Montgomery Blair High School's Online Student Newspaper
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Feb. 13, 2007

Boys' swimming capture Division II title

by Merlyn Deng, Online Editor-in-Chief

The boys' team, keen on winning the Division II championship, had meticulously designed Saturday's lineup. Despite the mishaps that seemed to plague some of the key swimmers - injuries, fatigue or goggle malfunctions - the boys' careful strategy overcame the last minute setbacks for them to win the Division II championships with a score of 456. The girls, who had a 2-5 record, placed 5th with a score of 272. Sophomore Melanie Snail lowered two of her records (100 Free and 100 Back) while junior Michael Willems set a new 6-dive record.

According to junior co-captain Yang Yang, the goal of the meet was not to win as many firsts, but to rack up points. "[We would] have our good swimmers to avoid [the other teams' best swimmers] so we could get more points," he explained, pointing out that all of the school's other swimmers indeed chose their best events to swim. "Other times, when we think we can beat team, we'll put in our swimmers...but then we run the risk of losing," he said. For the most part, their planning paid off.
Junior co-captain Yang Yang swims the 200 IM.  Although his goggles fell off at the beginning of the race, Yang managed to place 3rd. Alex Lutz
Junior co-captain Yang Yang swims the 200 IM. Although his goggles fell off at the beginning of the race, Yang managed to place 3rd.

The boys banked on the 200 Medley Relay, composed of Yang, co-captain senior Robert Feasley, juniors Sam Bullard-Sisken and co-captain Eddie Qian as a requisite part of a winning formula. They placed first with a time of 1:42.67.

Although they started the meet off well, the subsequent events were rife with small problems. "We had a tough first half," explained Feasley. "A lot of bad things happened, but we just kept going and we finished well," he added.

A historically reliable point-earner, Yang was also supposed to capture one of the few firsts, in the 200 IM, to propel the boys to the forefront of the Division. However, with a stroke of bad luck, Yang's goggles fell off at the starting block. Swimming handicapped, Yang gained five seconds onto his 1:59:83 time, but he still managed to come in 3rd.

Meanwhile, the girls were also facing their own battle. While they could not nab as many personal points as they hoped for, the girls did have individual swimmers who flourished. Sophomore Melanie Snail broke her own 100 Back and 100 Free records, one of which she had set a mere two weeks ago. Her times were 1:05.92 (2nd place in 100 Back) and 58.01 (4th in 100 Free).

Although they did not win that many first places, as predicted, the sheer depth of the swim team carried the boys to their coveted win. Although the captains said that they did not expect their boys to capture first in all events, some swimmers still shined through. In the 100 Breast, the Blazers managed to sweep the event, lead by Yang and followed by Qian and senior Cole Brown.

The momentum that the boys' had built up throughout the entire meet, however, helped lift the damper on the their performance. The boys' Divisional races ended on a high note, as the 400 Free Relay team managed to make take 2nd with a time of 3:27.78, effectively ending and winning the elusive Division II championship.

Coach David Swaney had two words to describe the Divisionals, "Awesome meet." In addition to the well deserve win, Swaney happily noted that "almost everyone had at least one best time."

There will be an MCPS Swimming Championship held at Martin Luther King Swim Center at 8 a.m. this Saturday.

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  • Will on February 14, 2007 at 2:10 PM
    Look at for full results and a link to and Examiner article listing the Blair Boys as the 5th best in the area.
  • (View Email) on February 14, 2007 at 2:27 PM
    How many Division II schools are there?
  • franny on February 14, 2007 at 8:13 PM
    YEAH SWIM AND DIVE!!! it's been a great season, next year is gonna kill!

    there are 6 teams in each division.
  • Correction on February 15, 2007 at 2:34 PM
    mm we got 3rd in the 400 free relay... we definitely got second but the timers error gave us third
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