With plenty of talent back from last year’s Virginia AA state championship team, the Brentsville boys expected to contend for another title later this month. Following a victory at the Region II meet Saturday at Fork Union Military Academy, those plans have not changed.
But the Tigers hardly expected to be celebrating a third-place finish from their girls, too.
Led by a record-setting performance from senior Ryan Dunne and a pair of relay wins, the Tiger boys came away with 128 points to win the meet ahead of Broad Run (97) and Freedom-South Riding (71). And on the girls’ side, a strong showing from senior Nicole Haynes coupled with two third-place relay finishes paced Brentsville to a total of 68 points, slotting them behind Briar Woods (120) and region champions Western Albemarle (163).
After juniors Justin Doyle and Ben Cumberland and seniors Chuckie Zumbaugh and Tim Rackowski got the Tigers rolling with a first-place finish in the 200 medley relay (1:54.04), Dunne showed why he’s become one of the most complete swimmers in the region, notching a pair of victories in the 200 (1:56.37) and 50 meter free (24.56). His time in the 200 set a new pool record, which was previously held by a former Tiger teammate.
“He’s the most versatile swimmer on the team,” Krzywicki said. “It’s comforting to know that I can choose between five to six events that I can put him in and he’s also a major part of those relays.”
Senior Nathan Brown won the 100 meter free (56.78) as Tigers swept all three individual freestyle events and Brown, Doyle, Rackowski and Dunne won the 400 meter free relay (3:45.24) in another record time to seal an impressive afternoon. Brentsville also took second in the 200 meter free relay and added a third-place finish from Zumbaugh in the 100 meter breast (1:10.00).
Broad Run senior Mark Sarman led the Spartans to a second-place finish with victories in the 200 IM (2:08.44) and 100 fly (57.04). Teammate Jacob Leidy took second in the 50 free (25.39) and fourth in the 100 back (1:03.05) and joined Brian Cole, Alan Horback and Sarman to win the 200 free relay (1:39.96). Cole, Jack Morrisroe, Horback and Sarman finished second in the 400 free relay.
Briar Woods’ Matthew Nielsen was the only other local winner on the boys’ side, taking first in the 400 free (4:14.79).
While the Brentsville boys were viewed as a strong title contender coming in, a third place showing for the girls was a pleasant surprise.
Haynes won the 100 back (1:07.12) for the Tigers lone top finish and took second in the 100 free (1:00.61). Freshman Amy Tansil finished second in the 100 breast (1:16.97) and the two helped Brentsville pull out third place finishes in both the 200 medley and 400 free relays.
After finishing 11th at states last season – their highest ever finish – the Tiger girls hope to crack the top eight this time around. Reaching the finals with as many relays as possible and advancing as least two or three individuals will be critical and while confident her girls are up to the task, Krzywicki admitted, “it’s going to take some work.”
Despite winning only one event, Briar Woods used its depth to notch a second-place finish. Alli Haufler won the 100 fly (1:04.42) and took second in the 200 free (2:11.41) to lead the Falcons who finished second to Western Albemarle in all three relays. Caleigh Hensley placed second in the 50 free (28.22) and fourth in the 100 back and Kristin Haufler took third in the 100 free (1:01.60) and added a fourth place finish in the 200 IM (2:31.82).
For Dunne, Brown and the rest of the Brentsville boys, it’s full steam ahead as they focus on cutting time in the two weeks they have to prepare for the state meet on Feb. 25 and 26 at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center.
“We’re trying not to think about last year,” Krzywicki said. “To win it again this year, I’m definitely going to have to do things a little differently. Last year we won with no first-place finishes and a miracle in the 200 free relay.”
“It’s a matter of filling our gaps in the other areas. And judging from (Saturday), I think they’re all going to do pretty well.”
OSBOURN PARK SWEEPS NORTHWEST REGION
Last year in a snow-ravaged season that forced the cancellation of their district meet, the Osbourn Park girls won the Northwest Region and the boys finished second. Both teams turned in solid showings at the Virginia AAA state meet with the girls placing 10th and the boys coming in 33rd.
But this year’s Yellow Jackets are determined to vault up the leaderboard, and Saturday at the Northwest Region championships at the Freedom Aquatic Center, they showed they’re right on track.
With dominant performances on both sides and seven total victories, Osbourn Park stormed to a convincing sweep, continuing its unbeaten season. Led by junior double-winner Gregory Stoffa, the boys piled up 338.5 points to easily distance themselves from second-place Albemarle (268), Mountain View (225) and Brooke Point (225). On the girls’ side, the Yellow Jackets won a pair of individual events and took the 400 free relay to total 290 points and claim their seventh consecutive region title. Forest Park (201.5) finished second and was followed by Albemarle (184) and Gar-Field (152).
Sophomore Sam Stronko set the tone early for Osbourn Park, winning the 200 free in a state cut time of 1:44.00 and Stoffa kept the momentum going with a first-place finish in the 200 IM (156.02). Stoffa also won the 500 free with an All-America consideration time (4:32.47) and swam the anchor leg of the 400 free relay team – which also included junior Grant Minick, Stronko and junior Peter Lord – which capped the victory with a 3:15.16.
The girls were forced to overcome a disqualification in the 200 medley relay to start the meet but bounced back with consistent top-five finishes throughout. Junior Audrey Kula (1:54.62), sophomore Emma Skelley (1:56.18) and junior Christine Souther (1:58.45) went 2-3-4 in the 200 free behind first-place finisher Shannon Harper of Forest Park (1:52.09). Skelley won the 500 free (5:01.70) and junior Courtney Mizerak took first in the 100 breast in an All-America consideration time (1:04.78) and finished second in the 200 IM (2:08.55). Mizerak, Souther, Skelley and Kula just edged Albermarle (3:40.20) in the 400 free relay to complete the sweep (3:39.77) as the girls totaled 10 top-five finishes in the meet.
Forest Park’s girls got strong showings from Harper who added a third-place finish in the 100 fly (57.66) to her victory in the 200 free and helped the Bruins to a pair of victories in the 200 medley (1:51.21) and 200 free relays (1:39.62).
Other individual winners on the girls’ side included Heritage sophomore Kaleigh Rosenburg in the 200 IM (2:07.39), Gar-Field sophomore Taylor Vincent in the 50 free (24.36) and Colonial Forge‘s Bailie Monahan in the 100 fly (57.08). Albemarle junior Holly Harper was a double-winner in the 100 free (52.21) and 100 back (56.24).
For the boys, Albemarle sophomore Matt Lockman won the 50 (21.66) and 100 free (47.36) , Brooke Point’s Michael Fox-Moles won the 100 fly (53.46) and 100 back (51.58) and Heritage senior Damon Rosenburg won the 100 breast (58.35). Albemarle swept the 200 medley and 200 free relays.