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.
“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.
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 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.)
Tags: AAA Northern Region, AAA Virginia Swimming and Diving Championship, All-Met, Audrey Kula, Carl Buergler, Charlie Putnam, Chuck Katis, CJ Fiala, Cyrus Hashemi, Forest Park, Gregory Stoffa, Janet Hu, Jayme Katis, Joseph LeBerre, Kaitlin Pawlowicz, Katherine Van Winkle, Kelly Corish, Kurtis Ratcliff, Langley, Laura Gartrell, Liberty District, Madison, Marshall, McLean, Oakton High School, Osbourn Park, Robinson, Ryan Fox, Shannon Harper, Virginia High School Swimming, Washington-Lee, Westfield