After splitting last meet, swimmers look toward postseason
FEB. 5, MONTGOMERY AQUATIC CENTER--
After a highly disappointing loss to the Whitman Vikings on Jan. 30, Blair's swim team was determined that it would not end the season on a similarly low note. In today's match against the Bethesda-Chevy Chase (B-CC) Barons, the Blazers proved their strength in the pool once more: The boys defeated the Barons 105-78, and though the girls fell 77-107, they achieved their highest team score all season. The results of this meet finalized the boys' and girls' seasonal records at 2-3 and 0-5, respectively.
The girls began the meet on a strong note, taking their first victories of the season in the first two events. Juniors Minh Huynh-Le and Diana Frey, sophomore Christie Lin and senior Karima Tawfik took the gold in the 200 Medley Relay while a second Blair team took the silver in that race, and junior co-captain Kelsey Dean gave Blair a second straight win in the 200 Free. The Blazer girls' luck began to turn around by the 50 Free, however, as the Barons out-touched two Blazers by 34 and 13 hundredths of a second, respectively, to take first and third in the event.
Though Blair's girls would not capture any more victories during the rest of the meet, the Blazers still won more second-place finishes than they have in any other match this season. Dean, as usual, swam a strong 500 Free and took silver in that event, and senior co-captain Kendra Williams (100 Fly), senior Karima Tawfik (100 Breast) and Huynh-Le (100 Back) all took second in their events as well. However, clear Baron dominance in two key events -- the 200 Individual Medley and 100 Free -- put the score up in B-CC's favor by 16 points, and the rest of B-CC's victories were just enough to cement its lead by the meet's end.
The boys team also began the meet with a victory in the 200 Medley Relay, but the Blazers faltered immediately afterward and allowed B-CC to win the next two events. However, Blair soon reasserted its dominance of the pool in the 50 Free, as junior co-captain Tyler Wilchek, senior co-captain Patrick Detzner and sophomore Eddie Tang swept the event by several lengths. Detzner and junior Sam Silsbee went on to give Blair additional victories in the 100 Free and diving events, respectively.
Though B-CC scored a few clean victories after Detzner's win, Blair's depth ensured that the Barons would never be able to turn the score in their favor. With one event left and the score at 97-73 in Blair's favor, the Blazers put the finishing touch on their victory with a 3:27:93 time in the 400 Free Relay, less than 1.5 seconds away from breaking the 3:26:61 school record set ten years earlier.
According to Blair coach David Swaney, the boys' victory was a sharp contrast to its defeat at Whitman's hands just a week before. "We were lousy last week, and we pulled back together,” he said. "It feels good.”
Although the boys won by a clean margin, Swaney feels that they could have done even better against the Barons. "None of our boys had their fastest splits,” he said. "They do tons of yardage for their private clubs, and they're tired because their RMSC [swimming club] coaches have them broken down.” However, Swaney believes that his club swimmers will begin to drop their times in the next few weeks as they train both for county post-season competitions and the club competition held immediately afterward. "They're only starting to taper,” he says. "Hopefully, they'll have more rest in the next three weeks and peak.”
The Blazers will have no more dual meets this season, but they will be competing in the Montgomery County Division I Championships at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 12 at the Montgomery Aquatic Center.
Kristina Yang. Kristina Yang is 1/10 of the Blair girls' volleyball team. When not on the court, she most likely to be running away from Magnet math homework, trying to pay off her three speeding/redlight tickets, or feeding her bubble tea addiction. She would also like to ... More »