Swim­mers stand tall at state meets

Swim­mers come up big at 3A-2A-1A state event; La Plata boys fin­ish SMAC-best 5th

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By MICHAEL REID mreid@somd­news.com

COL­LEGE PARK — South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Con­fer­ence swim teams did not en­joy a lot of suc­cess at the Class 4A-3A state cham­pion- ships held ear­lier in the day Satur­day, but it was a dif­fer­ent story for the 3A-2A-1A swim teams lat- er in the day at the Univer­sity of Mary­land’s Ep­p­ley Re­cre­ation Cen­ter and Nata­to­rium.

The con­fer­ence sent 14 swim­mers and re­lay teams to the podium and had three top-3 fin­ish­ers. Hunt­ing­town’s Re­bekah John­son was sec­ond in the 100-yard back­stroke, the La Plata boys were run­ners-up in the 200yard freestyle re­lay and Con­nor Cur­rie of Hun- tingtown was third in the 500-yard free.

On the boys side, the War­riors fin­ished a SMAC-best fifth with 118 points. Calvert High School was 14th (59 points), Hunt­ing­town tied Thomas John­son of Fred­er­ick County for 17th (43), McDonough fin­ished 21st (11) and Lackey too 22nd (10). Poolesville of Mont­gomery County won the meet with 347.5 points.

Poolesville also won the girls meet af­ter com­pil­ing 363 points. Hunt­ing­town fin­ished a SMACbest 11th with 67 points, while La Plata was 15th (48), Calvert took 21st (29), West­lake was 25th (23.5) and Patux­ent fin­ished 26th (23).

Swim­mers had to place in the top 16 in an event to regis­ter a team point.

The War­riors were led by the boys 200 free re­lay team of Michael Bowlin, Liam and Con­nor Vi­en­neau and Osly Me­len­dez, who fin­ished sec­ond in 1 minute 32.45 sec­onds. Poolesville won

the event in 1:28.18.

Conor Vi­en­neau was fifth in the 100-yard back­stroke (54.92 sec­onds) and sixth in the 200 in­di­vid­ual med­ley (2:02.57, about 2 1/2 sec­onds bet­ter than his seeded time).

“It was good; I added a sec­ond [to my seeded time], but I’m still happy,” Vi­en­neau said of the 100 back. “I’m just a fresh­man swim­ming with se­niors, so I think I did pretty well with how old I am. I’m pretty happy.”

The boys 200 med­ley re­lay team of Conor and Liam Vi­en­neau, Me­len­dez and Kristo­pher Schueller placed fifth in 1:43.29 and Me­gan Schueller (50 free, 25.27), Liam Vi­en­neau (200 free, 1:50.77) and the girls 200 free re­lay team of Me­gan Schueller, Cameron Lan­g­ley and Sum­mer and Savannah Mad­dox (1:48.82) all placed sixth.

“Yeah, I’m ex­cited. I’m so happy I could get up on the podi- um,” Liam Vi­en­neau said of the 200 free. “It was a pretty good race, I was just try­ing to keep up with the guy next to me and I think I did that pretty well.”

A two-time vis­i­tor to the podium was West­lake’s Emily Decker. The ju­nior tied for sixth place — with Mag­gie Jones of Kent County — in the 100 free (56.19) and added an eighth-place fin­ish in the 50 free (25.47).

“I was re­ally ner­vous,” Deck- er said of the 100 free. “I knew I was seeded pretty high, but I also knew that eight of the top nine times were all within a sec­ond. I was hop­ing to do bet­ter in the 50, but my goal was to get on the podium to­day and I did. And my rib­bon matches my or­ange warmup jacket.”

“The rea­son she’s so suc­cess­ful is she’s a true ath­lete,” West- lake head coach Troy Great- house said. “She has heart, she doesn’t give up and she should be aw­fully proud of her­self.”

Marc Landi­cho of Mc- Donough was eighth in the 50 free with a per­sonal record of 22.85 sec­onds.

“I came in here think­ing I’d come in maybe 11th, but I swam my best time ever,” said Landi­cho, who also broke the school record in the event. “When I got out there I was su­per ner­vous. It’s very in­tense when you get out there — I was los­ing feel­ing in my limbs and stuff — I can’t de­scribe the feel­ing. [But] as soon as the bell went off I could see peo­ple be­hind me as I hit the water.”

Lackey’s high­est fin­ish was 12th by its boys 200 free re­lay team of Shaun But­ler, Pa­tric Is­land, Bryan Mentzer and Jer- maine Thomp­son (1:38.84).

Thomas Stone’s Dou­glas Good­ell Jr. placed 20th in the 50 free (24.27).

John­son of Hunt­ing­town fin- ished the 100 back in 1:00.92, 1.68 sec­onds be­hind state cham­pion Moshelle Bor­ji­gin of Poolesville.

“I’m re­ally happy be­cause I gave it my all and I was tired af- ter, which is how I know I had a good race,” said John­son, a se­nior who also placed 11th in the 50 free (26.06). “For me the key was kick­ing be­cause that’s most of my power push and I could feel my legs kind of dy- ing at the end but I kept push­ing through it.”

Cur­rie, who com­pleted his third-place 500 free swim in 5:04.86, also placed 15th in the 200 IM.

“It feels re­ally great be­cause I’ve had some dif­fi­cult times over the last few months,” said Cur­rie, who is ex­pe­ri­enc- ing un­ex­plained seizures. “It’s caused me to miss a ma­jor amount of [prac­tice] time. I had a good start, but I kind of got tired over the last five laps.”

Team­mate Sarah Cole added a sixth-place fin­ish in the 500 free (5:32.37).

“I kind of just went out and did it,” Cole said of the race, which broke her pre­vi­ous per­sonal record of 5:34 set last week­end at the 3A-2A-1A South Re­gion cham­pi­onships. “I’ve swam this race a lot be­fore. It’s one of my reg­u­lar races, so I’m pretty com­fort­able with it. I just went out there and swam my best.”

Hunt­ing­town’s Car­los Bala- zs fin­ished the 500 free in 5:25.92, which placed 16th over­all but was 12 sec­onds off his seeded time.

“I just went for it,” he said. “Not [sur­prised] re­ally be­cause last time I swam [the event] I kind of re­served en­ergy. This time I just went all out from the be­gin­ning.”

Patux­ent was led by Macken­zie Mor­gan, who made two trips to the podium. The se­nior was sev­enth in the girls 500 free (5:42.38) and eighth in the 200 free (2:07.05).

“It was a re­ally good race so I’m re­ally ex­cited,” Mor­gan said of the 500 free. “I started out a lot faster than I thought I would, but I started to get re­ally tired. It’s pretty cool [to be sev­enth in the state].”

Calvert was led by Ben Voelker, who was ninth in the 100 back (55.83) and 10th in the 200 IM (2:08.97). Wal­ter Kuha­neck was ninth in the 50 free (22.90) and 10th in the 100 but­ter­fly (56.60). The boys 200 med­ley re­lay team of Kuha­neck, Paul Goldsmith and Con­nor Glea­son was also 10th. (1:46.68).

STAFF PHOTO BY MICHAEL REID La Plata se­nior Liam Vi­en­neau placed ninth in the 100-yard but­ter­fly in 56.52 sec­onds at the Class 3A-2A-1A state cham­pi­onships on Satur­day in Col­lege Park.

STAFF PHO­TOS BY MICHAEL REID West­lake ju­nior Emily Decker tied for sixth place in the 100-yard freestyle (56.19 sec­onds) and added an eighth-place fin­ish in the 50 free (25.47).

The La Plata 200-yard freestyle re­lay team of Me­gan Schueller, left, Cameron Lan­g­ley, Savannah Mad­dox and Sum­mer Mad­dox pose atop the podium at the Class 3A-2A-1A state cham­pi­onships on Satur­day in Col­lege Park. The quar­tet fin­ished in sixth in 1 minute 48.92 sec­onds.

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