- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Jon Mitchell admitted he was nervous and emotions were, “crazy.”
Austin Fisher said that times before the swim meet were nerve-wracking.
Eden Mallory admitted she and her team are always nervous going into swim meets.
Emotions were on high and nerves were on higher before the start of a swim meet on Wednesday night featuring Mitchell, Fisher and the North Point Eagles and Mallory and her Leonardtown Raiders at the College of Southern Maryland Leonardtown campus pool.
Nerves were high because both teams came into Wednesday night undefeated, North Point’s boys and girls teams were each at 8-0 and Leonardtown’s boys and girls teams were each 6-0.
But after splitting the meet, North Point’s boys picking up a 144-127 victory and the Leonardtown girls earning a 168-110 victory, the nerves turned to smiles and mutual respect amongst both teams.
“This meet means a great deal,” Mitchell said. “Again, they are a great team and have great swimmers every year. It’s always great competition and to get this win shows that we are at the top of our game and we can only get better as we get ready for SMAC, regionals and states. This was a test for us to show how far we need to go and how far we’ve come.”
Mitchell earned two individual victories on Wednesday night in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle races, with times of 23.08 and 51.17 seconds, respectively, and Fisher earned two individual wins in the 100 butterfly (58.63) and 100 backstroke (1 minutes 1.58 seconds) to help improve the North Point boys to 9-0.
“It’s really important because, basically, this was the season, like, this will [probably] decide SMAC because this will be our hardest competition this year, I think,” Fisher said. “There are other good teams, but [Leonardtown is] like our rivals now.”
Fisher and Mitchell also teamed up to help the North Point 400 free relay team earn a victory (3:36.54), one of eight total wins out of 11 total events swam, for North Point.
“Being able to beat some of the top people in the whole entire state right now, these are people that are going to states, regionals and SMAC and compete and place in the top five, getting a win in this pool right now shows how far you’ve come,” Mitchell said.
Eagles head coach Jeff Rivenburg was pleased with his boys win and his girls efforts on Wednesday night.
“I wasn’t surprised,” Rivenburg said of the performances of his swimmers. “Our boys really wanted this meet. I could see it in their eyes and I could see it when we talked about it on the bus ride down. ... All I could ask is for them to swim their best and that’s what they did, they swam the best they could ... both our boys and girls teams.”
Mallory played a large roll in the Leonardtown girls picking up its 103rd-straight regular season victory earning victories in the 50 free (27.02) and 100 free (59.70).
Leonardtown teammate Mairyn Branaman also picked up two victories in the 100 fly (1:01.69) and 100 back (1:03.06).
“It’s always the same,” Branaman said of team motivation after winning its 100th straight meet last week. “We’re always trying to be a family and just have fun and just being together is really what motivates us.”
And as nervous and excited as she admitted she was prior to the first dive, afterward, Branaman recognized the competition that comes with swimming against another undefeated team.
“North Point is a really great team,” Branaman said. “It’s always really fun to come out here and swim against them.”