- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
The swim season is coming down to the wire with the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference championships to separate the best of the best.
The meet will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Aquatics Center inside the St. Mary’s College of Maryland’s Michael P. O’Brien Athletics and Recreation Center.
On the boys side, the North Point Eagles captured the regular season, going undefeated at 12-0.
On the girls side, it was Leonardtown who kept its winning streak going, also with a 12-0 season.
Leonardtown head coach Chuck Jacobs said he is looking forward to Saturday’s meet, but he’s also keeping a close eye on the North Point boys as its only loss came from the Eagles, 144-127 on Jan. 16, which ultimately decided the regular season title in favor of North Point.
The Raiders girls captured their 109th consecutive regular season dual meet win with a win over Chopticon on Jan. 30.
Leonardtown will only have a few miles to travel to St. Mary’s City, a bonus for the team.
“The boys meet is going to be as close as it was last year,” Jacobs said. “There’s a chance we could place first or a chance we place fourth. I’m real excited about it. Last year was a good year, but we really should have lost three meets. North Point got us this year. It’s a matter of who’s ready to swim super fast. It’s going to come down to the last relay.”
Leonardtown has one senior who has had some unfortunate events occur recently. Despite an auto accident now preventing her from swimming, Alex Theriot is still very excited to cheer her team on and said the SMAC meet is the homegrown championship competition.
“We know each team, we’ve seen them all season. It’s a dogfight,” Theriot said. “We all want that trophy. It’s a matter of who wants it more. We’re going for the gold. If all depends on the day everyone’s having. SMAC is a very important meet. It takes the entire team, swimming or not to encourage each other.”
Lackey head coach John Crawford said his team has a good overall mindset going into the meet. The Chargers finished the regular season at 6-6 in boys and 2-10 in girls.
“We seem relaxed but also focused,” Crawford said. “I’ve been telling them to rely on their hard work and training, that they’ve committed to putting in the water this year and now it is time for it to all pay off. I wish that everyone could see the sacrifices that these student athletes make on a daily basis. I know that our SMAC swimmers are ready and will achieve their best times of the season on Saturday. Every one of them will make the Lackey community proud.”
Patuxent head coach Jeff Ganoe said his team is heading into SMAC with high hopes for a good showing ahead of the regional meets next weekend .
“We’re looking for good things from both the boys and girls relay teams along with a strong showing in the 500 free from captain Cassie Beck and sophomore Chris Kahl,” Ganoe said.
Ganoe said his team has had a successful season in terms of goals that they set for themselves. The boys were 6-6 in the regular season, while the girls were 4-8.
“We’re continuing to work hard to get ready for regionals, knowing that we have to get past the challenge presented by the SMAC meet,” Ganoe said. “I couldn’t be more proud of this team and will definitely have to scramble to replace our 11 departing seniors.”
Calvert is still riding high with emotion heading into the postseason, according to head coach Brian Dryer. The Cavaliers were 6-6 in girls during the regular season and 3-8-1 in boys.
“The team really is riding a high emotional ending to the season with all the personal best times,” Dryer said. “This year’s team really has faced a difficult schedule with all the frontloaded meets. Most of our season was done before the new year’s break.”
Dryer added, “I feel that the SMAC meet will begin to show the kids the benefit of their hard work that will culminate in the regional meet and ultimately the state meet.”
Calvert senior Dan America said he’s looking forward to the SMAC meet, but he’s also tapering for regionals at this point.
“I would just like to drop time this weekend,” America said. “I think we should have a good 50 free. I think we’ve really developed as a team this season. We have the best team spirit compared to other teams. I think that’s something that’s carried down through the years.”
Huntingtown’s Mike Scott has hopes of winning the SMAC championship in the 100 breaststroke.
Chopticon junior Roland Edge said he hopes that his team finishes in the top eight. Edge swims the 200 medley relay, the 500 free and the 400 free relay. Teammate Daynaira Donato swims the 200 free relay, the 100 breast and the 400 free relay.
“My overall expectations are for my team to do their best and achieve their goals.” Donato said.