Falcons’ girls, boys are second in the state
Harter wins 200 IM; Moore takes first in the 100 breast
Briar Woods freshman Abby Harter couldn’t help but smile as she reflected on her first Virginia 5A swimming and diving state championship experience on Saturday night.
She appreciated the friendships she’s developed and the “tightknit” bond Coach Eric Bateman has fostered to make the Falcons the loudest team on the Jim McKay Natatorium deck at George Mason University.
Her performance likely contributed to her high spirits. Harter dominated the 200-yard individual medley in 2:00.26 to set a meet record and finished second in the 100 butterfly to help the Briar Woods girls finish second for a second consecutive year with 211 points.
Patrick Henry won the girls’ competition with 328 points, while Douglas S. Freeman (195) took third.
“Coming into the season, we knew she was an incredible talent,” Bateman said. “We had high expectations and she’s lived up to every single one of them so far.”
The Falcons’ depth on the girls’ side has given Bateman flexibility in which events to race his swimmers. Harter posted an all-American mark in the 100 breaststroke at the 5A North region meet earlier in February, but she wanted the chance to set a personal best in the 100 fly Saturday night.
She did — in 53.72 — midway through Saturday’s competition, but she missed on first by .21 seconds. Her teammates also logged standout performances, with senior Camryn Barry setting a meet record in the 100 free in 50.79.
The duo also helped Briar Woods finish second in the 200 medley relay
“It was so exciting,” Barry said. “I honestly couldn’t ask for a better team and a better way to end my high school career. Abby has especially been so much fun to swim with this year.”
The Briar Woods boys, meanwhile, also finished second with 212 to match their 5A North region finish. Princess Anne, the 2014 champion and runners-up in 2015 and 2016, won with 236 points. Jefferson (174) was third.
Thomas Moore won the most spirited race of the night as his Falcons teammates bellowed his name as he claimed the 100 breast in 56.84 for all-American consideration.
Jefferson’s Jonathan Pollock had perhaps the most impressive individual slate on the boys’ side as he finished his junior year with state titles in the 200 free (1:38.90), distancing himself from the pack by a few body lengths, and the 100 free for a meet-record 45.21.
He also anchored the Colonials’ the 400 free relay, starting in seventh before threatening Briar Woods for second place.
“I was really happy,” Pollock said. “I was really amped up tonight, and that just kind of carried me through the entire meet from start to finish.”
Other winners included Potomac Falls’ Charlotte Fieeiki in the 100 backstroke, and Falls Church’s Anna Landon in the 100 breast.
Jeb Stuarts’ Aidan Jones won the boys’ 1-meter diving competition with 331.20 points, while Princess Anne’s Olivia Francella, who also won the 5A South region title, claimed the girls’ win with 416.15 points.