Panther boys, Titans girls deliver Sterling performances
Eastern Loudoun made waves at the Dulles District Swim Championship Jan. 26 at Claude Moore Recreation Center, with both the Potomac Falls boys and the Dominion girls winning team titles.
The Panthers easily secured their second consecutive title, besting runner-up Briar Woods a whopping 418 to 301. The Dominion girls captured the school’s first-ever swim title, earning 330.5 points to narrowly defeat both Briar Woods (299) and Potomac Falls (287).
“I’m just incredibly proud of these girls,” Dominion coach Heather Flor said. “They’ve come so far over the past four years, especially our senior leaders. We have some young superstars. Everybody was rallying.”
The Titans were led by junior Rachel Williams, who captured individual titles in both the 100-yard butterfly and the 200-yard free. Additionally, Williams swam on 200 and 400 free relay teams, both of which finished in first.
“I’m speechless, I’m so excited,” Williams said. “I think we’re still a very young team like we were last year. I’m so excited to be a part of what we have now.”
Sophomore sensation William Lin paced the Panther boys, capturing individual medals in both the 200 IM and the 500 free, where he beat second place finisher Jack Perales by a full 39 seconds. Lin was joined by Illya Ovchynnikov, Vincent Marrocco and Sean Hurrell in the 200 medley relay, in which the squad not only captured first but smashed the district record by more than five seconds.
Also finishing well for the Panthers was Justin Touve, who earned first place in the 100 free, second in the 200 free and contributed to two second place relay teams. Overall, the Panther boys posted 22 top eight finishes.
“We had 16 boys swim today and 15 qualified to swim at regionals,” Potomac Falls coach Neil Costello said. “That’s phenomenal.”
But the champion teams weren’t the only schools that boasted top times, as seven of the 10 schools competing placed swimmers in the top.
UVA-bound swimmer Kaleigh Rosenburg of Heritage swam to gold in both the 200 IM and the 100 breast, breaking both of the Dulles records she set last year in the process. Teammate Carrie Lee broke a record of her own in the 100 back. Dominion’s Aidan O’Hara broke his own record en route to gold in the 100 back. O’Hara also took gold in the 200 free. The Tuscarora relay team of Nicholas McCord, Maxwell Waterman, Samuel Presgraves and Simon Shi not only bested Potomac Falls in the 400 free relay, but broke the record the Panthers set the previous season.
Freshman Joaquin Gabriel made history for newly opened John Champe when he defeated Presgraves in the 100 breast to win the Knights’ first-ever district award.
“It feels amazing,” Gabriel said. “It feels really good to know I’m the first one to win anything.”
The top swimmers and teams now prepare for the Region II meet, where both Potomac Falls and Dominion have lofty goals.
“Our goal has been all year to win the district, win the region,” Costello said. “We’d like to go top five in states.”
Flor, whose girls placed ninth in states last year, shares those sentiments.
“Overall, we’d like to see our girls better than ninth place in states last year, so we want to be better than that this year,” Flor said.
The Region II meet will be held Feb. 9 at Fork Union Academy.
Potomac Falls - 418
Briar Woods - 301
Tuscarora - 270
Heritage - 250
Dominion - 234
Loudoun County - 165
Woodgrove - 161
John Champe - 96
Loudoun Valley - 89
Park View - 46
Dominion - 330.5
Briar Woods - 299
Potomac Falls - 287
Heritage - 225
Tuscarora - 211
Woodgrove - 192.5
Loudoun County - 139
Park View - 133.5
Loudoun Valley - 127.5
John Champe - 85
200 medley relay: Potomac Falls (Lin, Ovchynnikov, Marrocco, Hurrell) 1:42.62
200 free: Aidan O’Hara (Dominion) 1:46.37
200 IM: William Lin (Potomac Falls) 1:58.02
50 free: Tim Burris (Heritage) 22.71
100 fly: Brennan Maxwell (Briar Woods) 54.21
100 free: Justin Touve (Potomac Falls) 50.18
500 free: William Lin (Potomac Falls) 4:43.77
200 free relay: Heritage (Schroth, Crouch, McAllister, Burris) 1:32.56
100 back: Aidan O’Hara (Dominion) 53.48
100 breast: Joaquin Gabriel (John Champe) 1:02.31
400 free relay: Tuscarora (McCord, Waterman, Presgraves, Shi) 3:25.36
200 medley relay: Potomac Falls (Hood, Staffen, Fateux, Newton) 1:56.83
200 free: Rachel Williams (Dominion) 1:58.64
200 IM: Kaleigh Rosenburg (Heritage) 2:08.15
50 free: Kristen Garner (Woodgrove) 25.61
100 fly: Rachel Williams (Dominion) 59.97
100 free: Erica Comm (Briar Woods) 56.37
500 free: Lizzie Mittan (Briar Woods) 5:19.25
200 free relay: Dominion (Brock, Shields, Jakab, Williams) 1:43.34
100 back: Carrie Lee (Heritage) 1:00.03
100 breast: Kaleigh Rosenburg (Heritage) 1:05.46
400 free relay: Dominion (Jakab, Tao, Schlemmer, Williams) 3:47.20
-All photos by Greg Nash
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