Silver Chips Online

Blazers scorch Damascus

Blazers dominate Hornets 231-111

By Anika Manzoor, Online Managing Editor
December 17, 2007
Olney Swim Center, Dec. 15

Blair's swim and dive team defeated the Hornets 231-111, the boys winning with a spectacular 135-36 and the girls, 96-75. Two Blazers also set new school records senior co-captain Yang Yang in the 100-meter Fly and junior Melanie Snail in the 200 Free.

The meet got off to a promising start with a first place finish for the boys in the 200 Medley. While Damascus' second place team consisted of their strongest swimmers, Blair's team, including junior Ben Shih, senior Jack Berry, sophomore Alex Bae and senior co-captain Christoff Visscher, managed to capture first with swimmers at varying skill levels.

The girls 200 Medley was taken by the Hornets at 2:01:70, followed by a close Blair second, 2:02:03. However, the next event was the 200 Free, where Snail swam her record-breaking time of 2:06:90, finishing a good 14 seconds before Damascus' second place swimmer.

In the end, the Lady Blazers, assisted by impressive times from Snail and freshman Laura McGehee, won all but three events. Snail placed first in the 100 Free with 57.33, six seconds before Damascus's second place finish and McGehee swam the 500 Free in 6:05.49, an astonishing 32 seconds faster than Damascus's second place swimmer. Co-captains senior Franny Blume and junior Melissa Mergner also edged the competition, racing the 100 Fly in 1:07.95 and the 100 Back in 1:12.12, respectively.

The boys' team swept the Hornets in every single event except for the 200 Medley, 50 Free and 100 Back. Aside from his record time of 54.34 in the 100 Fly, Yang also placed first in the 200 Free with 1:48.31.

Other notable wins came from senior co-captain Eddie Qian, who swam 23.15 in the in the 50 Free, senior Sam Bullard-Sisken who swam 2:10.09 in the 200 IM and junior Andrew McGehee who swam 55.03 in the 100 Back.

Midway through the meet, Blair divers earned high scores; senior Michael Willems took first with a score of 104.40 and senior Nik Reineke captured second with 84.15. Despite the strong score of 107.05 from freshman Sophia Seidell, the Damascus girls took first in diving.

The meet concluded with wins from both boys and girls in the 400 Free Relay. The winning team for the boys consisted of senior Andrew Kannan, junior Owen Flannagen, freshman Tommy Zhang and freshman Dennis Li with a time of 3:52.92. The girls' team consisted of McGehee, Snail, Blume and sophomore Jenna Williams with a time of 4:03.92, a full 21 seconds before the Hornet's second place finish.

Coach David Swaney was content with today's match. "We had a great meet," he said. "Great times, everyone feels rested and healthy. No complaints."

Mergner was impressed with the improvement of the girls' team and feels their success was due to the more balanced nature of the team. " In the previous years that I have swum here, the girls' team has been divided [into extremes]," she said. " Now it's more spread out. Everyone has one thing that they're good at and divided it up so that we're a well-balanced team overall."

Yang also commented on the division of skill on the boys' end. "We split everyone up so we'd have more competition within ourselves," he said. "We basically raced against ourselves and we pushed everyone to go faster and that's probably one of the reasons why we did so well."

Blair's next meet will be held Saturday, Jan. 12 at Montgomery College against Blake at 3:30 p.m.

http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/story/7996