Heading into Friday evening, it appeared that both the W.T. Woodson boys and girls would run away with the Patriot District regular-season titles, having trounced teams by more than 100 points on a combined six different occasions this year. But someone apparently forgot to tell that to the South County girls.
The Stallions came out strong to take down the Cavaliers 167-148, spoiling not only Woodson’s undefeated season, but also its Senior Night. Woodson junior Rachel Rogers contributed first and second-place finishes in the 100 butterfly (1:01.25) and the 200 IM (2:15.87), respectively. Despite both times achieving regional cuts, they were not enough to hold back the Stallions’ stampede.
“We believe that our loss to South County will only make the girls more focused and determined when we go to defend the district title this weekend,” Woodson Coach Susie Hamrock said.
On the boys’ side, the Cavaliers once again separated themselves from the rest of the Patriot District en route to a commanding 207.5-107.5 win. Dirk Verheul won the 500 freestyle (4:58.07), Logan Richlak took first in the 50 freestyle (22.47), and Bo Ilgenfritz notched a state cut in the 100 breaststroke (1:00.87), leading the Cavaliers and wrapping up an undefeated dual-meet schedule.
Despite losing 11 swimmers from last year’s district-winning team, the Woodson boys are perhaps even stronger this season. “Going into districts, our boys look very strong,” Hamrock said. “We may send even more boys to regionals than last year.”
Both the Cougar girls (194-121) and boys (213-102) prevailed as they put the finishing touches on impressive regular seasons. Janet Hu pushed Oakton’s girls out to an early lead with a victory in the 200 freestyle in a cool 1:53.66, and from there the Cougars never slowed down, winning every event except the 100 backstroke and the 100 breaststroke. Kaitlin Pawlowicz and Stephanie Hallock also had notable wins on the evening, taking the 100 freestyle (53.58) and the 500 freestyle (5:31.33), respectively.
“The Concorde District is one of the most competitive districts in the sport and the girls are ready to take on the competition,” said Oakton Coach Hunter Owen, whose girls team is 7-0.
The boys should also be in the running for a district title this weekend; they finished the season with a record of 6-1, losing only to an undefeated Westfield team. Among Friday night’s winners were Chris Megaw (200 freestyle, 1:49.61), Denny Nguyen (200 IM, 2:01.57), and Philip Hu (50 freestyle, 22.38; 100 backstroke, 53.99).
Owen is optimistic about his boys’ chances at Districts, but he also recognizes the talent that his guys are up against. “The boys are a strong unit that is confident and hungry for the postseason competition. The Bulldogs are a state-caliber team and have shown great depth and determination over the dual-meet season. They are our competition among the district contenders.”
Washington-Lee boys win, Yorktown girls cruise
The Generals (7-0) got off to a strong start, sweeping the top three spots in the 200 free with freshman Michael Emanuel and junior Greg Lemek both cracking two minutes for the first time. David Palmer was a double-winner in a pair of very close races in the 50 and 100 free, Stewart Brown took first in the 100 breast (1:04) and Jay Delancey eked out an important second-place finish in the 100 back (1:01.70) – a mere .02 seconds ahead of Yorktown’s James Linek. Junior Carl Buergler continued his district title defense, taking first in diving.
Event winners for Yorktown included Matthew Essig in the 200 IM (2:03.56) and 500 free (5.04.65), Max Fish in the 100 fly (56.23) and William Tarkenton in the 100 back (59.91). Tarkenton, Fish, Linek and Essig won the 200 medley relay (1:45.70) and Linek, Healy, Fish and Essig took first in the 400 free relay (3:32.66).
The Yorktown girls (7-0) cruised to another convincing victory, 142-44, to complete yet another unbeaten regular season.
Angela Slevin, Lydia Carpenter, Amanda Didawick and Ann Carpenter kicked the meet off with a state qualifying cut first-place finish in the 200 medley relay (1:52.47) and proceeded to notch first place finishes in every event.
Event winners for the Patriots: Lydia Carpenter in the 50 free (24.99) and 100 breast, Molly Merkel in the 200 free (2:01.14), Abby Young in the 200 IM (2:16.23), Amanda Didawick in the 100 fly (1:02.29), Ann Carpenter in the 100 free (55.48), Stephanie Romano in the 500 free (5:25.85), Angela Slevin in the 100 back (1:03.67) and Mason Nassetta in diving (161.700).
Montgomery County roundup
In Division IV Clarksburg and Springbrook split in a meet that came down to the wire. Springbrook’s Georgia Corran, Anna Hisnanick, Colette Colburn and Samantha Bauer took first in the final event – the 400 free relay – in a time 0f 4:39.19 to help the Blue Devils to an 85-81 victory.
On the boys’ side, winning the 400 relay wasn’t quite enough as Clarksburg held on for a razor-thin 84-83 win.
Elsewhere in Division IV, Northwood swept Wheaton, Seneca Valley’s boys edged Paint Branch 85-82 to complete the sweep and then skirted past Watkins Mill 77-76. The Watkins Mills girls won the girls’ portion of the meet and the Wolverines split with Paint Branch – winning on the girls’ side and losing 87-81 on the boys’ side.
In Division I, Churchill took down Sherwood as the Bulldogs continue to roll, setting up an intriguing matchup with Whitman this weekend. Meanwhile Whitman and Wootton split their dual meet with the Viking girls staying unbeaten (100-71) while Wootton’s boys claimed a 112-57 win.
(Matt Brooks contributed to this report.)