In the most expansive of Virginia’s four AAA regions, local talent from Loudoun and Prince William counties will vie for the AAA Northwest Swimming Championship, against teams from Stafford, Spotsylvania, and Roanoke counties, as well as a smattering of schools from as far south as South Boston, Va, this Friday, Feb. 10, at the GMU-Freedom Aquatic Center in Manassas.
Cardinal District champion Osbourn Park hopes to defend their regional title against the Cedar Run District champion Battlefield and perennial contender in the boys’ meet, Albemarle High School (Charlottesville), the Commonwealth District champions. Also expect Osbourn High School, newly built Patriot High School, and AAA newcomer Orange County to get in the mix.
“We anticipate a lot of fast swims and very close finishes,” said Osbourn Park coach Amalie Eichas. “There is a lot of great competition out there, and we are feeling the heat.”
Coming off their Cardinal District win, the girls’ team has seeded multiple girls in the top heat in nearly every event. Junior Emma Skelley leads the way for the Yellow Jackets, as the top seed in the girls’ 200 freestyle (1 minute 55.41 seconds) and 500 freestyle (5 minutes 6.25 seconds).
Teammates Jillian Stevens and Audrey Kula sit just behind Skelley. Stevens is the second in the girls’ 500 freestyle (5:16.01), and Kula is seeded third in the 200 freestyle event with a 1:56.57, behind Gar-Field sophomore Kelly Henry (1:56.57). Henry is positioned third in the 500 freestyle, as well, in 5:16.63.
Martin is the favorite in the girls’ 200 individual medley, but Osbourn Park’s Courtney Mizerak will stay with her throughout the race. Expect both swimmers to distance themselves from the field in the breaststroke leg. Third-seed Bailie Monahan (Colonial Forge) will push the seniors early with her speed in butterfly. Monahan is the top-seed in the 100 butterfly (56.94).
Martin and Mizerak will meet again as the second and third seeds in the girls’ 100 breaststroke, behind Kayla Brumbaum (Riverbend High School), seeded first with a 1:05. 51, in what should be a fiercely contested race.
In the sprint freestyle events, Revilak could grab big points for the Bobcats. The Battlefield freshman has not been challenged significantly this season, and she is quite capable of unseating top-seed Taylor Vincent (Woodbridge Senior) in the girls’ 50 freestyle (24.37) and 100 freestyle (52.97). Revilak is seeded second in the 50 freestyle (24.80) and third in the 100 freestyle (53.65).
As third seeds in the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke, Criscuolo and Tremols could also do some damage, taking big points ahead of Osbourn Park swimmers.
Senior Holly Harper (Albemarle) is the top seed in the 100 backstroke with a 59.77, the only swimmer seeded under one-minute. Her sister Hannah Harper (sophomore) is the second seed in the 100 butterfly with a 58.50.
Expect close finishes in the relays, where the seeds for the girls’ 200 medley and 200 freestyle relays are identical – Woodbridge first, Osbourn Park second, Battlefield third. In the 400 freestyle relay, Battlefield is first and Woodbridge is second, with Osbourn Park falling to sixth. But the outcome on Friday night will largely be determined by which relays coaches decide to stack with their star swimmers, meaning any team, including Colonial Forge, could leap up from a fourth or fifth seed to steal first.
The boys’ meet will be extremely competitive between a number of teams, where close races at the top will have a major impact on the outcome of the meet.
“We have a deep team,” said first-year Osbourn Park coach Matthew Ragghianti. “We have talent not just in our top-tier swimmers, but also with high school only swimmers who can get up and score in 12th to 16th place.”
In the opening individual event, Osbourn sophomore Henry Campbell (1:45.50) and Battlefield senior Ford Whitticar (1:45.59) will face off for the second week in a row in the boys’ 200 freestyle. Also in the mix will be junior Samuel Stronko (Osbourn Park), seeded third with a 1:46.40.
Ford is the second seed in the 100 freestyle (48.33) as well, behind Matt Lockman (Albemarle High School), seeded with a 47.68. Lockman also holds a notable lead in the boys’ 50 freestyle, with a time of 21.53, over Michael Harman (Freedom-South Riding) and Reilly McGrory (Osbourn), seeded 21.99 and 22.07, respectively.
It could be an absolute dogfight between Orange County (Orange, Va.) and Osbourn Park in the boys’ 200 individual medley. Orange County’s Justin Barden (1:58.08) and Nick Montes de Oca (1:58.73) will battle Osbourn Park’s Greg Stoffa (1:58.46) and Peter Lord (1:58.81), in what should be one of the most exciting races of the night. Barden is the top-seed in the boys’ 100 backstroke (51.92), so expect early speed from Hornets’ senior. Stoffa is the favorite in the 500 freestyle, seeded first in 4:37.59, so do not expect him to fade in this race.
Jacob Leidy (Broad Run) hopes to continue a successful senior, where he has been unmatched in the 100 butterfly. He is the top seed with a 52.62. The race for second will be much closer, where second through eighth is separated by just .71 seconds. Adam Mustafa (Osbourn), seeded third, and Thomas Scott (Patriot), seeded fourth, were second and third behind Leidy at last week at the Cedar Run District Championship. Ryan Hofmann (Orange County) is the second seed with a 54.60.
Patriot’s Andrew Proper is the second seed in the boys’ 100 breaststroke (1:0411), behind Andrew Williamson (Albemarle), who is seeded first with a 1:03.59.
“Some of the newer teams, like Orange County [coming from AA] and Patriot, could really have an impact on the outcome. They could take a lot of points away with their relays and their top swimmers,” added Ragghianti. “It’s going to be an exciting meet.”
Tags: 2012 High School Championship Meets, AAA Northwest Region, Adam Mustafa, Albemarle High School, Andrew Proper, Andrew Williamson, Audrey Kula, Bailie Monahan, Battlefield, Cardinal District, Cedar Run District, Colonial Forge, Commonwealth District, Courtney Mizerak, Ford Whitticar, Gregory Stoffa, Hannah Harper, Henry Campbell, Holly Criscuolo, Holly Harper, Jacob Leidy, Justin Barden, Kayla Brumbaum, Matt Lochman, Natalie Martin, Nick Montes de Oca, Nina Tremols, Orange County High School, Osbourn High School, Osbourn Park, Patriot High School, Peter Lord, Reilly McGrory, Ryan Hofmann, Sam Stronko, Sofia Revilak, Taylor Vincent, Virginia High School Swimming, Woodbridge Senior