Swimmers achieved 16 automatic all-American times, broke 12 regional marks and nearly toppled two national high school records at the Northern Region swimming and diving championships on Saturday night.
All of that passed by Madison Coach Andrew Foos unnoticed as the Warhawks piled up points — 310 in all — on their way to the boys’ title, beating out teams stacked with record-breakers and all-Americans at the Oak Marr RECenter in Oakton.
“This meet is usually all about individuals, but we showed that a team with depth can win too,” Foos said. “We’re a true team and this was a true team win.”
Madison only scored one individual win in the meet, and that came from freshman Grayson Campbell during Tuesday night’s diving portion of the meet. In lieu of first-place victories, Madison’s boys collected points the hard way in the consolation heats and with gutsy finishes in outside lanes to top second-place Robinson (254).
“We went around and put 312 on all the girls’ lockers before the meet,” Oakton Coach Parker Ramsdell said. “The girls wanted to do something amazing at this meet, because they know how special this team really is.
“I had no idea how much the girls would buy into it. They came in here tonight to make a statement and they did.”
Junior Janet Hu, the 2012 All-Met swimmer of the year, led the way for the Cougars, re-setting her own meet records in the 100-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke. Her time of 48.90 seconds in the freestyle was .75 of a second off the national high school record. In the backstroke, Hu crushed the field by over three seconds to win in 52.81.
She also anchored Oakton’s 400 freestyle relay which smashed the record by nearly two seconds for a time of 3:27.73. She was joined by Laura Branton, Kendall Lawhorn, and freshman Megan Byrnes, who added meets records in the 200 and 500 freestyle, both in automatic all-American cut times.
West Potomac senior Hellen Moffitt hung on to win the girls’ 100 butterfly (54.43), breaking the oldest record in the meet, set in 1986, by over half a second. Her time of 54.43 was an automatic all-American cut. She out-touched Branton and W.T. Woodson’s Leah Rogers, who were also
under the previous record.
Oakton’s girls won both 200 relays as well. Hu led off the medley relay in a blazing 25.03 to give her teammates a two-second advantage. Melissa Shebat, Julia Capobianco and Gillian Crews hung on to win in 1:47.15. Without Hu in the 200 free relay, Crews, Byrnes, Elise Bourdelais and Branton rose to the challenge to bring home a win for the Cougars, missing the meet record by .01 seconds for an automatic all-American cut time of 1:36.62.
To close out an action-packed meet, Jefferson sophomore Andrew Seliskar set the record in the 100 breaststroke (54.09), just missing the national high school record, held by three-time Olympic gold medalist Brendan Hansen, by .42 of a second. Second-placed Brandon Fiala finished with an automatic all-American cut as well in 56.02. The Westfield senior also won the boys’ 50 free in 21.05 in an all-American consideration cut time.
“I wasn’t unhappy with my time,” said Seliskar,
who lowered his own 15-16 year-old national age group record in the event. “I think I was a little too hyped up for the race and let my emotions get away from me.”
Seliskar also smashed his own regional record in the 200 individual medley (1 minute 46.43 seconds) earlier in the meet. As he took his final stroke into the wall, the rest of the field was just surfacing after their final turn — 20 yards behind him.
“It felt good — a lot faster than I thought I’d be unshaved and untapered,” Seliskar said. “I have two more years to go for that record.”
Seliskar also provided key splits in the winning 200 medley relay and the runner-up 400 free relay. In the medley, Luke Thorsell, Reese Frerichs, and Miles Oakley joined Seliskar to set a new meet record of 1:33.85. Seliskar’s 21.48 second-split in the butterfly leg tied his teammate Oakley for the events fastest split in any stroke. Oakley swam freestyle. In the 400 free relay, moments after missing the national record in the 100 breaststroke, Seliskar split 44.63 trying to chase down Robinson freshman James Murphy.
Murphy, in his first regional championship meet, claimed victories in the 100 and 200 freestyle in 45.71 and 1:39.16, respectively. His time in the 200 freestyle was a meet record and an automatic all-American cut. Murphy anchored both winning Robinson freestyle relays in lightning splits of 20.98 in the 200 free relay and 45.53 in the 400 free relay.
“I knew I had to hold off Andrew and do what I could to catch Madison’s [400 free] relay,” said Murphy. “I wanted to do what I could to get points for my school.” Murphy was joined by junior Matt Jones, freshmen James Jones and Luke Jones in both relays.
Oakton senior Philip Hu set a regional record in the boys’ 100 backstroke, breaking Seliskar’s older brother Steven’s record, set last year, by .66 seconds. Hu also captured the 100 butterfly title in 50.58 in an all-American consideration qualifying time.
Langley senior Abi Speers successfully defended her title in the 50 freestyle in an automatic all-American cut time of 23.13 — lowering her own regional record by .19 seconds.
Falls Church senior Laura Schwartz captured the 200 individual medley in 2:05.25. South County senior Evin Rude won the boys’ 500 free in 4:31.66. Both swimmers achieved all-American consideration cuts.
Tags: 2013 AAA Northern Region Swimming and Diving Championships, 2013 High School Championship meets, Abi Speers, Andrew Seliskar, Brandon Fiala, Brooke Malone, Danny Mittel, Elise Bourdelais, Evan Owens, Evin Rude, Falls Church High School, Gillian Crews, Hellen Moffitt, Howe Wang, James Jones, James Madison High School, James Murphy, Janet Hu, Julia Capobianco, Kendall Lawhorn, Laura Branton, Laura Schwartz, Lead Rogers, Luke Jones, Luke Thorsell, Matt Jones, McLean HIgh School, Megan Byrnes, Melissa Shebat, Miles Oakley, Oakton High School, Philip Hu, Reese Frerichs, Robinson Secondary, South County High School, Thomas Jefferson, W.T. Woodson High School, West Potomac High School, Westfield High School