Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
E-mail this article
Print this Article

It’s the one meet that they all look forward to. The one that sets you apart from the rest. The best of the best.

The Southern Maryland Athletic Conference swim coaches will take their qualifiers to compete in the Maryland state meets that will take place Saturday at the University of Maryland’s Eppley Recreation Center in College Park

The 4A-3A meet will begin at 10 a.m. and include SMAC schools Chopticon, Great Mills, Huntingtown, Leonardtown, Northern and North Point.

The 3A-2A-1A meet will begin at 4 p.m. and include conference schools Calvert, Lackey, La Plata, McDonough, Patuxent, Thomas Stone and Westlake.

Leonardtown, the SMAC regular-season and meet champion on the girls side and SMAC regular-season champion on the boys side, have 11 entries this year. One is sophomore Mairyn Branaman who will swim in four events, including the 100-yard butterfly in which she won first place at the Class 4A-3A East Region championships last weekend with a time of 1 minute 0.84 seconds.

She will also swim the 400 freestyle relay with teammates Hannah Ray, Eden Mallory and Michelle Wood. The relay team also won first place at regionals (3:50.77).

“The 1:00.84 was a best for me. It definitely would be nice to drop more time at states,” Branaman said. “We all have been working so hard and also trying to rest by not really doing anything. Regionals was tougher this year, we all just came together.”

North Point senior captain Jeffrey Bell will be swimming in the 200 medley relay with teammates Alex Nguyen, Austin Fisher and Jonathan Mitchell. Mitchell, a junior, will also take his 50 free time of 23.15 and his 100 free time of 51.67 to states. Huntingtown’s David Alman will also compete in the 50 free (23.53).

“It looks like we can improve on the medley relay,” Bell said. “I just have to go in and go in hard. We’re working on form and pick-ups in practice. We want to get out and finish in the top three.”

On the girls side, North Point junior Madison Zabiegalski will swim the 50 free, where she finished second in 26.55 at the 4A-3A East Region meet, and the 100 free, where she got a third-place finish in 58.55.

She will compete against Huntingtown senior Maggie Scopel seeded at 27.51. Zabiegalski will join teammates Ashley Holt, Kendall McMillen and Noemi Arquero in the 200 free relay (1:49.44).

Huntingtown freshman Kiley Bauer will be participating in three relays for her visit to the state meet and hopes to drop another second off on the 400 free relay after breaking the school record at the 4A-3A South Region championships last weekend.

She will also swim the freestyle in the opening 200 medley relay with teammates Jaime Park, Danielle Wright and Antonia Smart. Their seed time is 2:10.42.

“It is [exciting],” Bauer said of advancing to states. “I found out at regionals that the first three placements automatically qualified. I also swam the 50 free and finished fifth. I was happy with that time because it was faster than a lot of juniors and seniors and I dropped time. It’s been an easier [transition] because I swim a summer team, King’s Landing, and I already know coach Morgan and had a good knowledge of the strokes already.”

Northern’s Tommy Cranford, Justin Taylor, Joseph Williams and Ben Lawless will swim the 400 free relay with their seed time of 3:35.22.

Chopticon’s Samantha Barbaris will represent the Braves for the third time. This year Barbaris will be going alone as the only member of the swim team to advance.

“My overall best time is a 2:03, so I knew I could race it [at regionals],” Barbaris said, “and even though I really wanted to go a 2:00 to make Maryland states for my other team, CBAC, I am still happy with dropping two seconds from my high school best. I am looking forward to states. I’m swimming the 200 this year and I am the only one going to represent Chopticon, I think it’ll be fun.”

Patuxent, the 3A-2A-1A South Region meet champions on the boys and girls sides, will be represented by regional dual winner Chris Kahl.

The freshman won the 100 backstroke (59.21) and 200 individual medley (2:10.15) in last weekend’s meet

On the girls side, Patuxent will have Cassi Beck in the 200 IM after her win in 2:41.01 last weekend, Samantha Leap after her 100 fly (1:15.73) victory among others.

Calvert, which finished second in boys and third in girls in the 3A-2A-1A South Region meet, will be led by Daniel America, a regional dual winner on the boys side last weekend in the 50 free (24.41) and 100 free (53.89) and girls 200 medley relay quarter of Sally Berens, Cara Mathers, Rachael Stone and Jade Rolley, who needed 2:22.40 win the region meet.