Swimmers place at states
Eagles shine at 4A-3A swim event
COLLEGE PARK — Southern Maryland Athletic Conference swim teams enjoyed hugely successful regional cham- pionships last weekend but found the sledding much tougher at the Class 4A-3A state swim championships Saturday at the University of Mary- land’s Eppley Recreation Center and Natatorium.
Of the participating SMAC teams — Northern, North Point, Leonardtown and Great Mills — the highest finish was Leonardtown’s Hayley Newton’s ninth-place finish in the 200-yard indi- vidual medley.
On the girls side, Leonardtown placed 15th with 31 points, while North Point tied for 22nd with Einstein of Montgomery County with 9 and Great Mills tied with Bowie of Prince George’s County for 25th with 4. Walter Johnson of Montgomery County won the meet with 292 points.
The Raiders were SMAC-best in the boys meet as well when they accumulated 10 points, good for 18th. Northern tied for 19th with South River of Anne Arundel County with 9 points, while North Point finished 24th with 2. Mont- gomery County’s Richard Montgomery won the team title with 289 points.
Swimmers had to place in the top 16 in an event to register a team point.
“We swam really well; I’m very proud of them,” Leonardtown head coach Chuck Jacobs said, refer- ring to both his teams. “They did what we were looking for and finished ahead of the other SMAC teams, which is usually one of the goals we car- ry into the championship season.”
But Jacobs was also not surprised at the lack of Southern Maryland athletes on the podium.
“Not really,” he said. “I think in the SMAC we still have a lot of kids that don’t do full-time swim- ming, so I think we do really well comparatively. A lot of these other teams; this is what they do. They swim all year and train probably 300 days a year and it shows. And a lot of these kids will probably go D-I.”
Newton completed the 200 IM in 2 minutes 11.61 seconds. The champion was Catherine Belyakov of Montgomery County’s Quince Orchard, who set a state championships record in 2:03.81.
“I was hoping to do a little better,” said Newton, a junior who also placed 17th in the 100 butterfly (1:00.33). “I’m happy with how the start went and I felt strong on my back, but my breaststroke on my third leg is still a little weak. I added a little time [to my seed time] so I’m a little bummed about that.”
Leonardtown’s girls 400yard freestyle relay team of Hayley Newton, Kaylee Simcic, Laur yn Ridley and Leila McCloskey finished 10th in 3:51.96. The girls 200 medley relay team of Newton, Simcic, Caitlin Jonasen and Emma Carrigg placed 13th in 1:59.34. McCloskey, Simcic, Madelyn Prelog and Kaitlyn Ng was 20th in the 200 free relay (1:49.92).
For the boys, Alec Bacon, Ben Carrigg, Nathan Duffie and Luke Russell finished the 200 free relay (1:33.92) in 14th and Bacon, Carrigg, Kyle Rock and Zachary Claus were 15th in the 400 free relay (3:28.99). Bacon, Russell, Jacob Harms and Austin Gray teamed up for an 18th-place finish in the 200 medley relay (1:46.67).
“I’m pretty happy, but there’s definitely some things I can tweak to make it better,” Leonardtown’s Kyle Rock said, referring to his 21st-place finish in the 500 free. “I wanted to go out strong to start and keep that momentum going the whole race.”
Kerrigan McMillen, Carla Arquero, Mya Rivenburg and Natha- lie LaFontant turned in North Point’s best finish when they placed 15th in the 400 free relay in 3:56.62. Rivenburg also added a 16th-place finish in the 200 free (2:02.93).
“I’m happy with how it went,” Rivenburg said of the 200 free. “I went out with a good start and went out pretty fast and was able to hold my normal pace so I was happy with that and how I finished.”
The boys 200 medley relay team of Dariusz Mck- enzie, Tyler Whitsett, Lawrence Sapp and Kev- in Rohrbaugh (1:46.55) and the girls 200 medley relay team of Arquero, LaFontant, McMillen and Teagan Rohrbaugh each placed 16th (2:00.67).
The boys 400 free relay squad of Sapp, Rohrbaugh, Tyler Perrie and Emman- uel Agravante was 18th (3:34.11) and McMillen (500 free, 5:31.91), Whitsett (100 breaststroke, 1:05.50) and LaFontant (100 breast, 1:11.82) each finished 19th.
“I felt pretty consistent, but I think I could have done better,” McMillen said of the 100 breast.
Great Mills’ Hayley and Jessica Mesmer, Saman- tha Chan and Savannah O’Dell finished the 200 free relay in 15th (1:47.60) and Chan, O’Dell, Hay- ley Mesmer and Abby Simmerman were 22nd in the 200 medley relay (2:04.40).
“[The relays] went well,” Hayley Mesmer said of her fourth state appearance. “They weren’t our best times, but it’s just nice to be up here with ev- erybody and finish off the season.”
“We all pulled it together [in the 200 free relay] and we all had some of our fastest times,” said O’Dell, who added a 23rdplace finish in the 50 free (25.98). “Overall, it’s been a really good day.”
Nolan Dennes led the Patriots with a team-high 13th-place finish in the 100 backstroke (55.90 seconds). Dennes, AnhKhoa Nguyen, John Bubser and James Harmon took 15th in the 200 medley relay in 1:45.77.
“I think the difference was our first leg and our last leg because the adrenaline was pumping us up,” said Dennes, who swam the backstroke leg in 25.82, a personal record. “My swim was all right. I stayed up with everyone else so I was able to stay out of my drop zone. I felt really good.”
Sophomore Victoria Plaudis was 18th in the 100 breaststroke in 1:11.20. She also swam the breaststroke on the 200 medley relay team that consisted of Gabriela Harmon, Nyah Hartwell and Callie Heim. The quartet placed 23rd in 2:06.11.
“There’s a lot of energy and a lot of tightness and stuff, but my [relay] team was like, ‘You got this, Victoria, you got this,’ so I let everything out and did my best,” said Plaudis, who swam her leg in 33.04, a personal record. “My start was really good, my turns were really good and I felt my stroke was really good, too.”
STAFF PHOTO BY MICHAEL REID Kerrigan McMillen teamed up with Carla Arquero, Mya Rivenburg and Nathalie LaFontant for a 15thplace finish in the 400-yard freestyle relay at the Class 4A-3A state swim championships in College Park.