- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
ANNAPOLIS — It may have been chilly outside on Saturday with a wintry mix falling, but all the heat was in the pool at the Arundel Swim Center for the Class 3A-2A-1A East Region swim championships.
Queen Anne’s of Queen Anne’s County won the boys competition with 294 points. La Plata finished fifth overall, first among the five Southern Maryland Athletic Conference schools participating in the event, with 219 points. Lackey finished seventh with 152 points, and Thomas Stone took eighth, just a point away with 151.
McDonough finished 10th with 114 points, and Westlake was 13th with 12 points.
On the girls side, it was Stephen Decatur of Worcester County taking home the plaque with 303 points. Stone captured fifth place overall, first in SMAC, with 198.5 points, and La Plata finished seventh with 161 points.
McDonough placed eighth with 139 points, while Westlake finished 11th with 87 points and Lackey took 12th with 21 points.
McDonough junior Sydney Fuller walked away with the only SMAC win of the day when she captured the 100-yard butterfly in 1 minute and 7.98 seconds from Lane 4; her mother Heidi watched on from Lane 8 as she was timing the event.
“It feels great,” Fuller said. “All the hard work and practices are paying off. I looked up right away because I couldn’t tell how far the girls in Lanes 5 and 3 were behind me; it was close. The pool felt slower, definitely compared to the SMAC meet at St. Mary’s College.”
Fuller also finished second in the 50 freestyle (26.28), a new personal best.
“That’s my best time all season,” Fuller said. “I was seeded third, so this is good. I think I’m ready for states. I’m just going to take it easy in morning practice. I’m looking forward to it.”
The Stone girls were enthusiastic about their second-place finish in the 200 medley relay. The all-junior team of Amber Sandy, Taylor Stark, Taylor Webber and Rachel Pritchett finished in 2:07.15 and have a secret as to their strategy on the win.
“I think we had a good day overall. Most of our team dropped time,” said Sandy, who swam the first leg.
Webber agreed in saying that she saw a lot of great races.
“We had a lot of close finishes, and overall as a team, we definitely improved,” Webber said. “I never saw our team finishing this well at this meet at the beginning of the season.”
Pritchett will also take her third-place finish in the 100 free to states this weekend, and Sandy will advance individually with her third-place showing in the 100 backstroke.
Stone head coach Pat O’Leary was very proud of his entire team after the meet and said that the SMAC championship meet ironically may have been a little tougher for his team.
“They came in and swam hard, but the pool was a little slower so they didn’t drop the time that they wanted to,” O’Leary said, “but they came out and competed. Josh Linsmeier finished well in the 100 fly, which was really good for him. Their times are faster against North Point and Leonardtown, and the kids have a more, ‘Go out and get them’ mindset compared to here.”
In the boys 100 back, La Plata junior Eric Matteson finished second and broke the 2012 regional record of 1:02.20 with his time of 59.67 seconds.
Stephen Decatur senior Shayne Custodio won the event in 56.68, setting the new regional record. Matteson also placed third in the 200 free (1:59.79) and will take both finishes to states. Matteson was also part of the Warriors’ second-place 400 free relay (3:43.25) that will advance to states.
Lackey junior Tommy DeLoache said he faced some competitive teams, but he was also trying to relax and enjoy time with his seniors. DeLoache swam the 200 free, 100 free, 400 free relay, 200 medley relay and 200 free relay.
“That was our best time all season in the 400 [free relay],” DeLoache said. “We’ll find out Tuesday if we’ve qualified for states in all of our events. I did drop time in all of them. It was a tough meet. We hadn’t seen a lot of these teams before. They were definitely competitive.”
DeLoache said one thing that sets his team apart is the team spirit.
“It’s not all about winning; we’re out there for the experience.” DeLoache said.