Boys' team places fourth, girls place eighth
MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. INDOOR SWIM CENTER, FEB. 20 -
Blair's swim and dive team (4-1) came in sixth at the county-wide swimming and diving championships with a combined score of 333.5 points. The boys came in fourth with a total of 209 points and the girls took eighth with 124.5 points. The meet included all 24 teams in the county. Blair lost to the Walt Whitman Vikings, Churchill Bulldogs, Sherwood Warriors, Walter Johnson Wildcats and Wootton Patriots. The Sherwood Warriors were the only team from Division II to beat the Blazers.
During the meet, the girls' team broke three records. In the Girls' 400 Yard Freestyle Relay, senior co-captain Jenna Williams, junior co-captain Laura McGehee and freshmen Jennifer Arai and Emily Lathrop shattered the Blair record they set last week by five seconds with a time of 3:49.64 minutes. Williams also broke her own Blair record in the Girls' 50 Yard Free with a time of 25.92 seconds. Co-coach Charlie Demma thought Williams was one of the strongest Blair swimmers at the meet. "Jenna had a great day…she was on fire," he said.
According to Demma, the girls' team will adjust their lineup for the next meet because of Saturday's successful performance. He specifically noted that the girls' record-breaking relay inspired him to change the order of swimmers. "We did not have that lineup, but now we're going to stick with it," Demma said.
Lathrop also set a new record for the Blair girls in the 100 Yard Backstroke with a time of 1:04.52 minutes. McGehee was the highest-placing girl in an individual event; her time of 2:04.56 minutes in the Girls' 200 Yard Free earned her eighth in the county. Williams was proud of the girls after their multiple impressive swims. "We definitely did well today," she said.
The boys' highest-scoring individual events were the Boys' 200 Yard Individual Medley and the Boys' 100 Yard Breaststroke. In the Individual Medley, senior co-captain Jeff Lin and junior co-captain Eric Ruggieri both placed in the top ten. Lin's time of 1:59.38 minutes earned him second place in the county and made him Blair's highest-placing male swimmer. Ruggieri's time of 2:04.88 minutes earned him seventh place in the event. Ruggieri also took third in the 100 Breast with a time of 1:01.01 minutes.
Lin had another fast swim in the Boys' 100 Yard Butterfly, where he placed fifth with a time of 54.10 seconds. Other notable swims came in the 500 Yard Free; freshman Jack Foster finished seventh in the boys' event with a time of 4:56.71 minutes and Arai finished eleventh for the girls.
In addition to individual events, the championship meet featured three relays. In the 200 Yard Medley Relay, the boys' team of junior Winston Liu, Ruggieri, Lin and sophomore Nik Hammond earned third place with a time of 1:41.76 minutes. In the 200 Yard Free Relay, the second relay event of the day, sophomore Elsa Dupre, junior Larisa Antonisse, Arai and McGehee earned sixth place for the girls with a time of 1:47.11 minutes. The last relay of the meet was the 400 Free. Despite the girls' record-breaking swim in this event, both the girls and the boys placed seventh.
Ruggieri admitted that the boys' relays weren't the best. "It was a pretty slow day for us, relay-wise," he said. Senior co-captain Nate Hukill agreed. "The relays...which are so critical because they're worth a lot more points…were only decent," he said.
Hammond, who anchored the Boys' 200 Yard Medley Relay, believes the Blair swimmers are still out of practice due to snow. "This week we couldn't really do much. But after another week of practice, everybody is going to be in the groove of things and we should do better," he said.
The highest-scoring male diver for Blair was junior Justin Kanga, who earned 24th place. In 13th place, junior Sophia Seidell was the highest-scoring female diver.
Editor's note: Larisa Antonisse is a page editor for Silver Chips Print.
Swim and dive's next meet is the Metropolitan Swimming and Diving Championships on Saturday, Feb. 27 at the Germantown Indoor Swim Center.
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