Calvert boys, girls top Chopticon in the pool
Braves swim teams come up short in season opener
In contrast to the chilly conditions that prevailed outdoors on Wednesday afternoon, temperate climes greeted swimmers for Calvert and Chopticon high schools inside the Edward T. Hall Aquatic Center in Prince Frederick for their Southern Maryland Athletic Conference season opener.
Calvert’s boys (1-0 overall) and girls (1-0) both triumphed as the Cavaliers boys, last year’s Class 2A South Region champions, gained command early and pulled away from the Braves (0-1) for a 170-96 triumph. Calvert’s girls spotted Chopticon the opening event but the Cavaliers responded by taking the last four events and eventually topped the Braves (0-1), 163-113.
Calvert junior Ben Voelker easily won both the boys 200-yard individual medley (2 minutes 7.30 seconds) and the 100 backstroke (56.47 seconds) and he swam the opening leg of the 200 medley relay (1:52.63) and the 200 free relay (1:41.86) which also prevailed. Voelker was well above his team record clockings in the 200 IM (2:04.47) and 100 back (54.31) but vowed to lower both standards this winter.
“Being that it was the first meet, it was just great to get back into the pool and compete,” Voelker said. “It was the first meet, so I wasn’t focused on dropping time. But by the end of the season I want to get down around 2:02 in the 200 IM and 52 in the 100 back. This is a big year for me as a junior. I know the colleges are looking at me this winter.”
Calvert senior Nathan Maldonado-Munoz won the 200 freestyle (2:15.47), Cavaliers senior Izak George took the 50 free (25.14) and the 100 free
(58.45), Calvert freshman Jeff Rivas won the 100 butterfly (1:10.00) and Cavaliers sophomore Erik Danielson captured the 100 breaststroke (1:07.80).
In the opening event, Voelker, Danielson, Rivas and George combined to take the 200 medley relay (1:52.63) by over 11 seconds, then later it was Danielson, Voelker, Noah Breske and George who combined to win the 200 free relay (1:41.86). Maldonado-Munoz, Ryan Hurst, Charlie Ditmars and Rivas later prevailed in the boys 400 free relay (4:24.99).
Chopticon junior Jacob Marra prevented the Cavaliers from sweeping all of the boys events when
he captured the 500 free (7:15.22) by more than 24 seconds over Hurst. Jonathan Aley, Jacob Haynes, Robert McMullen and Justin Gack combined to take second in the 200 medley relay (2:04.01), while McMullen, Haynes, Aley and Gack also took second in the 200 free relay (1:48.54), then Clay Bowser, Evan D’Angelo, Marra and Dorian Kilroy finished second in the 400 free relay (4:49.38).
“Being that this was our first meet of the season, I was just happy with the way everyone performed tonight,” said Chopticon 11th-year coach Shammy Donato. “It’s such a really good group of kids. They’re very supportive of one another. Our relays are still being mixed and matched, but they’re definitely getting there.
I’m really proud of them tonight.”
Calvert junior Emma Kuhaneck holds six of the team’s eight individual school records, but her focus in the season opener was simply on getting back in the pool. Kuhaneck took six months off from swimming after the previous season ended and is gradually working her way back into peak form.
“I was so burnt out after last club season, I just needed to take a break,” said Kuhaneck, who won the 50 free (28.44) then finished second to teammate Melissa Jacobs in the 100 free (1:03.94). “I also had a little shoulder injury that was bothering me, but I’m glad to be back swimming high school. It’s a lot more fun than those club meets. The adrenaline rush is really powerful.”
Jacobs was the lone double winner for the Cavaliers, taking the 100 free (1:02.24) and 100 back (1:08.26. Calvert’s Skye Fleckenstein won the 200 free (2:34.17) then was later third in the 500 free (7:05.62); Cameron Gleason took the 200 IM (2:43.72) then was second to Jacobs in the 100 back (1:13.01). Katie Wojcieszek won the 100 breast (1:21.68) and was third in the 200 IM (2:53.85).
Juniors Maddie Wojcieszek and Kayla Dehetre, senior Sarah Rannacher and sophomore Vina Vo were second in the 200 medley relay (2:27.15), but later Katie Wojcieszek, Dehetre, Rannacher and Teagan Gates combined to take the 200 free relay (2:04.94) and Kuhaneck, Gleason, Gates and Jacobs capped the meet by
taking the 400 free relay (4:22.04).
Chopticon’s girls 200 medley relay quartet of sophomores Sydney Gatton, Rosemary Wild and Bethany Moore and senior Kyla Hooven prevailed in 2:12.66. Wild (1:15.99) and Hooven (1:19.32) later finished one-two in the 100 fly. Gatton took the 500 free (7:03.16). Wild was also second to Gleason in the 200 IM (2:45.66).
Calvert High School senior Melissa Jacobs, left, and Chopticon High School junior Marissa Fields prepare for the start of the girls 100-yard backstroke on Wednesday afternoon at the Edward T. Hall Aquatic Center in Prince Frederick. Jacobs won that event in 1 minutes 8.26 seconds, while Fields finished fourth in 1:26.39. The Cavaliers also won the overall meet, 163-113 over the Braves.