Blazers win last dual meet
MONTGOMERY AQUATIC CENTER, Feb. 2 –
In the last dual meet of the season, Blair's Division II swim and dive team landed a handy victory over the Einstein's Division III team, bringing their season record to 5-1. The combined score was 263-104, the boys winning 126-59 and the girls, 137-45.
Both the boys and girls started the meet off the same way: a victory in the 200-yard Medley Relay. The boys team of senior Sam Bullard-Sisken, juniors Andrew McGehee and Will Shepherdson and sophomore Jeffery Lin won with a time of 1:46.73 and the girls team – consisting of senior co-captain Franny Blume, junior co-captain Melissa Mergner, sophomore Allison Arai and freshman Laura McGehee – won with 2:06.00.
In the first half, the boys' team swept all of the events. In the third event, senior Andrew Kannan placed first in the 200 Free with a time of 1:58.67, a personal best. Andrew McGehee and freshman Eric Ruggieri placed first and second respectively in 200 IM and senior co-captain Yang Yang almost broke a record in the 50 Free with a winning time of 22.45.
The girls also won every event in the first half of the meet. Arai won the 200 Free with 2:15.68, Blume placed first in the 200 IM with 2:37.69 and McGehee and sophomore Jenna Williams placed first and second respectively in the 50 free.
In diving, seniors Malik Davis and Franco Segovia placed second and third to Einstein sophomore Nate Schrier, but since Schrier was the only diver for the Titans, the Blazers won the event with a score of 177.4. Freshman Sophia Seidell and Junior Abby Cember placed first and second and won the event with a score of 241.95.
The second half started with a win for the Einstein boys: a first place for senior Colin Stanton in the 100 Butterfly, with senior co-captain Tim Peng less than a second behind. The Blazers got back on track by sweeping the 100 Free and another near-record was approached by Yang in the 500 Free with a time of 4:57.27.
After also winning the 200 Free Relay and 100 Back, Blazers were defeated once more by Stanton in the 100 Breast; senior co-captain Eddie Qian placed 0.38 seconds after. However, Blair easily won the next event, the 400 Free Relay, because the competition failed to take their positions at the start of the event.
The girls won all but one event in the second half. Blume, junior co-captain Caitlin Ludington and freshman Masha Lafen placed first, second and third respectively in the 100 Butterfly. Laura McGehee won the 500 Free with a time of 5:55.92, 23 seconds before Einstein senior Mary Coyne. Einstein prevailed in the 100 Back – with Mergner in a close second – but sophomores Molly Branson and Laura Sirbu placed first and second in the 100 breast.
The meet culminated with wins from the boys and the girls in the 400 Free Relay. The winning boys' team included Qian, senior co-captain Christoff Visscher, Lin and Yang and won with 3:46.86. The girls' team included junior Rachel Nicholson, sophomore Diana Jeang, junior Castro Tamara and senior Elissa Fischel and placed first with 4:22.53.
Coach David Swaney was proud of many of the swimmers' times, particularly noting Kannan's win in the 200 Free. "He hadn't broken two minutes yet and he did, so I was happy for him," Swaney said.
Nevertheless, Swaney insisted that some of the fast swimmers needed to step up their game. "I'm still worried that the fast people aren't cranking out their fast times, as fast as last year," he said.
Qian was satisfied with their victory. "It was a really good win, they had some really fast people," he said. "It was good to get this meet under our belt before divisional championships."
Blume was very impressed with the girls' performance and predicted success for the team in the future. "We did phenomenally," she said. "We surpassed what I hoped that we would do. I think [the girls] will get better and better as the years go on because we have some really good younger swimmers."
Qian also commented on their success this season and his hopes for the Division II championship. "The boys are undefeated, the girls had a winning record, so overall it was a good year," he said. "We're gonna try to win Divisionals so we can move up to Division I next year."
The Blazers' next event is the Division II Championship on Feb. 9 at the Germantown Indoor Swim Center at 9:30 a.m.
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 »