Shining in Division E
Indian Head takes fourth, Bannister sixth in Prince-Mont swim meet
BOWIE — William Micknick thought it would be wise to rest his injured hip before the Prince-Mont Swim League’s E Division championships Saturday at the Belair Swim and Racquet Club. It turned out to be a great idea.
Micknick won a Southern Maryland-best three events to help Indian Head win six events and capture fourth place with 185.5 points.
“I’m really happy with the kids and we got [just] one DQ in the meet, which I’m really happy with,” Indian Head head coach Jo Proctor said. “We had a lot of best times and that’s what I keep telling my kids that’s what it’s all about.”
Bannister placed sixth with 123 points, thanks in large part to double winner Jonathan Parham.
Bannister head coach Julia D’Alessandro said, “Oh my goodness I’m so excited how they did today. They beat their
own times, they did what they could do, the fastest they wanted to do. If you want something, you go for it and that’s what they did.
Severn Crossing of Prince George’s County won the meet with 259.5 points, barely ahead of runner-up Accokeek, also of Prince George’s, which totaled 243 points and host Belair Swim and Racquet grabbed third with 232.
The meet was not without some drama. Accokeek was forced to withdraw its relay team for the final event — the girls 9- to 18-year-old 200 freestyle relay — and Severn Crossing promptly won the event and the 14 points that went with it to clinch the win.
Micknick led Indian Head by winning the boys 13-14 50-meter breaststroke, 50 backstroke and 100 individual medley.
“I thought I swam very well,” said Micknick, a rising sophomore at North Point High School. “I thought I had some very good competitors today. They all worked very hard and I knew when I woke up this morning that all the training and practices I did and all my teammates cheering me on were for these swims today, so I’m glad I got to succeed and go on to all-stars (at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at West Arundel Swim Club in Laurel).”
Micknick finished the 50 breast in 39.52 seconds, needed 35.85 seconds to claim the 50 back and won the 100 IM in 1 minute 18.03 seconds.
“I wasn’t sure I’d be able to swim it,” Micknick said of competing in the breaststroke with his hip injury. “It’s one of my best events so I let [the injury] rest and wasn’t really sure if I was going to do well in the event, but I did so I’m glad I rested it.”
Micknick said he had success because he focused on his swim alone.
“Usually when I swim I find I put a lot of pressure on myself when I’m looking over at people and seeing where I am in comparison to everyone else,” he said, “so my mindset is to beat my own time and to just go from there. That way I feel like I’m not racing against anyone. I’m only racing against myself and that way I can really go for speed and go my fastest.”
Teammates Adam Diehl won the boys 11-12 50 back (41.66), placed second in the 11-12 50 fly (40.07) and took third in the 12-U 100 IM (1:31.12). Bryan Mentzer claimed the boys 1314 50 butterfly (34.40) and also added a second in the 50 back (38.58 on judge’s decision) and third in the 50 free (30.34).
Kyla Smith added a second-place finish in the girls 9-10 25 back (22.08) and was third in the 10-U 25 fly (22.29), while Arien Gatling was runner-up in the boys 11-12 50 breast (49.77) and third in the 50 back (52.00). Madelyn Desoto (girls 13-14 50 free, 35.61) and Zachary Will (boys 15-18 50 breast, 36.12) each added a second-place finish.
“I’ve been working hard on my stroke technique and I felt very good with that today,” said Indian Head’s Rebecca Proctor, a rising junior at Northern High School, who swam the lead leg in the girls 200 medley relay, which along with Callie Culhane, Anne Elise Bolton and Desoto placed third. Proctor also placed third in the girls 15-18 50 back in 39.37.
“We’re a smaller team and we don’t have any year-round swimmers,” Jo Proctor said of the Torpedoes, who has a roster of 79 swimmers. “I’m really proud of them. I had a lot of first-year swimmers that did really well and were representing here today and it’s about the times and improving and feeling good so I’m happy.”
Jonathan Parham led Bannister to wins in the boys 8-U 25 free (18.34) and 25 breast and was third in the 25 back (28.69). Christopher Brown won the boys 9-10 25 breast (24.90, six one-hundredths of a second ahead of Accokeek’s Justin Schwalm) and was runner-up in the 25 fly (21.07) and 50 free (37.76). Michael Parham won the boys 12-U 100 IM (1:29.97), was second in the 50 free (34.31) and third in the 50 fly (41.66).
“I was losing at first in the butterfly and then on the backstroke I started to catch up,” Michael Parham said of the IM, in which he nudged out Thomas Reed of Severn Crossing on a judge’s decision. “The breast [portion of the swim] I came back [again] and then in the freestyle everybody else was tired but I just kept pushing.”
Nicholas Brown won the boys 11-12 50 breast in 43.32 and was third in the 50 free (34.44) and Christopher Alexander was second in the boys 11-12 50 back (48.56).
“I dove in and had a great pullout and came out stroking hard,” said Bannister’s Da’Sean Gassaway, a rising freshman at Stevenson University, of his seventh-place finish in the boys 15-18 50 breast, which he finished in 40.25. “I hit the wall, had a great pullout and just finished the race. I felt good. We’ve worked hard all summer and swam extremely hard in practices and I feel we did a good job.”
D’Alessandro added the boys 9-18 200 free relay team of Gassaway, Michael Parham, Bryce Simmons and Christopher Brown, which placed second (2:16.22) and chopped six seconds off their best time, “had a lot of energy.”
“Definitely a lot of improvement,” D’Allesandro said of the Barracudas. “We had a lot of first-year swimmers and some were here at divisionals and for the focus they had, even the returning swimmers, they decreased their times so dramatically. Their technique got better and they took our lead on things — we are new coaches on this team — but they were able to adapt to us and say yes we’ll do what you need to do. It was a great season.”
Indian Head’s William Micknick won the boys 13-14 50-meter breaststroke, 50 backstroke and 100 individual medley at Saturday’s Prince-Mont Swim League Division E championships.