At the end of a swim meet, a coach is usually the only person on a swim team that is not wet after competing in the pool for a couple of hours.
On Saturday, Huntingtown first-year head coach Thomas Moore was soaked after a victory jump into the pool to celebrate with his team after the Hurricanes’ boys and girls both took home team titles at the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference championships at St. Mary’s College of Maryland’s Michael P. O’Brien Athletics and Recreation’s Aquatics Center.
“The boys took an early lead and they held that lead. They were strong throughout the whole meet,” Moore said. “A lot of records were broken on the boys side. Overall, the girls earned it, worked their behinds off for it and it was incredible to watch them do it.”
Huntingtown’s sweep marked the first time ever in the history of Leonardtown swimming — St. Mary's County began high school swimming with the 2004-05 season — that it did not win at least one of the team titles.
“The girls were close all meet. We were only ahead of Leonardtown by about five points a majority of the meet, so it was neck and neck,” Moore said. “It came down to the last relay and that sealed the deal on it.”
In the final girls relay, the 400-yard freestyle, the Huntingtown team of freshmen Emma Biehn and Olivia Frick, sophomore Sydney Atkins and junior Madeline Frick earned a second-place finish in a time of 3 minutes 51.06 seconds which helped seal the SMAC title edging out the Leonardtown quartet which finished third in 3:54.43.
On the girls side, the Hurricanes finished with 414 points to defeat runner-up Leonardtown, which earned 408.5.
“It was an excellent meet. Our boys and girls both swam great and all the teams did too,” Leonardtown first-year head coach Alex Marley said. “We had some excellent time drops this meet. It was really great to have that level of competition. The girls were close coming all the way down to the very end, which was awesome.”
North Point was third with 392 points and Great Mills (326.5), Northern (289), La Plata (272) and Calvert (241) rounded out the top-7 finishers.
North Point had one double winner on the girls side as senior Mya Rivenburg won in the 100 free (54.74 seconds) and the 200 free (2:00.35). The Eagles were victorious in the 200 free relay (1:46.27) and 400 free relay (3:49.42).
“I am really proud of our North Point kids, they did really well. My senior girls really came through after being here four years in a row. They swam great,” North Point head coach Jeff Rivenburg said. “Our girls were able to take first in the 400 free relay and did really well. When you put in the hard work, it pays off. There was great sportsmanship all around and it was an exciting meet.”
Huntingtown won the 200 medley relay and set a conference record by finishing in 1:55.08. Hurricanes junior Madeline Frick was a double winner in the 100 butterfly (59.39) and the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:10.02, which broke the conference record.
Sydney Atkins, a Huntington sophomore, won the 100 backstroke (1:02.25) and Olivia Frick, a Huntingtown freshman, won the 100 breaststroke (1:09.31).
The last two conference records broken on the girls side were in the 500 free by Northern junior Nyah Hartwell (5:20.70) and La Plata junior Megan Schueller in the 50 free (24.47).
“I think today went really well just preparing here at SMAC for regionals and states now. I dropped time in all my events,” Schueller said. “Our 200 free relay broke our team record, so that was great. For the 50, I did really good and I had a faster time today than I did at states last year. I am really happy with all of my times.”
Thomas Stone freshman Emma Truby finished 11th in the 200 IM (2:50.54). McDonough sophomore Alexandra Tompkins was eighth in the 50 free (28.11). Patuxent sophomore Rose Lazer took ninth in the 100 fly (1:12.25). Chopticon sophomore Rosemary Wild finished sixth in the 500 free (5:58.36). St. Charles senior Dalyn Hinton ended up 20th in the 100 back (1:27.04). Lackey junior Kellen McKeown took 18th in the 200 free (2:47.57), and Westlake junior Julissa Ramirez was 12th in the 50 free (29.49) to highlight some individual performances at the top of their respective schools.
Boys battle in the pool
On the boys side, the Hurricanes finished with 407 points to defeat runner-up Northern, which earned 359.
Great Mills finished in third place with 356 points, while Leonardtown (353), North Point (344.5), Calvert (269.5) and La Plata (200) rounded out the top-7 finishers.
“I thought today was a fantastic meet,” Jeff Rivenburg said. “Across the board, the guys side was a really close meet first to fifth place and especially second to fifth. The girls was the same thing.”
Northern won two relays, the 200 medley relay (1:44.62) and 200 free relay (1:32.26), and senior Nolan Dennes won the 100 fly (53.99).
Huntingtown won the 400 free relay (3:26.90) and Hurricanes junior Connor Currie was a double winner in the 200 free (1:51.30) and the 500 free (4:55.44).
“It felt great how winning my individual events helped the team overall,” Currie said. “Winning SMAC as a team was great, considering our team practiced hard and was coached really well. My teammates overall performed phenomenally this year, and it is a great way for the team to end the SMAC season, especially for the seniors.”
Calvert junior Ben Voelker prevailed in the 100 back (54.69).
Leonardtown junior Zach Claus broke the only conference record of the meet on the boys side in the 200 IM (1:58.71). Claus prevailed in the 100 free (49.19) as one of three double winners on the boys side.
La Plata junior Kristopher Schueller prevailed in the 50 free (22.44) and 100 breast (1:01.17).
“I am pretty happy with my 50 free. I dropped time and I knew it was going to be a pretty close race, but I am happy with it. I am hoping I can come back and get the SMAC record next year,” Schueller said. “For the 100 breast, I did gain some time, but I still got first, so that was a plus. I was hoping I would get the SMAC record for that this year, but there is always room for improvement. I just need to work harder in and out of the pool like maybe going to the gym a couple more times a week.”
Schueller is excited for the next challenge this season.
“I am looking forward to states,” he said. “I think there will be some pretty good competition there and hopefully that will push me to go better. I think I should be able to get under a minute in my 100 breast there, and that is my goal for this year.”
Thomas Stone freshman Clayton Jameson finished second in the 200 free (1:54.98), while Lackey senior Garrett Batchelor was eighth (2:04.51) and Chopticon senior Justin Gack took ninth (2:08.09).
McDonough freshman Cole Rapczynski finished eighth in the 100 fly (1:03.29), Westlake senior Jaquil Mitchell ended up 14th in the 100 free (56.57), St. Charles junior Tayton Hoefferle took 13th in the 100 back (1:07.99) and Patuxent junior Jas Singh and sophomore Joe Oster were members of the Panthers’ 200 medley relay team that finished in 12th (2:04.30) to highlight some performers competing from other schools.
“This season was special because everyone was striving to get better and all of the swimmers were pushing each other,” Singh said. “There was a certain brotherhood that everyone cherished, more so this season than any other season I have been a part of. It was a really successful season for everyone.”
Oster added: “Our boys 200 free relay and 200 medley relay are trying to get to states and hopefully maybe some individuals can get to states as well. This season for me personally, I have improved a lot with the help of coaches and teammates. They really pushed me. We didn’t win a lot this year, but the effort was there and we are hoping to do well at regionals.”
North Point and the three St. Mary’s County schools will take part in the Class 4A-3A North Region championships scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday at the Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex in Landover. At 3 p.m. Saturday at the same site, the remaining 10 SMAC schools take part in the 3A-2A-1A South Region championships.