Blair swim and dive places seventh overall
MARTIN LUTHER KING SWIM CENTER, Feb.16–
Blair's swim and dive team placed seventh with a combined score of 279 out of all 25 MCPS teams and first amongst all Division II, III and IV teams. Walter Johnson placed first out of all teams, with a combined score of 525.5. The Blair boys took third place with 230 points – outscoring the Division I teams of Whitman, Churchill, Sherwood and Richard Montgomery – and the girls placed 13th with a score of 49.
The county championship, a competition between the top two swimmers in each event from each school started off favorably for the boys, who took second in the 200 Medley Relay – a team of junior Andrew McGehee, senior co-captains Eddie Qian and Yang Yang and senior Sam Bullard-Sisken – in 1:42.26, two seconds behind Walter Johnson. Although the boys never placed first in any event, they consistently placed top 10 in most events throughout the meet and qualified for Metros in all events.
The most notable swims of the day came from Yang and sophomore Jeffrey Lin, who placed fourth and sixth in the 200 IM respectively, Yang and Qian, who placed second and fifth in the 100 Breast respectively, McGehee, who placed ninth in the 200 Free and third in the 100 Back and Bullard-Sisken, who placed fifth in the 100 Back and 100 Butterfly.
The team of Qian, Yang, McGehee and Lin placed second in the 200 Free Relay with a Blair record-breaking time of 1:31.28. The boys ended their meet with a solid eighth place finish in the 400 Free Relay, with a group consisting of Lin, Willems, freshman Eric Ruggieri and senior co-captain Tim Peng.
In diving, Willems scored 12th place for the boys and broke the 9 and eleven Blair dive record. For the girls, freshman Claire Hoffman and junior co-captain Caitlin Ludington placed 20th and 27th, respectively.
The girls swam through their meet comparatively well. Junior Melanie Snail, senior co-captain Franny Blume, sophomore Allison Arai and freshman Laura McGehee teamed up for the 200 Medley Relay and placed tenth with a Metro-qualifying time. Snail broke her own Blair record with her 12th place finish in the 200 Free, qualifying for the Metros with a time of 2:03.95. Snail also scraped by to qualify in the 100 Back with 1:06.99, the exact cut-off time for the Metros.
Laura McGehee finished 16th in the 50 Free and qualified for the Metros with a time of 26.82. The 200 Free Relay team of Snail, McGehee, Arai and sophomore Jenna Williams finished ninth and broke a Blair record with a time of 1:48.25. Arai finished 12th and qualified for the Metros in 1:12.06 for the 100 Breast. Williams, junior Tamara Castro, junior co-captain Melissa Mergner and sophomore Laura Sirbu concluded the meet with a 16th place in the 400 Free Relay.
Coah David Swaney was pleased with the results. "It was a good meet overall. We usually have a bad meet at counties," he said. "People had good times. We had three Blair records and several personal bests."
Swaney also commented on the overall performance of the team this season. "They're such a good group of kids and they've done really well," he said. "The girls have improved a lot. They deserve to be in Division II now. They had a good record and they're holding their own."
Anika Manzoor. Although she may look like a cute and innocent freshman, Anika is actually a SENIOR(!!), who kicks butts and takes names on a daily basis. But otherwise she's very friendly with a sunny disposition and a constant snarl - er smile on her face =D ... More »