During the abbreviated Prince-Mont Swim League that will last four weeks instead of seven this summer amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hawthorne Country Club squad has clearly been the dominant force in the league’s A division.
Last Saturday morning, Hawthorne (3-0) capped a perfect virtual dual meet slate in the shortened Prince-Mont season when the Gators toppled Strathmore Bel Pre of Montgomery County, 307-165. Not only did Hawthorne go undefeated in three Division A meets, it won by an average of 126 points with the smallest margin of victory being 99 points in the season opener.
Hawthorne has gotten stellar performances throughout the summer from boys and girls of all ages and varying strokes. In fact, on Saturday morning six Gators recorded three wins apiece and six others notched a pair of victories in individual events. Landon Abelende, Kaeleigh Cupples, Addy Donnick, Audrey Payne, Conor Vienneau and Amelia Weikle all notched triples.
Hawthorne swimmer Conor Vienneau, a recent La Plata High School graduate who won state titles while competing for the Warriors as a senior and two years earlier as a sophomore, has maintained his status as one of the top male swimmers in the league heading into this Saturday’s divisional championships.
“My main goal this summer was just to stay in shape for the college season,” Vienneau said. “I just want to keep staying below a minute in the 100 free and keep working on my IM. This summer has been a lot different since we’re just swimming these virtual meets. But it’s been great to get out here and compete every Saturday.”
Hawthorne swimmer Addy Donnick, a rising freshman at La Plata, has enjoyed a perfect run through the Prince-Mont slate this summer in the girls’ 13-14 events and looks to have an impact at the high school level and again next summer in the tough 15-18 age bracket. Saturday morning she won the 13-14 girls’ 50 free (28.14), back (32.94) and 100 IM (1:08.57).
“It’s been fun to be able to compete again,” Donnick said. “We were unable to get in the pool for over three months during the pandemic. So, just to be able to have these virtual meets has been nice. For me, all summer has been about dropping time in the back and the 100 IM.”
One of Hawthorne’s more promising youthful swimmers, Audrey Payne, who will turn nine early next month, has been a genuine force in the girls’ 8-under events all summer. Payne not only went undefeated this summer she posted clockings that suggested she will be a major player in the girls’ 9-10 events the next two seasons.
“I really love swimming and being able to compete against other swimmers,” said Payne, who won the girls’ 8-under 25 free (17.56), 25 breast (24.96) and 25 back (23.13) on Saturday. “I just want to keep dropping time and aim for some records. Addy is really fast. I am hoping to maybe break some of her records some day.”
One week earlier, Hawthorne coasted past Russett, 304-167, as Landon Abelende, Gavin Abelende, Donnick, Payne and Vienneau all recorded triples. Isabella Strutt, Jadyn Woolsey, Matthew Giannella, Kaeleigh Cupples. Alexandra Tompkins and Amelia Weikle each posted two wins and seven other Gators notched one win apiece.
In the opening virtual dual meet one week earlier, Hawthorne coasted past Prince George’s Pool, 291-192. Five Gators — Landon Abelende, Gavin Abelende, Audrey Payne, Addy Donnick and Conor Vienneau all recorded triples, while jadyn Woolsey, Alexandra Tompkins, Matthew Giannella, Amelia Weikle and Kaeleigh Cupples posted two wins each.
This Saturday morning Hawthorne will look to put the finishing touches on a perfect season when it seeks to capture the Division A Championship. Following lopsided victories in each of their first three dual meets, the Gators appear likely to attain the crown without much difficulty, with a handful of swimmers favored in all three individual events.
In the other Prince-Mont meets involving Charles County teams last Saturday morning, Westlake Village (2-1) suffered a tough, 235-219 setback in a battle of previously unbeaten teams in the division. Bannister (1-2) edged Fort Washington, 190-182, while Indian Head (2-1) lost to Prince George’s Council, 233-191, and Smallwood Village (0-3) fell to Belair Bath & Tennis, 285-188.