Silver Chips Online

Boys and girls swimming team up to conquer Damascus

Girls pull through for first victory in a year

By David Jia, Online Blair Connections Editor
December 17, 2006

Blair enjoyed a victory in the second swim meet of the season against Damascus, winning by a score of 199-143. But what made this meet spectacular was that in addition to the boys' expected win of 106-65, the girls also got a win: 93-78 - their first since Dec. 10 of last year. The boys' record is still an undefeated 2-0, while this meet brings the girls to 1-1.
The girls won their first meet, making it Blair's first sweep win for the season. Alex Lutz
The girls won their first meet, making it Blair's first sweep win for the season.

"The girls don't usually win," said Francesca Blume, junior captain of the girls' team. Last season, the girls won just one meet and none the year before.

Contrary to the normal schedule, diving was the first event of the meet. Though the boys' and girls' teams lost 237-157 and 255.6-219.25 respectively, coach David Swaney was unperturbed by Damascus' lead, claiming that diving was "just one event out of 22."

The loss, though, was due in part to this meet being Nick Reineke's first meet of diving. On his first dive, Reineke "saw the board coming to [his] face," and bailed out, landing in the water on his back to avoid hitting the diving board." Surprisingly, this "narrow pass with death," as Reineke put it, still earned him a "half-decent score." But Reineke's final score was still 61.6 while the other three divers in the boys' 1-meter Diving received an average score of 110.8.

Swaney was right not to worry as both the boys' and girls' teams took first and third in the 200 Medley Relay. The two winning relay teams consisted of junior Sam Bullard-Sisken, junior Eddie Qian (Tang), freshman Jeffrey Lin and sophomore Andrew McGehee for the boys and Blume, sophomore Melanie Snail, freshman Allison Arai and freshman Jenna Williams for the girls.
Despite the landslide victory for the boys, there were several close events. Senior David Vuong was only .02 seconds off from claiming first place in the 100 Fly, coming out of the race "dying. You can always push a little harder," said Vuong. "Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you don't."
Junior captain Eddie Qian (Tang) swimming the 100 breaststroke. Alex Lutz
Junior captain Eddie Qian (Tang) swimming the 100 breaststroke.

Damascus stole the show during certain events, though, such as 200 IM where the first Blazer to finish, senior Christie Lin, running the event for the first time, finished third, 32.83 seconds after first place did. But Blair had significantly more wins than losses. Dazzling performances during the 400 Free Relay marked the end of the meet; the boys swept the top three places, and the girls won first and third.

The team is off to a good start, according to Swaney. "I would like the boys to be top three in the county," he said. But an even more confident Qian, who won captured first in three events (200 Medley Relay, 50 Free and 100 Breast), believes that the boy's should go undefeated and have a good shot at winning the County championship.

As for the girls, Swaney hopes that they will win more meets this season, and Qian has seen significant development in his female teammates. "Our girls have improved a lot," he said.

Blair's next meet will be the Division II Relay Carnival at Montgomery Aquatic Center on Saturday, Jan. 6 at 9:15 a.m.