- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
With some swimmers out of action on Friday evening, North Point’s Nick Essing came through in a big way for the boys team in a tri-meet versus host Lackey and Huntingtown at the Lackey pool in a Southern Maryland Athletic Conference contest.
Essing provided a huge spark, capturing two individual first-place finishes, and helped lead the Eagles to wins in two of the three relay events on the evening.
Behind Essing, the North Point boys (8-0 overall/SMAC) kept its perfect record intact with a 147.50-132.50 victory over Huntingtown (4-2) and added a 216-63 victory over Lackey to help secure the sweep.
Huntingtown defeated Lackey (4-4), 201-78.
“We were down swimmers and I told Nick before the meet that I need you,” North Point head coach Jeff Rivenburg said. “He had some clutch performances today and that’s something you can’t teach.”
The North Point girls (8-0) also swept the meet with 208-72 and 167-110 wins over Lackey and Huntingtown, respectively, while Huntingtown (3-3) topped Lackey (1-7), 195-84.
North Point will travel to Leonardtown, whose boys and girls are the only other undefeated teams at 6-0, respectively, at 6 tonight at the College of Southern Maryland campus pool in Leonardtown.
“On the girls side, we had some good swims, they were pushing hard,” said Rivenburg as his girls team won 10 of the 11 events in the meet. “They are getting better and are very close to where we want them to be. There is still a lot of room for improvement.”
Essing, a junior, doubled up with victories in the 200-yard freestyle in 1 minute 58.32 seconds and the 500 free with a time of 5:24.53. Senior Austin Fisher was also a double winner, claiming top spots in the 100 butterfly (59.31 seconds) and 100 backstroke (1:01.47).
“I wanted to stay positive and I was pumped up for this meet coming in,” said Essing, who was the anchor in the 200 medley and 200 free relay victories. “It feels great that we are undefeated right now. When I was a freshman, we finished undefeated and last season we lost just one meet versus Leonardtown. We have Leonardtown again [tonight], so that will be a huge meet for us. We are focused.”
Huntingtown won five of the 11 events as senior David Alman won the 50 free (23.96) and the 100 free (55.19). Sophomore Mike Jones and junior Michael Scott earned wins in the 200 individual medley and the 100 breaststroke, respectively.
“Going up against a team like North Point made my victories even sweeter, they had swimmers that really push me today,” Alman said. “We competed today and this shows that we are getting better each meet.
“David is a great competitor and has good technique,” Huntingtown head coach Chris Morgan added. “He’s rough around the edges, but he gets the job done. North Point is a good team and we just want to improve from meet to meet.”
The North Point girls won all three relay events and were led by senior Madison Zabiegalski and sophomore Noemi Arquero, who were both double winners.
Zabiegalski won the 50 free (27.81) and the 100 free (1:01.17), while Arquero was victorious in the 200 free (2:10.91) and the 500 free (5:43.00).
“We are both double winners, that is great. We just wanted to help the team get points,” Zabiegalski said. “We are working on dropping our times and we’ve been successful in relays. We will continue to push ourselves in practice and we are focusing on Leonardtown [tonight].”
Senior Ashley Holt (200 IM), junior Sarah Nueslein (100 back) and senior Maddie Young (100 breast) also earned first-place finishes for North Point.
“Noemi and Madison are usually the dual winners and you can put them in almost every event,” Rivenburg said.
Junior Antonia Smart was the lone winner for Huntingtown girls team, coming in first place in the 100 fly.
For Lackey, junior Mike King took sixth in the 50 free, and senior Paul Warren was seventh in the 200 IM. In girls, junior Madisen Mismash took third in the 100 breast, Elizabeth Willett was fourth in 500 free and junior Shelby McKeown added a sixth-place finish in the 100 back. River Raines took seventh in the 100 breast for Lackey boys, while Tommy DeLoache was also seventh in the 100 back.
“I told the kids that it was going to be a tough meet,” Lackey head coach John Crawford. “The focus today was just dropping times and not worrying about the other swimmers.”