At this point in the season, Leonardtown swimming has reached its stride.
And what a better night to win a Southern Maryland Athletic Conference dual meet at the St. Mary’s College of Maryland Aquatic Center than on the teams’ own senior night.
The Raiders’ 12 seniors ran through a tunnel of welcoming hands of teammates and coaches to celebrate the great contribution they have made during their careers.
And to top off the night, Leonardtown clinched the meet win against Thomas Stone. The Raiders boys (9-1 overall) won 165-75, while the girls (10-0) won every event en route to a 193-81 victory.
“It went good,” said Leonardtown senior Max Sherman, who won the boys 100-yard backstroke in 1 minute 5.82 seconds. “My goggles were in my mouth a little and were off, but otherwise it went well. Even though Thomas Stone doesn’t have the best numbers, they still put up an amazing fight. They still have some pretty solid swimmers that I saw who were killing it, like Justin Truitt. My main goal is to get under 2 minutes in the 200 freestyle. I’m at 2:01 so I’m nearing it. I’m feeling it at SMAC this year.”
Leonardtown junior Zack Claus was a double winner on the boys side. Claus won the the 200 individual medley in 2:08.97 and the 500 freestyle in 5:07.57. He also placed first as part of two relays.
Claus, Alex Konecny, Ryan Northrup and Liam Smith combined to take the 200 medley relay (1:52.39), and Claus, Konecny, Smith and Jimmy Wojtowicz with a win in the 400 free relay (3:42.82). Smith was a winner in the 200 free (2:07.89).
Stone freshman Clayton Jameson won two events, taking the the 100 butterfly (59.88) and 100 breaststroke (1:08.51). Jameson helped his team secure the 200 free relay in 1:42.64 with teammates Devin Jameson, William Twyman IV and Justin Truitt. Truitt was a winner in the 50 free (24.81) as well as Devin Jameson in the 100 free (56.85).
“I dropped time in all my events,” Jameson said. “I won both of my individual events and my relay placed second. It felt good to win because I thought I was going to lose my 100 breast, but I dropped four seconds so I’m pretty proud. I knew a lot of Leonardtown’s swimmers from a previous team, but I enjoy swimming against them. It’s friendly competition. I’m looking forward to going to regionals or states.”
On the girls side, Leonardtown senior Emma Carrigg took first in the 50 free (27.36) and 100 breast (1:12.54) and was a member of the winning 200 medley relay (2:02.31) with Samantha Hotz, Lauren McCloskey and Erin Vance.
“We are getting close to the end of the season, so tonight we wanted to try a few different things, putting a few kids in a few different events,” Raiders head coach Alex Marley said. “It was our senior night so we wanted to give the seniors an opportunity to do some relays. One of our 200 free relays on the girls side, we had the two sets of sisters swim, the Carriggs and the O’Connell sisters. It was great to use the St. Mary’s facilities and it was a good meet overall.”
Senior night allowed for some swimmers on Leonardtown’s large team to get the chance to swim in a meet that they usually wouldn’t.
Marley added: “We tried some different things with our 500 freestyle on the boys side. That was fun to watch. The times were solid. On the girls side, we had Katilyn Ng swim the 100 freestyle with breaststroke. They are allowed to swim the freestyle with any stroke they want as long as it’s consistent. She swam some other events and did a great job. We have another dual meet and then a tri-meet at the end. We want to finish strong and hit the practices hard to finish the season out successfully.”
Single winners for the Raiders were Shelen Savarese (200 free 2:16.96); Kate Smith (200 IM 2:28.82), McCloskey (100 fly 1:10.26), Vance (100 free 1:01.01), Christina Balaton (500 free 6:10.03) and Johnna O’Connell (100 back 1:10.66).
Valerie Fortescue, Kaitlyn Ng, Caitlin Jonasen and Vance won the 200 free relay (1:54.32), while Laura Scott, Leanna Connolly, Rachel deBrabander and Hotz took the 400 free relay (4:03.15).
“It was a lot of fun and it felt exhilarating,” Ng said. “It was my last night getting to do the event that I love. I swam the 50 free, 100 free and the 200 free relay. It went really well. The relay we worked as a team to work together to win. I just want to get to know others on the team and work together.”
Even with a much smaller squad and some novice swimmers, Stone (0-7 boys, 4-3 girls) did well against Leonardtown.
“We did really well today,” Cougars head coach Molly Simpson said. “We had a lot of best times. This is the first time in my five years here that our girls were able to fill an entire meet. We didn’t have any DQ’s or empty lanes, so it was awesome for us.”
Stone’s next meet is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday versus Huntingtown at the Edward T. Hall Aquatic Center in Prince Frederick.
“Leonardtown is a really strong team and a big team, but we kept up well,” Simpson said. “We won more meets this season with the girls, and our boys team is very small, but we had a lot of first-place finishes and good swims for them as well. We had Justin Truitt break a record today in the 200 IM. Clayton Jameson and Cora Jameson and Emma Truby all had a good match for us.”
Leonardtown is scheduled to face St. Charles at 5 p.m. today in a dual meet that takes place at North Point High School.