A number of league championship meets took place over the weekend, providing plenty of excitement and several surprises. Check out a roundup of the ISL championships and National Catholics.
Visitation ends Holton-Arms’ reign at ISL championships
Georgetown Visitation snapped Holton-Arms’ seven-year run atop the Independent School League, taking down the defending champions at the ISL Swimming and Diving Championships over the weekend at Madeira.
The day after the school’s winter formal dance, the Cubs turned in an historic performance in the pool – claiming the first ISL title in school history, by edging Holton-Arms 226-205. With the win, Visitation avenged a narrow dual meet loss to the Panthers earlier in the season.
“It’s huge for this school and it was a big surprise,” Visitation Coach Hadley Rowland said. “We knew we had a chance after our dual meet when we lost by 15 and were out-touched by that last point in most events, but my girls did as well, if not better, than what was expected of them.”
The Cubs got off to a great start as divers Casey Kerkhof, Ally Russo and Hannah Stoever finished 3-4-5 to start the meet. Freshman Bridie Burke was a double-winner for Visitation, taking first in the 100 (53.50) and 500 free (5:18.77) and contributed in a pair of top relay performances. Burke, senior Megan McCormick, Sarah Allen and Casey Lindlaw won the 200 free relay (1:45.05) and the same foursome placed second in the 400 free relay (3:48.36).
“We have 12 seniors on the team this year – about one-third of our team – so this was the year to do it,” Rowland said. “We had a few girls qualify for more Metros events and we hope to have a few more do the same this weekend. We just hope the weather does not move the WMPSSDL around this year.”
Despite only winning one event – the 200 medley relay (1:55.66) – Holton-Arms had enough depth to finished second. Junior Jennifer Gathright took second in the 200 free (2:03.21) and third in the 500 free (5:21.15), sophomore Nina Cohen finished second in the 50 free (25.82) and fourth in the 100 free, Grace Clearly took third in the 100 breast (1:12.66) and Emma Raynor had a pair of fifth-place finishes in the 200 IM and 100 back. Raynor, Clearly, Gathright and Cohen teamed up to win the 200 medley relay.
Flint Hill’s Rachel Swarts swept the the 100 fly (59.99) and 100 back (1:01.91) and other individual event winners included National Cathedral School‘s Morgan Johnson in the 200 free (2:00.73), Maret sophomore Sofie Pietrantonio in the 200 IM (2:14.59), Madeira junior Brittany Jansen in the 50 free (25.32) and Holy Child‘s Alexa Popera in the 100 breast (1:11.60). Madeira 400 free relay team of Jansen, Maddie Alagia, Grace Johnson and Christa Ann Saunders placed first (3:46.07) for the Snails who finished third overall.
Gonzaga boys, Good Counsel girls take second at National Catholics
In a field that included a number of the top Catholic school swimming and diving programs in the mid-Atlantic region, several area teams posted strong showings at the National Catholic High School Championships hosted by Villanova and La Salle Universities.
On the boys’ side, Gonzaga took home an impressive second-place finish behind Baltimore powerhouse Loyola Blakefield. Powered by strong relay performances and nine top-eight individual event finishers, the Purple Eagles lost by a 448-371 margin, for their closest meet with Loyola in at least four years. Georgetown Prep took fourth in the meet (190) and Good Counsel (185) placed fifth and O’Connell (153) capped a strong showing for area teams with a sixth-place finish.
Junior Sean Sullivan kicked things off by winning the 50 free (22.08) ahead of teammates Nick Knise (third – 22.46) and Torey Ortmayer (fifth – 22.65) as Gonzaga’s depth shone from the start. Junior Madison Hardimon took third in the 100 free (49.28), junior Tim Barry placed third in the 100 back (55.95), sophomore Paul O’Hara finished third in the 200 IM (1:59.37) as the Purple Eagles finished the meet with 13 top-five finishes overall.
O’Hara, Ortmayer, Knise and Sullivan won the 200 free relay (1:27.90) and the Purple Eagles notched second-place finishes in both the 400 free (3:13.60) and 200 medley relays (1:39.36).
Good Counsel sophomore Jack Conger was named most valuable male swimmer with a pair of victories in the 100 back (50.93) and 200 IM (1:55.61). Conger finished tied for the top individual score at the meet and combined with Brady Welch, Evan Garfield and Colin Schwartz to place third in the 200 medley relay. Gonzaga’s Dave Norton took home coach of the meet honors.
Good Counsel was the top area finisher on the girls’ side, with the Falcons taking a distant second place behind Notre Dame Prep. The Falcons finished with 297, well off the pace of Notre Dame’s total of 443, but well ahead of third-place Holy Cross (190). St. John’s finished just two points behind Archbishop Spalding (187) to take fifth place (185), Bishop Ireton finished in seventh (157), Seton took eighth (152) and O’Connell placed ninth (106).
Sophomore Sarah Haase led Good Counsel with a pair of first place finishes in the 100 breast (1:05.60) and 200 IM (2:07.61) and anchored the Falcons’ first-place 400 free relay team of freshmen Anna Kolanowski, Katherine Cleary, Jordan Martinko and Haase (3:39.75).
Mulquin placed second in the 100 fly (1:01.05) and fourth in the 100 back (59.56), Kolanowski finished second in the 100 free (54.93) and fourth in the 200 free and Miller took fifth in the 500 free.
Holy Cross senior Katie Rogers tied Haase atop the individual scoring rankings and was named the most valuable female swimmer of the meet for the second consecutive year after sweeping the 200 (1:52.99) and 500 free (5:01.35). Junior Ashleigh Ferguson also turned in a strong showing for Holy Cross with a second-place finish in the 100 back (59.56) and a fourth-place finish in the 100 fly (1:01.68). Ferguson, sophomore Jessica Schipani, freshman Sabrina Ness and junior Bridget Callahan finished fifth in the 200 free relay and Rogers, Schipani, Callahan and Katy Gillis placed sixth in the 400 free relay.
Other top area performers: St. John’s junior Morgan Whyte – first in 50 free (24.55); St. John’s senior Amina Wilson – second in 200 IM (2:12.33), third in 100 back (59.85); Seton junior Cat Rogers – second in 50 free (24.77); Seton junior Alex Doonis – third in 100 free (55.09); Spalding sophomore Deanna Parsons – first in 100 fly (59.62), third in 200 IM (2:12.58); Spalding sophomore Caroline Hamilton – third in 200 (1:55.20) and 500 free (5:08.28); Bishop Ireton senior Liz Collins – second in 100 breast (1:07.94); Bishop Ireton senior Sasika Kroesen – third in 100 fly (1:01.40).