethesda-Chevy Chase as Harrison Gu (200 IM, 500 free), Natalya Ares (200 IM, 100 free) were both double-winners and Wootton swept Sherwood with Kevin (200 free, 500 free) and Michael Fu (50 free, 100 breast) and Thomas Finn (200 IM, 100 back) came away with two wins apiece. Senior Emily Ryczek took the 50 (25.00) and 500 free (5:13.44) for the Warriors.
Blair bested Poolesville and Richard Montgomery’s girls narrowly held off Quince Orchard (86-80) to sweep their Division II meet. Jack Foster (200 IM, 500 free), Eric Ruggieri (200 free, 100 breast) and Jennifer Arai (50, 500 free) swept their individual events for the Blazers while Diana Hanson (200 IM, 100 free) was a double-winner for the Falcons. Anthony Yang (200 free, 100 fly), Faye Hixebaugh (200, 100 free), Gregory Song (200 IM, 500 free) and Brittany Dickerson (200 IM, 500 free) all came away with two wins for the Rockets.
In Division III action, Blake cruised past Kennedy with Spencer Sterling (50 and 500 free), Cameron Lancon (100 fly, 100 back) and Rachel Jaffe (200 IM, 500 free) Amanda Freeman (50 free, 100 back) all coming away double-winners. Elsewhere, Magruder got by Gaithersburg with strong showings from senior Alex Smoot (50, 100 free), Abigail Triau (50, 100 free) and Scott Powell (500 free, 100 breast). Ellen Anderson (200 IM, 100 back) and Tyler Pham (200 IM, 100 back) were double-winners for Gaithersburg.
Finally, in Division IV, Watkins Mill swept Wheaton and hung on for a one-point win (77-76) on the girls’ side over Springbrook, while the Blue Devils took the boys’ half of the meet (93-71). Springbrook rolled past Wheaton.
(Matt Brooks contributed to this report.)