Stone Ridge’s Ba­con gets a ‘kick’ out of her wins


There is some­thing spe­cial and seem­ingly ef­fort­less about the way Stone Ridge fresh­man Phoebe Ba­con swims. When she pushes off the wall af­ter the start of her races, Ba­con typ­i­cally es­tab­lishes a lead over her op­po­nents that she rarely re­lin­quishes.

This strength was on full dis­play Satur­day night at the Ger­man­town In­door Swim Cen­ter in Boyds. Com­pet­ing in her first Wash­ing­ton Met­ro­pol­i­tan In­ter­scholas­tic Swim­ming & Div­ing Cham­pi­onships, the 14-year-old phe­nom fin­ished the girls’ 100-yard back­stroke in a meet-record 53.94 sec­onds — the only Met­ros record of the night.

She also cruised to a vic­tory in the 100 but­ter­fly (53.54 sec­onds) to sweep both of her in­di­vid­ual events.

“Ev­ery day in prac­tice I’m do­ing as many kicks off the wall as I can,” Ba­con said of her un­der­wa­ter abil­ity. “It’s def­i­nitely the big­gest part of my races.”

Ba­con en­tered the meet with plenty of hype, hav­ing been con­sid­ered a top emerg­ing tal­ent since she qual­i­fied for the Olympic tri­als last year. She also has a close friend­ship with Olympic gold medal­ist Katie Ledecky, whose school record in the 100 back­stroke Ba­con took down in her first high school meet.

In Satur­day’s team com­pe­ti­tion, the Wal­ter John­son girls picked up their first vic­tory since at least 1997. The Wild­cats fin­ished with 311 points to edge de­fend­ing cham­pion Sher­wood (282.5). Churchill took third (273).

It was an emo­tional and un­ex­pected ti­tle for sev­eral of the swim­mers, in­clud­ing se­nior Ce­line Nu­gent, who an­chored the Wild­cats to a vic­tory in the 200 freestyle re­lay in 1:36.85.

“When our coach [Jamie Grimes] told us we had a chance, we jumped on that chance,” said Nu­gent, a Ge­or­gia Tech com­mit. “It’s the best se­nior year any­one can wish for.”

On the boys’ side, de­fend­ing cham­pion Gon­zaga was strong out of the gate to win the team ti­tle with 374 points. Churchill claimed sec­ond (324), and Ge­orge­town Prep fin­ished third (318).

The Ea­gles kicked off the meet by win­ning the 200-yard med­ley re­lay in 1:33:12, which was an­chored by a strong freestyle leg from se­nior Ryan Win­dus, who later won the 50-free ti­tle in 20.65 sec­onds.

“I was fourth in the event last year, so that re­ally mo­ti­vated me to win,” Win­dus said. “I feel pretty good about my per­for­mance.”

Other stand­out per­for­mances in­cluded those by Ge­orge­town Prep se­nior Matthew Hirschberger, a Stan­ford com­mit who swept the 200 free (1:38.31) and 500 free (4:27.85) — hit­ting au­to­matic al­lAmer­i­can times in both events.

Blair se­nior Madi­son Waechter, who will swim at Wisconsin, claimed the 200 free in 1:49.60 as the only girl to go un­der the 1:50 mark. She also won the 500 free in 4:51.28, an au­to­matic all-Amer­i­can time.

North­west se­nior Syd­ney Knapp, a Mi­ami com­mit, picked up ti­tles in both the 50 free (23.71) and 100 free (51.40).

In the div­ing com­pe­ti­tion ear­lier in the week, Quince Or­chard se­nior Joseph Canova won the boys’ oneme­ter ti­tle with 506.25 points. Wal­ter John­son se­nior Pa­trick Col­lishaw was sec­ond (493.05). Seneca Val­ley ju­nior Han­nah Mon­tau fin­ished on top for the girls’ ti­tle (457.10), fol­lowed by Bethes­daChevy Chase ju­nior Made­line Pfaff (448.0).


Wal­ter John­son won its first Met­ros girls’ ti­tle since at least 1997. Gon­zaga won the boys’ ti­tle.

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