Fierce competition in Division I leaves the girls' swim team out to dry
DEC 14, MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. SWIM CENTER-
The Blazers met Whitman High School, one of the county's mightiest swim teams, with speed and spirit. Blair's boys snuck out with a 93-78 victory, and the girls exceeded expectations, losing to the Vikings 101.5-73.5.
Freshman Kelsey Dean broke two Blair swimming records when she placed first in the 500-yard freestyle and the 200-yard freestyle. Her wins were the only two for the girls, though several girls improved their times.
Though the Blair boys lacked junior Gordon Su's sprinting abilities and senior Ian MacKinnon's leading speed versus Whitman, they placed first in four individual events and two relays. Senior Andrew Lee dominated the breaststroke and won the 200-yard individual medley. Senior Tom Johnson took first in the 100-yard backstroke, filling in for MacKinnon and dropping 1.5 seconds from his personal best. Senior David Madej placed first in the 200-yard freestyle.
Madej started off the meet with an incredible 22-second swim in the last leg of the 200-yard medley relay, which allowed the Blazers to narrowly win the event. From there the boys maintained a small lead for the rest of the day.
In the last relay event, the 400-yard freestyle relay, MacKinnon's absence left the Blazers behind two of Whitman's teams by more than a whole body length. Senior Pete Johnson caught both of the Vikings on the third leg, splitting 53 seconds and pulling Blair into the lead. Sophomore Patrick Detzner strongly anchored the relay to finish Whitman off.
Junior Elizabeth Finn won the girls' diving event despite struggling with challenging dives. Finn completed a back one-and-a-half somersault, an inward one-and-a-half somersault and a double front somersault.
The boy divers barely let the Vikings slip by. Pete Johnson scored well on three difficult dives, including a back somersault with a half twist, but a botched fourth dive earned him no points so he missed first place by less than one point. Senior Stewart Berg took fourth place, losing to Whitman by even a smaller margin than Pete Johnson.
The girls showed marked improvement against the Division I Vikings after losing by almost twice the margin to Damascus High School, a Division III team, on Dec 7. Because Blair was promoted to Division I this year, the girls are struggling to keep up with the successful boys' team.
Dean has become an important weapon in the girls' arsenal, especially in long-distance events. Other fast newcomers for the girls include freshman Diana Frey and senior Charlotte Littlehales, and the girls still depend on senior Leah Cowdrey and juniors Ariel Wilcheck and Abigail Graber for speed. Freshmen Tyler Wilcheck and Dan Donnelly have added depth to the boys' line-up.
Lily Hamburger. Lily Hamburger, managing sports editor, is a proud senior and back for another year on <i>Chips</i>. Lily is a sports fan, a singer, and a softball player. Her favorite food is macaroni and cheese, favorite ice cream flavor is mint chocolate chip and favorite ninja … More »