Pre-season Poll: Women’s Metro Championship

By Rich House.

Reach for the Wall conducted a poll of schools that finished in the top 10 at last year’s Washington Metropolitan Interscholastic Swimming and Diving Championships (Metro’s) to get their opinion on which teams have the firepower to finish in the top 5 and which swimmers to watch. Here are the results of the coach’s poll for the Women:

  1. Sherwood (6 votes)
  2. Walter Johnson
  3. Churchill (1 vote)
  4. Montgomery Blair
  5. Madeira

Reach for the Wall staff took a look at last year’s results (not that these are predictive of this year) to see how many points are returning for each of the teams and a few of the returning swimmers:

Sherwood – 2016 Champion with 376 points. Points returning: 216

Top returning swimmers:

  • Grace Giddings (200 & 500 Free) 34 pts
  • Kaitlyn Gravell (200 IM, 500 Free) 34 pts
  • Sophia Ryan (200 & 500 Free) 31 pts

Walter Johnson – 2016 3rd place 251 pts. Points returning: 139.5

Top returning swimmers:

  • Celine Nugent (200 IM, 100 Free) 41 pts
  • Margaret Wolfson (100 Fly, 100 Breast) 34 pts
  • Kiki  Bonetta-Misteli (50 Free, 100 Back) 20.5 pts

Churchill – 2016 2nd place 302 pts. Points returning: 80

Top returning swimmers:

  • Emily Wang (100 Fly, 100 Back ) 38 pts.
  • Hanan Bandak (100 Free, 100 Breast) 31 pts
  • Beth Wright (100 Back) 11 pts.

Montgomery Blair – 2016 4th place 222 pts. Points returning: 138

Top returning swimmers:

  • Madison Waechter (200 & 500 Free) 48 pts
  • Hannah Kannan (100 Fly, 100 Back) 40 pts
  • Sammie Grant (200 & 100 Free) 33 pts

Madeira – 2016 5th place 215.5 pts. Points returning: 73.5

Top returning swimmers:

  • Maddy Hielbrun (200 IM, 500 Free) 39 pts.
  • Izzy Gati (100 Free, 100 Back) 34.5 pts.

Here’s where Metro’s will get interesting this year.  While the following teams placed 6th – 10th in 2016, they have an opportunity to move into the top 5 with their returning swimmers and newcomers:

Northwest – 2016 6th place 202 pts. Points returning: 112

Top returning swimmers:

  • Jaycee Yeagher (200 Free, 100 Breast) 45 pts.
  • Sydney Knapp (50 & 100 Free) 35 pts.
  • Dylan Gribble (200 IM, 100 Breast) 30 pts.

Walt Whitman – 2016 7th place 182 pts. Points returning 130

Top returning swimmers:

  • Caroline Rhodes (200 IM, 500 Free) 31 pts.
  • Sophie Reilly (200 IM, 100 Fly) 23 pts.
  • Lena Redisch (200 Free, 500 Free) 21 pts.

The Holton-Arms School – 2016 8th place  173 pts. Points returning 70

Top returning swimmers:

  • Olivia Jubin (50 Free, 500 Free) 35 pts.
  • Sydney Mathis (50 Free, 100 Free) 27 pts.

St. John’s College High School – 2016 9th place 167. 50 pts. Points returning 9

Top returning swimmers:

  • Keyla Brown (50 Free) 9 pts.

Bethesda – Chevy Chase (B-CC) – 2016 10th place 160 pts. Points returning 73

Top returning swimmers:

  • Katie Smith (50 Free, 100 Back) 29 pts.

Other swimmers to watch:  Olivia French (Good Counsel – 50 Free, 100 Fly, 36 pts); Maddy Zarchin (Quince Orchard – 200 IM, 100 Fly 34 pts); Anna Shumate (Ireton – 100 Free, 100 Breast, 32 pts); Tory Atkinson (St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes – 200 IM, 500 Free, 15 pts); Sarah Levundusky (Blake – 200 IM, 100 Fly, 11 pts).

Top returning divers: Hannah Montau (Seneca Valley); Kamryn Umbel (Richard Montgomery); Regan Westwood (Wootton); and Madeline Pfaff (B-CC).

The coaches poll likely has the the prediction correct for Sherwood as the Women’s champion, but we think the race will be tight for runner-up.  Montgomery Blair, Whitman and Walter Johnson each have over half of their point totals returning.  Walter Johnson has 11 individual point scorers returning, Whitman 10, and Montgomery Blair has 9, meaning they each have opportunities to use their depth on the relays and across individual events to find extra points.

The 500 free and 100 breast look to be the toughest events to gain points with 9 of the top 10 swimmers from last year returning in each race. The 50 free should be wide open, with only 5 of the top 10 returning.

As with any Championship meet, the three relay events and diving will play a big factor in securing a spot in the top 5. Last year, Churchill garnered 147 of their 302 points in diving (39) and  relays (108).  Sherwood scored 164 relay points, and has 3 of the 4 relay members returning, but will have a tough time replacing Morgan Hill (2016 Metro Champion in 50 & 100 free).  Walter Johnson may have the strongest relay contingent returning. Last year they posted 112 points through the relays and have all 4 members returning! Madeira also had a strong showing in the relays with 94 of their 215 points, but will also miss their anchor Kylie Jordan.  Montgomery Blair with 84 and Northwest with 80 points are capable of moving up from last year’s positions.

We are excited to follow the dual meet season and see how the teams and swimmers progress.

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