After claiming second place in last year’s Prince George’s County Championships and returning all of its scorers this season, the Charles H. Flowers High School boy’s and girl’s swim teams had a chance on Saturday to see how they stacked up against perennial county powerhouse Eleanor Roosevelt.
Unfortunately for the Jaguars, they went into their biggest dual meet of the season short-handed, as two of their top females, Alexis and Ashley Braswell, were competing in National Dance Team Competition in Florida.
The result against the Raiders, winners of 15 straight county championships, was not too surprising. Roosevelt won the girls’ meet, 124-46.
Despite great meets and season-best times from sophomore Don Brazelton and junior Sydney Horton — who each finished with two individual first-place finishes and helped lead Flowers to two relay victories — depth continued to be an issue for the Jaguar boys as they lost, 108-62.
Christian Dixon led the Raiders with two first-place victories.
“Roosevelt is a strong team so you got to give them their due,” Flowers coach Jeff Ware said. “They can put a real deep amount of kids in the pool with exceptional skill.”
Roosevelt assistant coach Andrew Zanghi knew coming into the season that he would be able to depend on his trusted seniors Jenifer Clune and Elizabeth Bailey, who each won two individual first place finishes against the Jaguars. However, the arrival of Hungarian foreign exchange senior Eszter Hernhold was a pleasant surprise for Zanghi and first-year coach Stacey Russell as they looked to add to Roosevelt’s overwhelming depth.
Against Flowers, Hernhold recorded two first place individual finishes in the 500-meter freestyle and the 100-meter freestyle. She also swam an integral part in two first-place relay squads.
“She came to me in school and said, ‘I am a water polo player,’” Zanghi said. “We don’t have a water polo team, we have a swim team. We didn’t know what she was going to bring to the team but obviously she filled some gaps for us better than we ever could have expected.”
With the Braswell sisters returning for next weekend’s county championships, Zanghi expects the Flowers girl’s scores will be much higher. On the boy’s side, Flowers proved that they can hold their own in the relays. Although they had a wide scoring margin on Saturday, Zanghi knows it will not be like that next week especially when you add the other county teams into the mix.
“Flowers is a good team and they were missing some of their top swimmers today,” Zanghi said. “So, I expect that to be even closer with Flowers next week. Bowie also has a strong team. Even some of the teams we haven’t swam against like I know Douglass has a good team.”
Despite the losses, Ware is encouraged by the improvement in his swimmers times heading into counties.
“We had a lot of drops in times and that’s going to make it interesting for what I am going to do at the county championships,” Ware said.