After some minor delays due to weather, Virginia’s district championship meets took place over weekend – and they were well worth the wait. Here is a quick breakdown of how things happened.
AAA Concorde District
Girls: Oakton – 419 points; Robinson – 373 points; Westfield – 368 points
How it happened: On the boys’ side, the Concorde District championship came down to the last event, the 400 freestyle relay. Despite being the favorite heading into Saturday evening, the Westfield boys needed a victory and then some to snatch the title from the hands of the Oakton boys. Getting the win was no problem for the Bulldogs; the team of Charlie Keith, Brandon Fiala, Kurtis Ratcliff, and CJ Fiala posted a new district record and locked up All-American consideration with a time of 3:11.00. But all eyes were on the Oakton relay team, which needed a third-place finish to tie Westfield or a second-place finish to win the district title outright. Unfortunately for the Cougars, the relay teams from Robinson and Chantilly both turned in outstanding swims, pushing Oakton back to fourth place in the event and erasing its title hopes. A top-heavy scoring effort was Westfield’s key to success as the top three point-getters on Saturday evening were all Bulldogs.
Always a thrilling event, the boys’ 50 freestyle was hotly contested again this year. CJ Fiala took the title in an All-American consideration time of 21.07 but he was pushed by Centreville’s Johnny Germanis (21.46) and Robinson’s Ricky Munch (21.50).
Joseph LeBerre did his part for the Cougars, winning the 1M diving title by more than 100 points (375.55).
A member of the title-clinching 400 freestyle relay, Ratcliff also brought home two individual district crowns for the Bulldogs (500 freestyle, 100 butterfly) as well as a new Concorde District record (100 butterfly, 50.54).
Philip Hu led the way for Oakton with a win in the 100 backstroke as well as a third-place finish in the 100 butterfly.
On the girls’ side, the night belonged to Oakton and its freshman Janet Hu. Hu amassed a total of 40 points in individual events and contributed to two relay victories for the Cougars. In the process she notched two district records, one in the 200 IM (2:02.54) and another in the 100 butterfly (54.98); both were also automatic All-American times. The Cougars won two of the three relays to cruise to a 43-point victory over the Robinson girls.
Other notable performers included Oakton senior Kaitlin Pawlowicz who won the 200 freestyle by more than six seconds (1:52.29) and set a new district record in the 500 freestyle (5:00.13).
Carli Molano kept Westfield close for a good portion of the evening by winning the 100 freestyle (53.27) and the 50 freestyle (24.25), both in state-cut fashion.
Chantilly will be glad to have Logan Coulson Moore around for another three seasons. The freshman scored 37 points, taking first place in the 100 backstroke (58.94) and second place in the 100 freestyle (54.13).
Laura Gartrell won the 1M diving competition with 354.20 points while her teammate, junior Ali Graine, took second with a score of 335.60 points.
Thoughts from the deck: “I couldn’t have asked for more from my guys,” said Westfield head coach Bruce Anderson of his boys who brought home their first district title in school history on Saturday. “They came ready to swim and put it all on the line.”
AAA Patriot District
Girls: South County – 405 points; West Springfield – 387 points; W.T. Woodson – 324.5 points
How it happened: On the boys’ side, things quickly turned into a two-horse race. From the first relay of the night to the last, it was Woodson and West Springfield battling back and forth, but it was Lake Braddock’s John McKenzie who was the meet’s top scorer. McKenzie took the 200 freestyle by a margin of two and a half seconds (1:46.94) and the 100 freestyle by just under a second (49.05), collecting a total of 40 points and two regional cuts.
Ultimately, it was the experience of four Cavalier upperclassmen that won the Patriot District title for Woodson. Together, the foursome of Alex Saffran (30), Logan Richlak (32), Dirk Verheul (33), and Bo Ilgenfritz (37) combined for 132 of Woodson’s 490 points. Richlak won the 50 freestyle (22.50) and Ilgenfritz took first in the 100 breaststroke (1:00.12), but it was a number of second- and third-place finishes that carried the Cavalier boys.
Other notable performances included a win by David Maquera in the 200 IM (2:00.12, state cut), a five-second victory by Nic Laffosse in the 500 freestyle (4:53.59, state cut), a first-place finish by Annandale senior Kyle Terrell in the 100 backstroke (52.23, region cut), and a title-clinching effort by Matt Hubbard in 1M diving (370.60, state cut).
On the girls’ side, South County made good on its season-long campaign to overhaul the Patriot District status quo. The Stallions placed four athletes among the meet’s top ten point-scorers to take the district title. Alison Smith was one of those four, taking second place in the 200 freestyle (2:00.84, state cut) as well as third in the 500 freestyle (5:24.33, state cut). Junior Courtney Betro also contributed to the Stallion scoring-effort, clinching an individual district title in the 100 freestyle (55.77, state cut). But it was ultimately the depth and consistency of the South County girls that led to their first district title in school history.
Woodson got out to a fast start with a first-place finish and a state cut in the 200 medley relay, but would fade into third place by the end of the night.
West Potomac landed three girls within the top five point-getters, including sophomore Hellen Moffitt who won both the 50 freestyle (24.89, state cut) and the 100 butterfly (57.97, region cut), but a lack of additional scorers spelled a fifth-place finish for the Wolverines.
AAA Liberty District
Girls: Langley – 460 points; McLean – 383 points; Madison – 355 points
How it happened: On a night that saw three Liberty District records fall in the boys’ meet, the defending-champion Madison Warhawks once again proved their mettle, capturing this year’s title by nearly 200 points. With just two swimmers (Evan Owens, David Fallavollita) among the top ten point-getters, Madison relied on the collective performances of its deep cast. In fact, Madison’s only individual title winner of the meet came in the form of senior diver Ryan Fox who notched a score of 382.95 points in the 1M competition.
The individual titles, then, were left up for grabs to be claimed by marquee swimmers on teams around the district. In the first individual event of the evening, Marshall’s Cyrus Hashemi (1:42.90) and Langley’s Ryan Natal (1:42.88) both broke the 200 freestyle district record, but they were bested by McLean’s Charlie Putnam (1:42.46) for both the title and the record. Putnam also registered a first-place finish in the 100 backstroke (52.62).
Chuck Katis had a strong showing for the Saxons as they tried to slow Madison, posting new district records in the 200 IM (1:52.21) and the 100 breaststroke (56.95) as well as garnering All-American consideration and an automatic All-American recognition in the process.
Along with Katis and Putnam, Travis Lauri of Fairfax was tied as the meet’s top scorer, capturing two individual titles in the 50 freestyle (21.33) and the 100 freestyle (48.37).
On the girls’ side, the Saxons left little doubt from the first relay that they would be the ones to win the Liberty District title, taking the lead and refusing to give it back the rest of the night. Abi Speers (40) and Jayme Katis (37) were the Saxon’s top scorers, with Speers winning both the 50 freestyle (24.22) and the 100 freestyle (52.73); she set a new district record in the latter. Katis took first in the 200 freestyle (1:56.23) and finished second in the 100 freestyle (54.23), behind Speers. Meghan Overend also collected an individual title for Langley with her performance in the 100 butterfly (59.09).
Other notable performers of the evening included Madison diver Kelly Corish (399.90 points) and distance swimmer Laura Kellan (5:16.57) who won 1M diving and the 500 freestyle, respectively, to contribute to the Warhawk effort.
Eva Greene won the 100 backstroke for McLean in convincing fashion (58.80), putting two seconds on the second-place finisher.
Thoughts from the deck: “Needless to say, we are looking forward to a strong showing at the Northern Region Championships this week,” said Langley head coach Ryan Jackson. “Especially from the girls.”
AAA National District
Girls: Yorktown – 637 points; Washington-Lee – 327 points; Falls Church – 304 points
How it happened: Yorktown placed eight swimmers among the meet’s top ten scorers as the Patriot girls cruised to 300+ point victory and the National District title. Angela Slevin and Stephanie Romano led the way for Yorktown, each contributing 40 points to the team score. Slevin won both the 50 freestyle (25.65) and the 100 backstroke (1:00.04, state cut) while Romano garnered wins in the 200 freestyle (1:58.35) and the 500 freestyle (5:15.03). Ann (37) and Lydia Carpenter (36) accounted for a combined 73 points for the Patriots as Ann took first in the 100 breaststroke (1:09.91) and Lydia captured the 100 freestyle crown (54.52).
The top swimmer on the girls’ side not in a Yorktown suit was Fall Church’s Laura Schwartz. The sophomore notched two first-place finishes, dominating the field by five seconds in the 200 IM (2:09.11, state cut) and by two seconds in the 100 butterfly (58.75, state cut).
Maggie Cullather won the 1M diving competition for Falls Church with a 379.10 points, qualifying her for the state meet.
On the boys’ side, the Washington-Lee Generals pieced together a deep scoring-effort to seal a narrow victory over Yorktown. Leading the way for the Generals were senior Stewart Brown and freshman Michael Emanuel. Brown took third place in the 200 IM (2:05.94) and second in the 100 breaststroke (1:02.85) while Emanuel grabbed two third-place finishes, one in the 200 freestyle (1:59.11) and another in the 500 freestyle (5:16.30).
Because Washington-Lee was able to take the team title without an individual winner in any event, the door was left open for top swimmers fromHayfield, Yorktown, and Stuart.
It was Hayfield that produced the meet’s top two scorers as both Joel DeSatnick and Brian Heilbronner notched two victories. DeSatnick won the 100 breaststroke (1:00.22, state cut) and the 200 IM (2:00.55) while Heilbronner took the 50 freestyle (22.06, state cut) and the 100 freestyle (48.14, state cut).
Juniors Eli Bass and Christian Rowcliffe were Stuart’s top performers, contributing 37 points apiece. Bass blew away the field in the 500 freestyle (4:56.92) and Rowcliffe grabbed a narrow victory in the 200 freestyle (1:47.84) to help the Raiders to third place in the district.
AAA Cardinal District
Girls: Osbourn Park — 176, Forest Park — 106, Woodbridge — 80
How it happened: Osbourn Park capped its unbeaten dual meet season with a dominating performance at the Cardinal District championships Saturday night. The Yellow Jackets won 16 of the 22 events (9 boys, 6 girls) including four of the six relays and each of the first seven events of the meet.
Peter Lord, Steven Blakely, Anthony Shields and Grant Minick got the boys off to a strong start with a comfortable victory in the 200 medley relay (1:41.77) and the wins kept piling up. Samuel Stronko took first with a state cut time in the 200 free (1:45.88), Gregory Stoffa turned in state qualifying times to win the 200 IM (1:57.01) and the 500 free by nearly 10 seconds (4:38.27), Minick placed first in the 50 free (22.63) and 100 fly (53.35), Lord took the 100 back (55.49) and Blakely won the 100 breast (1:02.54). Blakely, Stronko, Lord and Minick capped a banner day for the Jackets by winning the 400 free relay (3:20.28).
It was a similar story for the Osbourn Park girls who took the 200 medley relay to start their night as juniors Christine Souther, Courtney Mizerak and Audrey Kula and Delaney Voss turned in a state qualifying time of 1:52.86. Kula swept the 200 free (1:53.08) and 100 fly (58.27) with a pair of state cuts, Mizerak won the 200 IM (2:11.45) and sophomore Emma Skelley placed first in the 500 free (5:04.60) – winning by a margin of more than 15 seconds as the Jackets went 1-2-3 in the event. Kula, Emily Minick, Mizerak and Souther also won the 400 free relay with a state cut time of 3:41.51.
Forest Park – which came closest to knocking off the Yellow Jackets earlier this season – used strong performances from Ryan Hughes (first in the 100 free – 51.81; third in the 50 free) and Tyler Anderson (second in the 200 and 500 free) and 10 top-three finishes to easily capture second place. Hughes, Anderson, Alec Chamberlain and Matthew Schuette won the 200 free (1:34.22). For the Bruins’ girls, Shannon Harper placed second in the 200 free (1:55.67), Briana Murphy was second in the 50 free (25.29) and 100 back (1:01.54) and Allyson Bodmer too second in the 100 breast (1:10.21). Murphy, Samantha Leong, Antoinette Waller and Taylor Hood won the 200 free relay (1:44.77) edging Gar-Field’s foursome by 1.09 seconds.
Gar-Field‘s Taylor Vincent posted a pair of first-place finishes in the 50 (24.45) and 100 free (53.34) and Woodbridge’s Emily Kelly won the 100 back (1:00.93) and finished second in the 200 IM (2:19.62).
Osbourn Park’s performance shows the Yellow Jackets will once again be a fore at the Northwest Region meet where their girls are the defending champions and their boys finished second last winter.
AAA Cedar Run District
Girls: Battlefield — 530, Osbourn — 457, Heritage — 321
How it happened: The Bobcats rolled to a clean sweep at the Cedar Run District championships over the weekend, using unmatched depth to pull away from the rest of the five-team field despite only winning six events overall.
Junior Ford Whitticar set a Battlefield school record to win the 50 free (22.21) and earned his second state cut with a first-place finish in the 100 fly (53.57). Junior Jacob Croasdell took first in the 100 back (57.30) and joined Whitticar, sophomore Bill Pogue and senior Nicholas Mathis to win the 400 free relay (3:24.92) as the Bobcats defended their district crown.
On the girls’ side, senior Stephanie Bolton, juniors Natalie Martin and Holly Criscuolo and sophomore Nina Tremols kicked off the meet by taking first in the 200 medley relay (1:55.05) and capped their victory by winning the 400 free relay (3:52.50). Criscuollo also won the 100 free (57.23) while the Bobcat girls racked up 20 total top-five finishes.
Osbourn won nine events overall and was led by freshman Henry Campbell (200, 500 free), junior Adam Mustafa (200 IM) and sophomore Ethan Mernin (100 free) on the boys’ side and senior Casie Boyle (200, 500 free) and sophomore Heidi Turner (50 free) on the girls’ side. Campbell, Mernin, Mustafa and junior Reilly McGrory won the 200 medley relay (1:43.10) and the same foursome claimed the 200 free relay (1:33.26) for the Eagles.
For Heritage, the brother-sister duo of Damon and Kaleigh Rosenburg led a strong showing from a much-improved Pride team. Kaleigh, a sophomore, swept the 200 IM (2:10.01) and 100 breast (1:06.76) achieving state cuts in both events, while Damon, a senior, won the 100 breast (1:00.34) with a state qualifying time and placed second in the 200 IM (2:01.78) – a mere 0.2 seconds behind Mustafa.
(Matt Brooks contributed to this report)