The streak is over

North Point girls ends Leonard­town’s win mark at 153 straight; Ea­gles sweep

Maryland Independent - - Sports - MICHAEL REID mreid@somd­news.com

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.”

STAFF PHOTO BY MICHAEL REID

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.

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