While much of the swimming community’s attention was trained on the VHSL AAA State Championships this past weekend, a perhaps equally as talented group of swimmers was competing at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center, host of the 2011 VSIS State Swimming Championship.
The two day meet, which boasted full coverage and online streaming video courtesy of Swimming World magazine, featured a number of area schools, including the Madeira girls, who finished fourth, and the boys from St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes, who finished fifth among 25 teams.
Although St. Catherine’s School (Richmond) repeated for the girls’ title in convincing fashion – 146 points separated first and second place while just 25 points stood between second and fourth – many area standouts made their presence known.
Liz Collins, a senior from Bishop Ireton, is making the most of the final meets of her high school career. She grabbed a fifth-place finish in the 200 IM (2:13.64) as well as a second-place result in the 100 breaststroke (1:06.58), missing a state crown in the latter by just 0.37 seconds. Collins’ 31 points led the Cardinals to a tie for seventh place with the girls of Hampton Roads Academy.
Brittney Jansen was the area’s top finisher in the 50 freestyle, but had some work left to do after her prelims swim. The Madeira junior qualified for finals in sixth position before cutting 0.60 seconds to take second place in finals (24.39). Jansen also combined with Christa Ann Saunders, Ann Griffin, and Maddie Alagia for third place in the 200 medley relay en route to a new Madeira record in the event (1:51.91).
“Madeira’s fourth place was our best finish in three years,” said head coach Rod Montrie. “We got off to a fast start by taking third in the 200 medley relay and breaking our team record”
The future appears bright for the Paul VI girls, whose freshman Emma Merrill scored 30 individual points over the course of the weekend. Merrill earned 17 of those points in a second-place finish in the 100 butterfly (57.01), while the remaining 13 came from her sixth-place finish in the 100 breaststroke (1:09.04).
On the boys’ side, joining St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes amongst the top-ten team finishes were the Seton School and Bishop Ireton, which finished seventh and ninth, respectively.
The Saints were the recipients of an outstanding performance from their senior class, which will compete in its final meet this weekend at Metros. Conor MacNair began his individual events with a second-place finish in the 200 IM (1:56.00) and wrapped up the weekend with an individual crown in the 100 breaststroke (58.73). Fellow senior Cabell Perrot was runner-up in the 50 freestyle (21.04), posting an All-American ‘B’ standard in the process, as well as the fourth-place finisher in the 100 freestyle (47.68). For the boys, it was their best finish in team history at the VSIS Championships.
The Seton School was buoyed by the performance of its freshman diver, Joe Duran, who took second place (321.30) in a field largely comprised of juniors and seniors.
Meanwhile, Bishop Ireton relied heavily on its depth and performances in relays throughout the weekend. After ninth-place finishes in both the 200 medley and 200 freestyle relays, the boys turned in a performance good enough for fourth place in the 400 freestyle relay (3:23.39).
Many private and independent schools from the greater-Washington area will close out their seasons this weekend at the 2011 Metros Swimming and Diving Championships.