- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
The Nguyen family has made their presence known around the Prince-Mont Swim League circuit for several years on the Waves of Westlake swim team.
On Saturday, the Nguyens kept the family tradition going at Dorchester pool in Waldorf versus the Adelphi Dolphins from Prince George’s County
The Nguyens brothers Anthony, Andrew and Alex and cousins Denny, Thomas and Christine combined for 12 individual first-place finishes, six top-four finishes, and broke a combined seven pool and team records.
Despite the Nguyen domination, the success was spread out by an array of Westlake swimmers as the Waves earned the 305-264 victory.
Westlake head coach Nate Stephens was pleased with his team, which has won its last two dual meets after falling to Theresa Banks, also of Prince George’s County, in the opening week of the season.
Stephens once swam for 13 summers with the program.
“Our main goal is to drop times and by don’t get DQs,” Stephens said, whose team won 31 of the 49 events on Saturday. “We want the kids to swim legally and swim correctly in races. The team did great, and I can’t thank my assistant coaches [James Hibbert and Allison Ripley] enough, they do a great job with our group in preaching technique.”
Stephens added: “Adelphi has always been a good team. They are enthusiastic and they have a good program. A lot of talent over there, they do a great job.”
In the boys 15-to 18-year-old age group, Denny Nguyen, 16, was a triple winner, breaking pool records in the 100-meter freestyle (58.00 seconds), 100 individual medley (1 minute 03.69 seconds), and was first in the 50 breaststroke (33.53).
“I’ve been practicing every day,” Denny said. “It feels good, we want to get the team back to glory. We had a lot of wins that were mixed up and balanced. Being out in the hot sun really zaps your energy, so I tried to stay cool when I could.”
In all three of his victories, 13-year-old Andrew broke pool records in the 50 free (28.09) and 100 IM (1:09.28) and a team record in the 50 breast (35.81). Ten-year-old Anthony and Thomas (8-U) also were triple winners on the day.
“The mindset is to pull fast on all of our races, and that’s what our family does,” Andrew said. “Our father [Mike] and our uncle [Jimmy] have really pushed us. We often do double practices and they give us that formation in the pool.”
Fifteen-year-old Alex, took fourth in the 50 breast, second in the 50 backstroke, and was third in the 100 IM. Christine, earned runner-up finishes in the 25 breast, 25 back and took third in the 25 free in 8-U.
“Having the Nguyen family on the team is incredible,” Stephens said. “They are all very talented and they bring good competition and really challenge the other swimmers around the league. They push people in practice, which makes everyone else better.”
Eleven-year old Emily Decker was a triple winner for Waves with wins in the 50 butterfly, 50 back and 100 IM.
Ten-year-old Keyla Brown, 8-year-old Hannah Betke and 13-year-old Marcela Chavez were all triple winners for Adelphi. Tyler Whitsett (12) and MaryAnna Brogi (13) both won two events for the Dolphins.
Westlake 16-year-old Austin Fisher and his younger brother Christian, 14, both doubled up with wins in the 50 fly and 50 back. Twelve-year-old Emmanuel Agravante added two wins for Westlake in the 50 free and 50 back.
Westlake’s Darian Bassett, 16, who will be a junior at St. John’s College High School in Washington D.C., was one of 28 swimmers who won at least one event, capturing the top spot in the 50 breast in 41.87 seconds.
“It was a team effort,” said Bassett, who has swam for Westlake for six years. “We are one big family and we encourage each other. “The coaches do a great job.”
As for the Nguyens, Bassett mentioned how valuable they are to the Westlake team.
“The Nguyens are incredibly fast and pushes other swimmers to work even harder,” she said. “They kind of take the pressure off of us sometimes, but at the same time, there is pressure because we know we have to win as well and do our best in the events.”
Westlake won three out of the five relays as the boys and girls 200 medley teams won first place, with Austin Fisher, Denny Nguyen, Myles Ellis and Nick Essing setting a pool record in 2:02.90. Kendall McMillen, Noemi Arquero, Bassett and Abigail Belote came in at 2:25.06 in the girls event.
Anthony and Andrew Nguyen, Essing, and Agravante broke another pool record in the 200 free relay in 2:01.19.
Westlake will take on Strathmore Bel Pre in Silver Spring on Saturday morning for its next dual meet.
Westlake 305, Adelphi 264
Triple winners: K. Brown (A) 25 fly, 50 free, 25 back; Decker (W) 50 fly, 50 back, 100 IM; Chavez (A) 50 fly, 50 breast, 100 IM; T. Nguyen (W) 25 free, 25 breast, 25 back; Betke (A) 25 free, 25 breast, 25 back; And. Nguyen (W) 50 free, 50 breast, 100 IM; D. Nguyen (W) 100 free, 50 breast, 100 IM; Ant. Nguyen (W) 25 breast, 25 back, 100 IM
Double winners: Whitsett (A) 50 fly, 50 breast; C. Fisher (W) 50 fly, 50 back; A. Fisher (W) 50 fly, 50 back; Agravante (W) 50 free, 50 back; Brogi (A) 50 free, 50 back
Single winners: Kresslein (W) 25 fly; Moore (A) 50 fly; Martin (A) 50 free; H. McMillen (W) 50 free; Belote (W) 100 free; K. McMillen (W) 25 breast; C. Essing (W) 50 breast; Bassett (W) 50 breast; Arquero (W) 50 back; Ness (A) 100 IM; Westlake boys 200 medley relay (A. Fisher, D. Nguyen, Myles Ellis, Nick Essing); Westlake girls 200 medley relay (K. McMillen, Bassett, Arquero, Belote); Adelphi mixed 100 free relay (T. Badrak, L. Brown, Hill, Betke); Westlake boys 200 free relay (Ant. Nguyen, Agravante, And. Nguyen, N. Essing); Adelphi girls 200 free relay (K. Brown, Kassa, Chavez, Ness)