Lions’ strength shift­ing to girls team

Record Observer - - Front Page - By CHRIS KNAUSS ck­nauss@star­dem.com

EAS­TON — The high school swim­ming sea­son is un­der­way, but plenty of dual-meet com­pe­ti­tion awaits af­ter the hol­i­day break, lead­ing up to the sea­son-end­ing re­gional and state cham­pi­onships.

It’s a new year, with new swim­mers and swim­mers lost to grad­u­a­tion.

Two swim­mers lost to grad­u­a­tion last spring in­clude the Brown broth­ers, Ja­cob and Joshua, who el­e­vated the level of com­pe­ti­tion on the Shore through­out their four years swim­ming for Queen Anne’s County.

“[Those] two stu­dent ath­letes are both ir­re­place­able, in re­gards to their lead­er­ship qual­i­ties and ath­letic tal­ents and abil­i­ties in the pool,” said Lions head coach Mag­gie Har­ris. “As back-to­back-to-back district cham­pi­ons and top 3 fin­ish­ers at states in count­less events in­clud­ing 50 free, 200 free, 100 breast, 200 IM, and 500 free, it has been a dif­fi­cult tran­si­tion with­out them.

“They be­came some­what leg­endary on the Eastern Shore due to their pres­ence in the swim­ming world; they were al­ways ones to score huge points at dual, district, and state com­pe­ti­tions and ones in both in­di­vid­ual and re­lay events, and would al­ways sur­prise you at how fast they could go.”

The Browns’ speed in the pool wasn’t their only at­tribute.

“They shared their pas­sion for the sport with all who knew them as they would of­ten help coach and in­struct those who were less ex­pe­ri­enced with things like flip turns, stroke tech­nique, etc.,” added Har­ris. “Their lead­er­ship, pas­sion for the sport, and work ethic has helped con­trib­ute to the Queen Anne’s swim team today.”

Eas­ton High’s sweep of the 3A-2A-1A East Re­gion cham­pi­onships at the Arun­del Olympic Swim Cen­ter last sea­son led a dom­i­nat­ing per­for­mance by North Bay­side schools. Ath­letes from the five North Bay­side schools with swim teams won 23 out of 24 events, with 11 high school teams com­pet­ing in the girls’ events and 12 in the boys’.

Grad­u­a­tion losses were min­i­mal for the War­riors, so they both again should be cham­pi­onship-cal­i­bre teams. Last sea­son’s re­gion sweep was the sec­ond straight for both Eas­ton teams.

“Not too much has

PHOTO BY CHRIS KNAUSS

As a fresh­man last sea­son, Queen Anne’s Hai­ley Rit­ter col­lected the only first-place fin­ish among Eastern Shore ath­letes com­pet­ing in the sea­son-end­ing Class 3A-2A-1A State Swim­ming Cham­pi­onship Meet at the Univer­sity of Mary­land’s Ep­p­ley Recre­ation Cen­ter. Rit­ter churned through the wa­ter to a time of 24.65 sec­onds to win the 50-yard freestyle.

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