Langley girls, Westfield boys win Va. AAA titles

Langley girls, Westfield boys win Va. AAA titles

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Jayme Katis and the Langley girls captured the Virginia AAA state championship (Richard A. Lipski/For the Washington Post).
Jayme Katis and the Langley girls captured the Virginia AAA state championship (Richard A. Lipski/For the Washington Post).

Complete meet results

Virginia Beach — After finishing in second place in district, regional and state competition last year, Langley senior Jayme Katis wrote on her team captain application that the Saxons would win region and state titles this winter.

“I didn’t know how confident I actually was in that statement,” Katis said, smiling.

The team outdid that forecast, taking Liberty District and Northern Region titles, and then capping the year with a Virginia AAA championship on Saturday at the Princess Anne Recreation Center.

Though the Saxons did not capture any individual titles, they won both the 200- and 400-meter freestyle relays, the former breaking state and national records with a time of 1:47.86.

Oakton was Langley’s nearest competitor overall, finishing with 166 points to the Saxons’ 187. Robinson was third with 161 points.

“We have an amazing group of girls,” said Katis, who has signed with Virginia Tech. “And I’m sad to see it all go when I go off to college, but I’m just so proud.”

Westfield’s boys entered the meet with an unmistakable swagger — they headed out to the meet’s opening 200 medley relay with a choreographed dance routine — and left with the program’s first-ever swimming state title.

The Bulldogs won both relays with times of 1:47.13 and 3:32.56 en route to the program’s first-ever swimming state title.

C.J. Fiala and the Westfield boys left their mark on the state meet (Richard A. Lipski/For the Washington Post).
C.J. Fiala and the Westfield boys left their mark on the state meet (Richard A. Lipski/For the Washington Post).

Senior Kurtis Ratcliff, who will swim for Penn State, captured the 100 butterfly title (56.20) and finished second in the 400 freestyle. Teammate C.J. Fiala, meanwhile, rebounded from being disqualified from the 50 freestyle for flinching on the start. The Wilmington-bound senior won the 100 freestyle (51.74) and anchored both winning relays (the 200 medley and 400 freestyle).

Westfield (238 points) finished ahead of Cox (215.5) and Langley (128).

“Every day for the past year I’ve been thinking about this,” Fiala said. “And to finish it like this and [eventually] win the title … it’s something we’ve always really, really wanted.”

Oakton’s Texas-bound senior Kaitlin Pawlowicz, the 2010 All-Met swimmer of the year, won titles in the 200 individual medley (2:16.06) and 400 freestyle (4:14.26), setting national records in both events. Oakton freshman Janet Hu also won two events, the 50 freestyle (26.08) and 100 butterfly (1:01.05). Hu holds state records in both events.

Langley senior Chuck Katis (Harvard) set a state record in the 200 individual medley (2:02.83) and won the 100 breaststroke (1:02.85). Katis eclipsed Olympian Ed Moses’s national record in the 100 breaststroke on Friday in preliminaries with a time of 1:02.63.

Other winners included Oakton’s girls 200 medley relay (national record 2:00.24), Marshall’s Cyrus Hashemi (200 free, 1:52.36), Osbourn Park’s Audrey Kula and Forest Park’s Shannon Harper (tied-200 free, 2:03.16), Osbourn Park’s Gregory Stoffa (400 free, 3:57.84), and McLean’s Charlie Putnam (100 backstroke, 56.74).

Corish, Buergler take diving titles

Madison's Kelly Corish won the girls' diving title to complete a sweep of the district, region and state meets (Photo courtesy of Sandy Corish).
Madison's Kelly Corish won the girls' diving title to complete a sweep of the district, region and state meets (Photo courtesy of Sandy Corish).

Madison senior Kelly Corish capped her perfect postseason by winning the state diving championship in record fashion. Corish’s score of 428.5 set a new school record and completed her clean sweep of the Liberty District, Northern Region and Virginia AAA titles. A North Carolina recruit, Corish was unbeaten this season except during a dual meet on senior night when she attempted a triple. Robinson’s Laura Gartrell finished a close second (421.25) and Marshall’s Katherine Van Winkle (385.30) placed third.

On the boys’ side, Washington-Lee junior Carl Buergler rebounded from a narrow 6.6-point loss to Madison’s Ryan Fox at the Northern Region meet to blow away the field with a total 11-dive score of 510.55. Fox placed second with 447.70 points and was followed by Oakton’s Joseph LeBerre (412.65).

(Matt Brooks contributed to this report.)

Complete meet results


  1. It was just the one boy from RSD. What bothers me about the whole thing is that 2 of our swimmers made it to state events based on a dual meet time however divers are not given the same consideration. Why are swimmers given a free pass to states and divers are not? It is my understanding that A/AA divers also can make it to states on a dual meet score but not AAA. I just hope that going forward, changes to the process are considered for the sake of the kids.

  2. “When I heard it, I reminded my own swimmer to double check for double caps before prelims and finals.”

    Did you give this warning to swimmers other than your child? If not, was this fair and equitable officiating?

  3. mom2two: There were other opportunities for these divers to qualify. At least two “invitational” meets were held this year with the 11-dive format. One of the divers from the Northwestern region qualified this way. Diving was not an event at that regional meet. Had their high school coaches gotten them invited to one invitationals, they could have easily achieved the state qualifying score.

    Other states ban kids from club training and competition while in the high school season. Had that been the case in Virginia, the divers would have had to make a choice as well.

    One elite diver competed at both the Senior National meet and made it back in time to dive in the regional meet. And yes, other elite divers chose to dive for high school. Just because they didn’t go to Senior Nats doesn’t mean they weren’t considered.

  4. BSmith:

    Yes it was fair and equitable because I heard the exact same thing that all the coaches heard when they heard it and that went out in emails before the meet. I was also NOT one of the VHSL deck officials at the meet. How often do you volunteer at meets or do you just moan about the violunteer efforts of others????????

  5. M1Thumb – it went out in emails but NOT to the northern region. the lead official in the northern region never received the email about the two cap rule. neither did ANY of the schools athletic directors OR any of the coaches or officials. SEVERAL coaches at the meeting on friday did NOT hear them mention this rule. if it was never a rule in the northern region because no one received the email, the swimmers should have gotten a warning. not an automatic DQ. it was a poorly run meet.

  6. Again, out of all the swimmers, ONE swimmer got disqualified. How did all the other swimmers at 28 Northern region schools get the info and this one poor, unfortunate soul didn’t get the word? Because his high school coach dropped the ball!!!! Let’s stop blaming the officials and everyone else and hold the coach accountable for the mistake. It’s unfortunate that the swimmer was dq’d but please stop making excuses

  7. M1Thumbupyourbutt,

    B. Smith just asked a couple of questions. Why so much anger, or is it defensiveness? Give our regards to your buddy Rick.

  8. Swimcoach2: If you paid attention to what has been said you would understand that a lot of coaches were not at the meeting when the cap thing was put out. Up until then no one in the Northern Region knew about this issue. Whatever happened to giving the kids the benefit of the doubt. I bet if it was your son you would have a different opinion. Also there was at least one relay team that was DQd for 2 caps. Also understand that not that many swimmers use 2 caps like some year round coaches recommend.

  9. He was the one who got caught. There were a bunch a swimmers wearing 2 caps. It’s not a rule in USA swimming. It was nothing but an “announcement” that not all people were aware of.

  10. Have some compassion. It is high shcool swimming, not the United Nations. The kid should not have been DQd. It is not a rule.

  11. A Mountain View swimmer also did get DQ’d in the 200 Medley Relay for wearing two caps his team would have been seeded 12th, his coach never received any warning that this was a VHSL rule or that it would be enforced. So there were 5 swimmers affected by this ruling and since all these swimmers would have made finals it most likely affected the final score and team rankings. I know nothing can be done to correct this now but these 5 swimmers do deserve an apology from VHSL and VHSL needs to assure all that they’ll never let their incompetence affect the outcome of a meet again.

  12. Sprint Guy:

    You are a class act with a lot of character — which I am sure it has served you well in life. I don’t know Rick, but I did see him working hard at every session — how often do you or your parents volunteer?

    I suspect you or your swimmer got DQ’d because they have the same respect for listening to officials and coaches as you have courtesy and class in your posts.

  13. Out of curiousity what was the rationale for the two cap rule? Two caps are not against NHFS rules and do not aide in bouancy.

  14. I’m sorry to be the one to break the news to you, M1Thumb, but your posts often have a self righteous and pompous tone. You’ve made it clear to the board that you work at swim meets. However, I suspect there are a few other posters here who also volunteer at meets. There’s no need for all of your lecturing.

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