In their final dual meet of the season, and one that featured a number of a the top individual swimmers in the area, Good Counsel earned a sweep of the Holy Cross girls and host Georgetown Prep boys in a WMPSSDL meet Tuesday.
The Falcons, whose girls finished second at Metros last season, claimed a 117-69 victory over Holy Cross, but had to sweat out a narrow victory on the boys’ side. After taking an 11-point advantage into the final event, Good Counsel’s top 400 freestyle relay team was disqualified for a false start on the final leg. But even with first and third place finishes in the event, the deficit was too great for Prep as the seven-time defending Metros champions fell 95-90.
The Little Hoyas started off the meet strong taking the 200 medley relay (1:39.02) with the foursome of seniors Jonathan Ekstrom, Raymond Chi, Will Lawler and junior Carl St. John. Ekstrom – a 2010 first-team All-Met – also won both the 200 free (1:48.00) and 100 back (54.69) while Lawler placed first in the 100 free (48.73) and Chi won the 100 breast (1:01.82). Ekstrom, St. John, Lawler and freshman Andrew Gibson capped their night with a first place finish in the 400 free relay (3:20.20).
But Good Counsel’s depth carried the Falcon boys, who won only four of the 12 events. Sophomore standout Jack Conger swept the 200 IM (1:58.69) and the 100 fly (52.12). Freshman Brady Welch won the 500 free (4:45.94) and teamed with juniors Ryan Edmunds and Evan Garfield and senior Colin Schwartz to win the 200 free relay (1:32.88).
“We want to show that we’re contenders and that we’re not going to back down,” Good Counsel Coach Billy Howard said of his boys’ team. “We’re not going to be looked down upon as the whipping boy anymore.”
Conger – who was called for a false start during the 200 medley relay at Metros last year – was also was whistled for the false start that disqualified the Falcons’ top 400 free relay team, but it only made Good Counsel’s margin of victory a bit slimmer.
“I don’t know if it was a home whistle that they got — I saw it and I wouldn’t have called it, but that’s just me and my bias, too,” Howard said. “We can put Jack in any event that we want and he’s going to win. That’s a luxury our coaching staff has and it’s a rare thing for a kid his age.”
Georgetown Prep, which lost 15 seniors to graduation and a pair of transfers from last year’s Metros championship team, has one of its slimmest rosters in recent memory with only 25 boys on the team. But while that may keep the Little Hoyas from a WMPSSDL title, it will not preclude them from trying to defend their Metros title. Ekstrom – who has already qualified for every swimming event – and Lawler (all but one), give Coach Matt Mongelli plenty of versatility at the top as he tries to find the best combinations for the upcoming championship meets.
“There are dual meet teams and then there are championship teams,” Mongelli said. “With the limited number of boys we have this year, we’re not really built for dual meets, but we’ll definitely be in the mix at Metros and that’s really what we’re working toward right now.”
Check out a swimming spotlight video feature on Prep senior Jonathan Ekstrom by Katherine Vences for Synthesis/Koubaroulis LLC./The Washington Post.
On the girls’ side, junior All-Met Sarah Haase – who won the 200 IM and 100 breast last year at Metros – swept the 50 free (25.20) and 100 breast (1:07.69) as Good Counsel claimed seven first-place finishes. Sophomore Catherine Mulquin won the 200 IM (2:16.60) and freshman Cyndi Hoppler took first in diving (221.25) while Haase, Mulquin, senior Morgan Dailey and sophomore Katherine Cleary won the 200 medley relay (1:53.31). Dailey, Haase, Cleary and sophomore Anna Kolanowski also took first in the 200 free relay (1:43.36) and Kolanowski, Mulquin, sophomore Jordan Martinko and freshman Makenzie Miller won the 400 free relay (3:49.12).
For Holy Cross, first team All-Met senior Katie Rogers was a double-winner as she swept the 200 (1:55.64) and 500 free (5:09.67) and junior Ashleigh Ferguson also doubled up with wins in the 100 back (59.43) and 100 fly (1:00.74). Ferguson, junior Katrina Darling, sophomore Jessica Schipani and freshman Sabrina Ness notched the Tartans’ lone relay win in the 200 free (1:46.83).
All three schools will travel up to Villanova this weekend for the National Catholic Swimming Championships before the WMPSSDL championships the following weekend.
“We’re just going to go up there and have fun,” Howard said. “We’re going to relax a little bit there and at the league championships, because there’s no real pressure. Our focus is on the end result and our goal is to win Metros on both sides this year.”
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Individual girls’ winners: senior captain Rachel Movius in the 200 IM and 500 freestyle; senior captain Caroline Blair in the 50 freestyle; freshman Alison Lindsay in the 100 freestyle; sophomore Marian Shaw in the 100 backstroke; and freshman Natalie Hellmann in the 100 breaststroke. Blair, Movius, Hellmann and Lindsay also scored first place finishes in the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays. The girls start their championship season this Friday with ISLs at Madeira.
The Saints boys won every event in the meet. Freshman Ian Shackley won in the 200 and 500 freestyle; senior captain Conor MacNair took first in the 200 IM; senior Ryan Gillooly won the 50 freestyle; senior captain Sam Teague took the 100 butterfly; junior Joe Lindsay placed first in the 100 freestyle; junior Ferrel Atkins won the 100 backstroke; and sophomore Evan Draim took first in the 100 breaststroke.
Atkins, Perrot, Gillooly and MacNair won the 200 medley relay, Kyle Draim, Teague, Lindsay and Gillooly took the 200 free relay and Draim, Lindsday, Atkins and MacNair finished first in the 400 free relay.