In a clash between two of the region’s top-tier teams, Woodson and West Springfield both entered the district meet with 5-0 records. Woodson left 6-0, and with a clear path to the Patriot District championship, where they have a shot at another undefeated season and district title.
The Cavaliers took both sides of the meet, winning a close one on the boys’ side, 164-151, and a decisive 183.5-131.5 on the girls’.
Woodson’s depth proved to be too much to overcome for the Spartans, who, nonetheless, displayed impressive star-power in the loss.
The boys’ meet went back and forth before Woodson was able to break away with a one, two victory in the 100 breaststroke, won by Nathan Pease.
The difference in the meet was Woodson’s divers. Ben Schiesl, Eric Pavord, and Matt Hubbard were able to get the first through third sweep to give the swimmers a much-needed cushion.
The meet ended with an exciting race between two fast 400 freestyle relay teams. Woodson built a narrow lead for their anchor, James Chung, during the first three legs, but Sean Mayer delivered in the final leg for West Springfield.
Mayer stayed under just long enough off the final turn to pull even with Chung, before taking the race in the final yards in one of the most exciting races of the night.
In the girls’ meet, Woodson was able to take an early lead against a talented Spartan ladies team, thanks to the depth and talent of their freshmen class.
But the meet wasn’t all Woodson. Robin Dryer was sensational for the Spartans, winning the 100 backstroke and 100 freestyle, before delivering the key leg as the anchor of the 400 freestyle relay.
Rogers crushed the Spartans lead-off leg, to build a huge lead for Woodson. But West Springfield’s ladies did not give up, inching up with each lap before pulling even going into the final exchange. Dryer showed a burst of speed to pull away from Woodson’s anchor, and couldn’t be caught.
West Springfield’s relay won in state qualifying time.
West Springfield continues their dual meet season next week against South County. Woodson will meet Lake Braddock next week to end their season. Both will meet again at the Patriot District championship, beginning Thursday, Jan. 26, with girls’ diving.
Tags: Ben Schiesl, Colin Stephenson, Concorde District, Eric Pavord, Jake Anderson, James Chung, Leah Rogers, Matt Garstka, Matt Hubbard, Nathan Pease, Northern Region, Patriot District, Rachel Ward, Robin Dryer, Sean Mayer, Virginia High School Swimming, West Springfield, Woodson