With the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Olympic Games just around the corner, even the weather was getting in the Olympic spirit on Saturday as the skies opened up and did their best to mimic the steady drizzle so common in the streets of London. Division champions were crowned in the CSL, DCCL, MCSL, and NVSL, as the races for the title in the Prince-Mont and Prince William swim leagues got tighter, heading into their decisive meets on Saturday.
Take a look back at one of the most exciting weeks of the 2012 summer league swim season in the DMV!
Summer league swimming in a nutshell
Win-less James Creek wins division title
To say that the result of Saturday’s Division M championships was an upset would be an understatement. James Creek did not win a dual meet all season, finished third at the relay carnival, is headed down to Division N next season, and yet managed to outlast second place Diamond Farm 836 to 827.5 to secure the most improbable of divisional victories.
“The biggest thing about us is that we are a small team,” said James Creek head coach Jen Sturges. “The kids that we have are fast, but we just don’t have enough so in a regular dual meet we just give up too many points.”
James Creek’s dual meet record clearly does not reflect the talent they have on their team, and their small roster is much more conducive to divisional meets where first place is worth more points and teams can only enter two swimmers in each event.
“We finished third at the relay carnival and were definitely feeling confident going in,” added coach Sturges. “I think we were expecting to pull off a really strong second or third, and, even during the meet, we still thought that way, so when the result was announced we were surprised, but extremely excited.
12-year-old Caroline Dunn shined for James Creek with victories in the girls’ 11-12 100 IM, 50 backstroke, and 50 butterfly. Up against older competition for the most part, 15-year-old Kyra Kondis won all twelve of her races in the dual meet season and continued that trend over the weekend with victories in the 100 IM, 100 freestyle, 100 breaststroke and 50 butterfly.
“Kyra swims with RMSC, so she doesn’t always practice with us,” said coach Sturges on her star swimmer. “She is one of our preteen coaches and she has a real passion for swimming. The thing I love the most about her is that she is so encouraging to others.”
Along with Kondis, Lindsay Wert helped James Creek dominate the 15-18 girls’ events as she took second in the 100 backstroke and 50 butterfly, as well as third in the 100 IM and 100 freestyle.
16-year-old Sean Maloney was victorious in the 100 IM, 100 backstroke, and 100 freestyle for Twin Farms, but the solo effort was not enough. Twin Farms held a two-point lead in the division heading into the meet, but Diamond Farm finished 18.5 points ahead of them to earn the 2012 Division M championship and the right to compete in Division I next summer.
Rockville earns eighth straight title in Division A
John Kerry was running for President, gas was less than $2.oo a gallon, and, somehow, Usher’s “Confessions Part II” was atop the billboard charts the last time the Rockville Rays were not champions of MCSL’s highest division. Entering Saturday’s contest, Rockville had won seven straight Division A titles since 2004, and a 113 point victory over second-placed Tilden Woods at divisionals along with an undefeated dual meet season and first place at the relay carnival clinched number eight for the Ray.
At Saturday’s divisionals, 12-year-old Sanjay Wijesekera won the 100-meter individual medley and 50-meter backstroke for the Rays, and was second to Stonegate‘s Brady Ott by a .55 seconds in the 50-meter backstroke. 14-year-old Elaina Gu was another big winner for Rockville as she made a clean sweep of the 50 freestyle, butterfly and backstroke, as well as the 100 IM. Her victory in the girls 13-14 50 freestyle was by .47 seconds over Stonegate’s Melanie Doan. Rockville was also dominant in the boys 13-14 events as John Jeang won the 50 backstroke, 50 butterfly, and 50 freestyle.
Potomac Woods clinches Division C with 88 point win over Tallyho
Potomac Woods took top points in 15 of the 50 total events at divisionals to complete the season sweep in Division C, winning all five dual meets and relay carnival as well. Joseph Howley won four events in the boys’ 11-12 age group for Potomac Woods. Adrian Lin continued to post some of the fastest times in the area in the 13-14 age group, winning the 50 free, 50 back, 50 butterfly, and 100 IM. Lin’s Potomac teammate David Fitch won the boys’ 8 & under free, back, and fly events as well. For Cedarbrook, Sydney Kirsch held off some of the league’s best 13-14 girls to win the 50 free, 50 back, 50 fly, and 100 IM events.
Mill Creek Towne and Darnestown on the way up
Mill Creek Towne finished 30.5 points ahead of Darnestown to capture the Division B title and earn a shot at the league’s top division next year. Also moving up, despite finishing 11 points behind Mill Creek Town in the final rankings, is Darnestown after finishing second in Division B according to MCSL’s tentative 2013 Division assignments. You can read up on the mysteries of divisional assignments here.
12-year-old Ellie Matusek was fantastic for the division champion Mill Creek Towne winning the 100 IM, 50 freestyle and 50 butterfly — she was second to Manchester Farms‘ Grace Elliott in the 50 backstroke. 17-year-old Catherine Mulquin – who represented RMSC at Olympic Trials — also shined for Mill Creek Towne with victories in the 100 freestyle and backstroke. In the 50 meter butterfly, Potomac Glen‘s Alicia Tiberino edged out Mulquin by .1 seconds.
Ashton slips by division leaders for win
The Division H meet seemed to be a two horse race between Daleview and Inverness Forest, but it was the Ashton Alligators who stole the show with an 89.5 point victory. Daleview’s second place finish is still enough for them to claim the division crown, and Inverness Forest’s third place finish puts them in second just two points ahead Ashton.
Ashton’s boys 200 medley relay team of Michael Cleary, Kieran Broder, Spencer Sterling, and Jake Kalen put on the performance of the day as they won by an easy 4.8 seconds. 8-year-old Adam Liewher won the 25 freestyle, 25 backstroke, and 25 butterfly in the 8 & under events and was also a member of the 14 & under graduated relay team that took first for Ashton.
Daleview’s 14-year-old Claire Luigard won all her races in the girls’ 13-14 age group during the dual meet season, and she continued that trend at divisionals with victories in the 100 IM, 50 freestyle, 50 breaststroke, and 50 butterfly events.
Future Richmond Spider Natalya Ares, the MCSL record holder in the girls 13-14 50 butterfly, won the girls’ 15-18 100 IM, 100 freestyle, 100 backstroke, and 50 butterfly for Inverness Forest.
Tentatively, Daleview and Inverness Forest are set to move up to Division G.
Rock Creek cruises in Division I
Whatever doubts there may have been as Rock Creek headed into divisionals with a slim four point lead were quickly put to rest as they cruised to a 156-point victory over second place North Chevy Chase.
Tentatively, Rock Creek will face an extremely tough task next summer as they jump up two divisions to Divison G.
Emotional end in Division 1 contest between rivals
It was another fierce contest between perennial Division 1 rivals Overlee and Chesterbrook in their final dual meet of the 2012 season. The two teams have combined to win 11 of the last 12 titles in the league’s top division, and this season was no different as each team entered the meet with a perfect 4-0 record. Chesterbrook prevailed in the end, winning a close contest, 211 to 209.
“This is what we expected,” said Chesterbrook coach Jeff Linn. “It’s Overlee. We look at this meet on our calendar every year. This is what swimming at Chesterbrook is all about.”
Both Linn and Stuver are homegrown coaches, swimming for Chesterbrook from the time they were 8 & unders until they finished their swimming careers in 2005 and 2006, respectively, at age 18. For them, this meet was more than just another ‘tick’ in the win column.
“We talked about coming together as a team before this meet, and today it showed,” said Linn’s co-head coach Colin Stuver. “We told them it wasn’t about times today. It’s about getting in your lane and beating the swimmer next to you.”
Both teams said farewell to their graduating seniors, many of which were swimming in the final dual meet of their swimming careers.
In an emotional farewell ceremony held during the break between the age group relays and the mixed age relays, Chesterbrook paid tribute to their seniors with entertaining anecdotes from their many years on the team and warm wishes for their futures. None were as visibly moved than senior Brandon Enroth who led off the winning 15-18 boys’ 200 medley relay that clinched the meet and Division 1 championship for the Tiger Sharks.
“It was simply amazing,” said a teary-eyed Enroth who was barely able to escape the hoards of Chesterbrook swimmers and parents wanting to big him farewell long enough for an interview. “It mean the world to be to look up and see my team going bananas like that. It’s an indescribable feeling.”
After Enroth’s opening lap, Ian Stuver, Joseph Sullivan, and Chris Outlaw were able to pull away from Overlee’s squad to swim 1:53.71 to 1:56.21.
Early in the meet, Overlee held the edge over Chesterbrook, picking up 49 of 90 points in free. But a sweep in the 8 & under boys’ 25 backstroke seized the lead for the Tiger Sharks, one they would never relinquish.
Entering the relay events, Chesterbrook only needed to win five of the 12 total relays to seal the win. Enroth’s 15-18 medley was number five. Overlee won the next three relays, but the meet was already over and Overlee’s team sat downcast in their team area as Chesterbrook’s swimmers and coaches began exchanging hugs, celebrating the win that reclaimed the Division 1 crown lost a season ago after a 210.5 to 191.5 loss to Overlee last season.
For Chesterbrook, Nick Spicer and Oliver Bernasek dominated the events in the boys’ 9-10 age group as they have all season. Spicer won both the 50 free (32.62) and 50 breast (42.18), while his teammate Bernasek took the points in the other two stroke, winning the 50 back (38.28) and 25 butterfly (17.00). Spicer and Bernasek, along with Adi Kambhampaty and Andrew Bernstein, are members of Chesterbrook’s 9-10 100 medley relay that set the NVSL record during their week two make-up meet at McLean earlier in the season.
Jaya Kambhampaty won the boys’ 11-12 50 free (27.83) — second fastest time in the NVSL this season — and 50 back (32.08).
Chesterbrook’s Sam Gollob impressed in the boys’ 11-12 50 breaststroke, winning my an impressive 4.12 second margin. His season’s best time ranks second in the region and first in the NVSL.
Other top performers for Chesterbrook were Joseph Sullivan, who was a double winner for the Sharks in the boys’ 15-18 50 back (27.74) and 50 butterfly (26.12), and his 8 & under teammate, Rajan Bhargava, who won the boys’ 8 & under 25 breast (24.50) and 25 butterfly (21.45)
In one of the best races of the day, Overlee’s Sophie Yoder and Chesterbrook’s Sydney-Cate Thornett duked it out in the girls’ 8 & under 25 breaststroke. The two eight-year-olds were locked in a tight race from the dive, with the race coming down to the final reach for the wall. Yoder edged Thornett by .11 seconds with a time of 24.33. Yoder went on to win the 25 butterfly event with a time of 19.63. Yoder is the top 8 & under butterflier in the league entering next week’s divisional meets.
Other double winners for the Flying Fish were, Ryan Baker in the boys’ 13-14 50 free (26.16) and 50 butterfly (28.94), Suzanne Dolan in the girls’ 13-14 50 free (27.52) and 50 butterfly (30.83), and Michaela Morrison in the girls’ 13-14 50 back (33.12) and 50 breast (37.63).
Fair Oaks wins Division 9
Fair Oaks and Holmes Run Acres entered Saturday’s contest for the division championship both with perfect 4-0 records. Fair Oaks completed the season sweep by beating Holmes Run, 225 to 195, to move to 5-0 on the season.
The meet was characterized by close race after close race, none more so than the dual between two of the area’s best 9-10 boys, Anthony Grimm (Fair Oaks) and Max Cruz (Homes Run Acres). Grimm won both race — the 50 free and 25 fly — by a combined .17 seconds. They’ll likely duel again next week at divisionals and then again at All Stars the following week where they will be top seeds in whatever event they enter.
While the loss is surely disappointing for the Hurricanes, Holmes Run have proven that they are ready to handle the pressures of the single digit divisions after being jumped from Division 11 last season. Fair Oaks, who finished third last year in Division 10, will most likely continue to climb the divisional charts after going undefeated this season and winning relay carnival.
Langley defeats Hunter Mill to earn division 5 crown
Langley slipped past Hunter Mill to win the final dual meet of the season, 218 to 202, clinching the Division 5 crown for the Wild Things. It was a close meet throughout between two closely matched teams — only two sweeps occurred during the meet, coming in the boys’ 11-12 50 breast and 15-18 50 butterfly, both by Hunter Mill. In the end, the Sharks were worn down by the consistent strength of Langley’s depth. The Wild Things took home eight of 12 relays, including the final two — the mixed age relays — which sealed the victory and the division title.
For the Sharks, Katie Mack earned first place points in her two events, and also contributed to the winning 11-12 girls’ medley relay, one of only four relays won by Hunter Mill.
Sudley continues reign in PWSL in win over Lake Ridge
Braemar moves above .500 with win over Division 1 opponent Piedmont
Ashburn Farm tops AKC in season finale
Ashburn Farm concluded their 2012 dual meet season in the CSL with a 234 to 210 victory over Arlington Knights of Columbus. AKC had already clinched the division crown the week before with a win over Countryside.
CSL records broken
Last week, South Riding standout Hannah Arndt reset her own girls’ 8 & under 100 IM record, lowering her own mark by .05 seconds to 1:32.07 in the dual meet against Cascades.
Later in the week, Barrington’s Michael Herrmann battered his own league records in the boys’ 15-18 age group, besting his previous marks in the 100-yard IM and 50-yard backstroke events. In the IM, he shaved .39 seconds off for a new mark of 55.09. Even more impressive was his performance in the backstroke event where he shattered the previous record by 1.01 seconds for a time of 24.06.
Will Koeppen continues his tear through the boys’ 9-10 age group in the DCCL. On Saturday, the 10-year-old set another three league records in the 50 free, 25 fly, and 100 IM, as the Riverbend Golf & Country Club star attempts to rewrite the record books from the bottom up.
He buried his competitors in all four of his races by huge margins. In the 50 freestyle, on his way to his first record of the day, he won by nearly five seconds in a time of 30.96. Next, he had a nine second win in the 50 backstroke, shortly before setting his second league record of the day in the 25 butterfly with a time of 15.59. His final record came in the 100 IM, where he flew to a 1:17.96 win, 22.42 seconds ahead of second place.
Tags: 2012 Summer Weekly Wrap-Up, Adi Kambhampaty, Andrew Bernstein, Chesterbrook, Jaya Kambhampaty, Nick Spicer, NVSL, Oliver Bernasek, Overlee, Rajan Bhargava, Ryan Baker, Sophie Yoder, Summer, Sydney-Cate Thornett