- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
After a highly competitive Southern Maryland Athletic Conference championships last weekend, the teams will now be broken up according to class to compete in their respective regions this weekend with swimmers and teams alike all peeking at just the right time.
The Class 4A-3A South Region championships will take place at 9 a.m. Saturday at Fairland Aquatic Center in Laurel, with the 4A-3A East Region championships taking place at the same day and time at Arundel Swim Center in Annapolis.
Saturday afternoon, the 3A-2A-1A South Region championships will be held at the Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex in Landover and the 3A-2A-1A East Region championships will be held at Arundel Swim Center. Both meets are scheduled for 3 p.m.
Huntingtown and Northern will participate in the 4A-3A South region. Eleanor Roosevelt swept on both the boys and girls sides a year ago. Locally, the Huntingtown boys and girls teams finished second, while Northern took third in boys and girls.
Northern head coach Carrie Bonalewicz said she is really excited about Saturday’s competition. The Northern boys team set a new SMAC record last weekend at the SMAC championships in the 200-yard freestyle relay in 1 minute 33.03 seconds.
“I feel that both the boys and girls teams will be strong competitors,” Bonalewicz said. “We are hoping to have the boys and girls free relays move on to states along with a few individual swimmers. My swimmers to watch are Tommy Cranford, Ben Lawless, Devon Goszkowicz and Heather Cheney.”
Leonardtown, North Point, Great Mills and Chopticon will participate in the 4A-3A East Region meet. The two top teams last year were Broadneck and Severna Park of Anne Arundel County, on both the boys and girls sides. The Leonardtown and North Point boys were separated by just two points, with the Raiders taking home bronze and the Eagles finishing fourth.
North Point will look for a little revenge on the boys side after Leonardtown took the team title at last weekend’s SMAC meet.
The Raiders girls, coming off winning the SMAC meet title for the ninth-straight year, will look to improve on its third-place finish at regionals last season.
Patuxent and Calvert will compete in the 3A-2A-1A South Region, and Patuxent head coach Jeff Ganoe has high hopes of capturing the title again.
The Panthers captured the region for both boys and girls just a season ago. Calvert finished second in boys and third in girls.
Patuxent has dedicated this season to the late wife of Jim Lillis, a dedicated referee, and Ganoe said repeating has been the team’s goal all season.
“We were hoping to use her model of persistence and never give up attitude as a model for our season this year,” Ganoe said, “and we take her memory into the meet on Saturday. We’re going into regionals cautiously optimistic. We’re not as deep this year as last so each swimmer will have to do their best and hopefully if we can win the relays and place high enough in the individual events we should be able to repeat as regional champs.”
Ganoe said he’s looking for more great things from Chris Kahl, who just won the boys 50 free at the SMAC championships with a time of 23.22 seconds, a race that he says isn’t his best.
Ganoe said that Kahl will be swimming the 500 free, the 100 backstroke and will also anchor the 200 free relay as well as the 400 free relay.
As a freshman, Kahl and his 200 medley relay team set a new regional record, placing first in 1:57.56. He also set a new regional record in the 200 individual medley
Thomas Stone, La Plata, McDonough, Lackey and Westlake will compete in the Class 3A-2A-1A East Region meet. Last year, the La Plata boys were the top SMAC finisher at fourth place, while the Stone girls finished fifth, first among SMAC teams.
Stone senior Joshua Linsmeier will be swimming the 50 free, 100 butterfly, 200 medley relay and the 400 free relay. He said he feels like his goals are in place.
“I feel that I can drop time in my fly and take that to states,” Linsmeier said. “I also feel like my relay teams are qualified and well prepared to make it to states. We’re like a family, everyone is close. We cheer each other on in every race and we want to see our friends do well.”
Cougars head coach Pat O’Leary said his teams are excited to compete.
“Almost everyone had times drop last weekend and they are realizing that they can compete against anyone,” O’Leary said. “The girls are eight strong and looking to make a big splash in the standing and improve on their fifth-place finish last year. The guys are also looking to surprise people as they continue to swim fast. They know for many of them this could be the last meet of the season.”