The streak is over
North Point girls ends Leonardtown’s win mark at 153 straight; Eagles sweep
The North Point girls swim team had challenged and pushed Leonardtown to the brink over the years, but the Raiders always seemed to find a way to prevail and keep their lengthy streak intact.
That all changed Friday night at St. Charles High School when North Point came from behind to win the final event of the night — the 400-yard freestyle relay — and defeat the Raiders.
The loss was the first for the Leonardtown girls since swimming became a high school sport in St. Mary’s County in 2004. The Raiders had won all 153 of their meets until the Eagles’ dra- matic win.
The North Point boys had a dramatic win of its own. After a lengthy discussion at the scorer’s table follow- ing the meet, it was discov- ered the Eagles had posted a 138-135 win over Leonardtown, just the fifth loss ever for the Raiders.
“Definitely an historic win and it’s starting to settle in now,” North Point head coach Jeff Rivenburg said. “You can’t get any bigger momentum than pulling out two wins against a team like Leonardtown. We’re still on that high, but we’re on that we had a long weekend so the momentum has worn off a bit and we’ll get back in the pool and get back to what we’ve been doing all season long which is working hard.”
“We started strong and we finished strong,” said North Point’s Tyler Whitsett, who helped give an emotional pregame speech.
North Point girls (11-0 overall) edged out the Raiders 146-127 and defeated St. Charles 192-50. Leonardtown (8-1) earned the split by virtue of its 192-50 over the Spartans (0-11).
The North Point boys (11-0) defeated St. Charles 191-50 and Leonardtown (8-1) downed the Spartans (1-10), 192-49.
“They were upset. There were a lot of tears shared, but that’s OK. It’s not the end of the world,” Leonardtown head coach Chuck Jacobs said. “It just means we start all over. We had an incredible streak that’s almost unheard of. I’m not upset about that. I think it’s good for us; I think it keeps every- body’s competitive juices flow- ing. It’s like you can hate us all you want [for our streak], but we did the work, we know the position we put ourselves in. It’s been an incredible run.”
The Eagles girls trailed Leonardtown by a point heading into the 400 free relay and trailed by almost two seconds after the first two swimmers — Carla Ar- quero and Kerrigan McMillen — but Mya Rivenburg turned in a time of 56.98 seconds and anchor Nathalie LaFontant brought home the win with a time of 57.19.
“We were against some great swimmers and it was a great group competition and we had to give it everything we had,” said Mya Rivenburg, who swam her best split of the sea- son. “Leonardtown put their best team together so I knew that if we wanted to win, I had to give it everything I had and so did my team.”
North Point finished in 3 minutes 51.18 seconds, more than two seconds ahead of the Leon- ardtown foursome of Leila Mc- Closkey, Kaylee Simcic, Lauryn Ridley and Hayley Newton.
“We knew Leonardtown had a fantastic relay team, so we knew we’d have to swim better than we had all year long,” Jeff Riven- burg said. “We led off with a really solid swim from Carla and then Kerrigan on the second leg and then Mya hit the water third and Nathalie took it over at the end. Basically what we really needed was a lead to hold it off because their anchor Hayley Newton swims lights out all the time. All the work they’ve done paid off in the end.”
“I think our girls went pretty fast and they weren’t giving up anything,” said Newton, who swam an event-best 53.66. “I was just so proud of them; they all did well. It was a pretty close race but it was obvious their girls worked hard and our girls worked hard, too, but it just comes down to placements.”
Rivenburg also won the 100 (56.88) and 200 free (2:05.29). McMillen took first in the 500 free (5:43.24), Arquero took the 100 backstroke (1:07.54) and LaFontant touched the wall in 25.72 seconds to win the 50 free. North Point also won the 200 free relay (1:49.38).
Newton won two events for the Raiders, the 100 fly (1:02.72) and 200 IM (2:18.33). Emma Carrigg took home first in the 100 breaststroke in 1:11.27 and Leonardtown swam to a win in the 200 medley relay (1:57.63).
“It’s pretty tough [to lose], but I can say that I’ve never felt closer to my team than I did last night,” Newton said. “It was rough, but it was obvious that we need to work harder.”
The Spartans received two ninth-place finishes from Eden Lakner in the 100 back (1:25.02) and 200 free (2:49.19). Kayla DeHetre was ninth in the 100 free (1:16.22) and 50 free (31.87) and Michaela Pape took ninth in the 100 breast (1:43.48).
“I just kept going at a normal pace and made sure to have good flip turns,” Lakner said of the 100 back. “We did well and dropped some time. We held our own; we’re getting there.”
North Point boys win
In the boys meet, Jeff Riven- burg said a win in the 50 free by Kevin Rohrbaugh just before the break helped buoy the Ea- gles to the win. Rohrbaugh’s win in 24.23 was 26-one hundreths of a second ahead of runner-up Zachary Claus of Leonardtown.
“I think really that was the turning point because they have three really good swimmers, but I believed in Kevin and I put him in there and he got a win,” said Rivenburg, whose team then went into intermission just two points down. Injuries and illness left the Eagles with just 17 swimmers on Friday.
Lawrence Sapp won the 100 back (59.16) and 200 free (1:54.07) for the Eagles. Rohr- baugh needed 24.23 seconds to win the 50 free and Whitsett won the 100 breast in 1:06.99. North Point also won the 200 medley relay (1:44.69) and 200 free relay (1:38.10).
Bacon led the Raiders with wins in the 100 fly (54.60) and 200 IM (2:09.95). Ben Carrigg (100 free, 52.76) and Kyle Rock (500 free, 5:29.28) each won one event and Bacon, Carrigg, Rock and Zachary Claus led the 400 free relay team to another win (3:33.87).
The Spartans were led by Zachary Youmans, who was seventh in both the 100 breast (1:18.73) and 200 free (2:32.16). Xavier Murphy (50 free, 26.75), Max Morgan (100 back, 1:23.60) and Michael Bouyett (200 IM, 3:16.00) each placed eighth in their respective events.
“We did well,” St. Charles head coach Kelsey Landgraf said. “All I ask of our kids is that they do their best every meet and trying to swim as fast as they can. I don’t want them to worry about how fast the other teams are, it’s about lowering their times. We see a lot of improvement every meet. All I want us to do is be better than last year, be better than last meet.”
Meanwhile, Jacobs said the sun will rise tomorrow.
“Sometimes your kids succeed and sometimes they falter and just that little bit of an edge is all you need to win that meet, but we’ll come back and we’ll be ready,” he said. “I’m never going to let those kids make excuses because we knew there’s that pressure and sooner or later it was going to happen. I can’t be upset. Heck some of my kids swam three, four, five seconds faster than they’ve ever swam faster in their lives, but it’s unfortunate because [Rivenburg’s] kids swam faster than they have in their lives. I think the girls understand that hey, the target on your back’s not gone now but just the same there’s a little less pressure now.”
North Point’s Kerrigan McMillen won the 500-yard freestyle in 5 minutes 43.24 seconds and was second in the 200 individual medley in Friday’s meet versus Leonardtown and St. Charles. McMillen and the Eagles swept the meet, which also included ending the Raiders girls’ 153-meet winning streak.