Swimming to the win
Gators finish with perfect regular season record in Prince-Mont
Saturday featured a little bit of everything for Hawthorne Country Club head swimming coach Mary Jane Cupples.
First, it was a successful day for the Gators in their divisional meet against the visiting Maximum Velocity Propulsion Dolphins of Washington, D.C. The host team earned first-place finishes in 30 of the 49 events en route to a 300-275 victory that capped a perfect campaign in Division B of the Prince-Mont Swim League.
With the team’s recent success, which included winning the Charles County championships on Sunday, a move to Division A, the most competitive Prince-Mont division, will likely be forthcoming for next season.
Hawthorne also held a brief ceremony to celebrate the careers of five swimmers who age out of the program this year, some of whom competed for the Gators for most of their lives, to provide a bit of a bittersweet feeling on an otherwise happy day.
“It is sad for me,” said Cupples, who also coaches the La Plata High School swim team. “Some of them swam for me since they were little guppies. Seeing them go is very difficult and some of them swam for me at La Plata, which makes it even harder. They did a great job. Hawthorne is swimming very fast. I’m looking forward to tomorrow and to divisionals and all-stars. They are definitely swimming like they deserve
to be in Division A. There is no doubt about that.”
Hawthorne (5-0 overall) boasted five triple winners in the win over MVP (3-2), while three other Gators claimed two wins.
Tripling for the hosts were Clinton Cupples, Esther Dugan, Samuel Dugan, Cole Rapczynski and Conor Vienneau. Cupples earned the top spot in the 10-and-Under 25-meter butterfly (17.72 seconds), the 9- to 10-year-old boys 25 breaststroke (22.07) and the 9-10 boys 25 backstroke (22.84).
“I think I did good, but on my backstroke I didn’t do too well because I got water up my nose. I
couldn’t swim that well,” Cupples said of his morning in the pool. “I think the team has been outstanding. We went undefeated, so that’s really good.”
Rapczynski won the 1112 boys 50 fly (33.53) and 50 breast (40.94) and the 12-U boys 100 individual medley (1:18.31).
“I think my best swim was probably fly today,” he said. “I dropped the most time in that, and we were decently close to breaking the record for the [9-18 boys 200 freestyle] relay at the end . ... The team did pretty well. We won by 25, so that completes our undefeated season as a team, which I’m very happy about.”
Esther Dugan swept through the 13-14 girls 50 fly (33.38), 50 breast
(39.39) and 100 IM (1:14.64). Dugan’s meet got better as it went along.
“I was a little tired at the beginning. My breaststroke, I really wasn’t happy with,” she said, “but then the team, we started having fun in the tents and I got a little of my energy back. I did pretty well in my IM, so I’m real happy about that. The team did great overall this whole season. I’m really happy with the outcome.”
Samuel Dugan reached the wall first in the 13-14 boys 50 fly (31.29), 50 free (28.06) and 100 IM (1:12.17).
“I didn’t really like the water, but I felt pretty good in my swims,” he said of his day. “I did OK, not exactly what I was expecting, not too bad.”
Vienneau rounded out Hawthorne’s triple winners, claiming first in the 15-18 100 boys free (57.72), 50 back (30.33) and 100 IM (1:06.77).
“It was good. We won, so that’s always a plus,” Vienneau said of the meet. “I think everyone performed really well. Mikel Reyes dropped a bunch. I didn’t drop much, but I think I still did pretty well. I was still close to my best times. We did well as a team. Most of the people were dropping. We did well and we won.”
Landon Abelende won two events for the Gators, taking first in the 8-U boys 25 free (18.65) and 25 back (24.95), while Addy Donnick and Jadyn Woolsey each took two events on the girls side.
Donnick won the 11-12 girls 50 free (30.98) and 50 back (36.78), while Woolsey took the 10-U 25 fly (17.63) and 9-10 girls 50 free (35.93).
Also winning for Hawthorne’s girls were Molly Reisinger (8-U 25 breast 28.91) and Megan Schueller (15-18 50 breast 38.56), while the Gators also claimed the 9-18 girls 200 free relay with the quartet of Woolsey, Donnick, Sage Scott and Chase McClure.
Gators single winners on the boys side were Gavin Abelende (9-10 50 free 35.91) and Reyes (15-18 50 fly 29.02, five one-hundredths of a second of Liam Vienneau). The hosts also took the 18-U boys 200 medley relay with Conor Vienneau, Kris Scheuller, Liam Vienneau and David Dugan (1:59.80) and the 9-18 200 free relay with Gavin Abelende, Rapczynski, Samuel Dugan and David Dugan (2:02.62).
After putting the cap on the summer’s regular-season slate as well as the county championships, Conor Vienneau was looking for the Gators to carry the momentum into the Division B championships and All-Star meet in the next two weeks. The Division B meet will take place Saturday at Strathmore Bel Pre in Silver Spring.
“I think it was really good that we were able to [finish undefeated],” he said. “I guess next year we’ll just have to start looking at how we’re going to do in Division A.”
Hawthorne’s Conor Vienneau swims in the boys 15- to 18-year-old 50-meter backstroke on Saturday in the Gators’ meet with the visiting MVP Dolphins. Vienneau was a triple winner for the Gators, who won the Prince-Mont Swim League Division B meet 300-275.