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UPDATED: Riverside swims past competition at Dulles District meet

The Riverside Rams are Dulles District girls’ swim champions.—Times-Mirror/Mike Walgren
The final race of the afternoon told the story of the Dulles District swim championships Jan. 27 inside Claude Moore Recreation Center in Sterling.

That meet-closing contest ended with the girls’ relay team of Riverside High School coming in first, just ahead of the team from Woodgrove High School, which reached the wall a mere half-second later.

That finish told the story of the day because, in event after event, it was either the Rams or the Wolverines emerging at or near the top.

The top two finishers in the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle and the 100-yard backstroke were either Rams or Wolverines. Woodgrove and Riverside filled five of the top six in the 200-yard individual medley and in the 100-yard breaststroke, and the entire top six in the 500-yard freestyle.

“It’s amazing,” said Joel Getis in the aftermath of the Rams’ victories. The only head swim coach in Riverside’s three-year history, he oversaw the girls’ squad’s journey to the Class 3 state crown a year ago.

After this year’s district sweep he had to shout over some jubilantly chanting blue-clad swimmers.

“We only have two senior girls and 14 sophomores, so we’re poised to be strong for several seasons to come,” Getis continued. “We’re just getting started.”

Riverside sophomore Allison Kopac took first in the 200-yard freestyle while teammate Ashley Bee placed fifth. Meanwhile Keely Hemminger swam second as fellow Woodgrove senior Hannah Carter earned fourth.

Riverside junior Claire Nguyen won the endurance-testing 500-yard freestyle event by nearly 15 seconds over Hemminger. Riverside freshman Angela Sullivan and sophomore Chloe Ramirez took fourth and fifth, while third was Sophia Hanson and sixth was Mikayla Hain, both Woodgrove sophomores.

Only the pair of firsts earned by Dominion sophomore Rachel Schlemmer prevented complete hegemony by the Rams and the Wolverines.

Schlemmer beat Woodgrove sophomore Sarah Frie by 2.15 seconds and Riverside sophomore Mikaela Haast by 4.35 seconds in the 100-yard butterfly, and edged Nguyen, Frie, Woodgrove freshman Daphne Bernal and Riverside sophomore Hannah Ye to win the 200-yard individual medley.

Both times were personal bests.

“I felt excited, loose, warmed up,” said Schlemmer of her feelings going into the district meet. “I was actually feeling pretty fast in the water, so I think that gave me a mental boost.”

Riverside was victorious on the boys’ side as well, withstanding a flurry of late points by Loudoun County.

The Raiders won the meet-ending 400-yard freestyle relay and had higher finishers than the Rams in four of the last five events, but Riverside claimed the team title by a 15-point margin.

“I expected at the end of the meet that they had won,” admitted Getis, referring to the Raiders. “When we won, it was a complete shock.”

County’s Collin Hughes won the 200-yard freestyle by 1.73 seconds over Riverside’s Robert Quan. He nipped Quan again later, completing the 500-yard freestyle 2.35 seconds ahead of the freshman.

Hughes also teamed with Shane Hunter and Kyle Backus to propel the Raiders to wins in both relays.

Loudoun Valley junior Sean Conway stood out with two easy victories, winning the 100-yard freestyle by nearly four seconds, and the 200-yard individual medley by more than 10 seconds.

The short-distance events provided the meet’s closest calls. Heritage junior John Rossbach touched the wall 0.74 seconds before Park View sophomore Kyle Johnson in the 100-yard butterfly, while in the 50-yard freestyle, the Patriots’ Carson Stevens bested County’s Jack Ramberg by a half-second.

The Riverside Rams are Dulles District boys' swim champions.--Times-Mirror/Mike Walgren

Riverside 457
Woodgrove 394
Dominion 291
Loudoun County 259
Heritage 191
Loudoun Valley 138
Park View 102

Riverside 408
Loudoun County 393
Heritage 306
Woodgrove 210
Dominion 206.5
Loudoun Valley 195.5
Park View 163

Girls event champions

-200 medley relay
Riverside (Haast, Ye, Nguyen, Kopac) 1:48.46

-200 freestyle
Allison Kopac (R) 1:51.86

-200 individual medley
Rachel Schlemmer (D) 2:03.26

-50 freestyle
Rita Frie (W) 24.13

-100 butterfly
Rachel Schlemmer (D) 55.68

-100 freestyle
Allison Kopac (R) 51.64

-500 freestyle
Claire Nguyen (R) 4:56.25

-200 freestyle relay
Woodgrove (Pyle, Jones, Hemminger, Frie) 1:40.95

-100 backstroke
Mikaela Haast (R) 1:00.57

-100 breaststroke
Daphne Bernal (W) 1:05.29

-400 freestyle relay
Riverside (Nguyen, Bae, Ye, Kopac) 3:34.02

Boys event champions

-200 medley relay
Loudoun County (Koenig, Backus, Hughes, Hunter) 1:38.60

-200 freestyle
Collin Hughes (LC) 1:43.44

-200 individual medley
Sean Conway (LV) 1:47.55

-50 freestyle
Carson Stevens (PV) 21.85

-100 butterfly
John Rossbach (H) 52.26

-100 freestyle
Sean Conway (LV) 45.39

-500 freestyle
Collin Hughes (LC) 4:41.5

-200 freestyle relay
Riverside (C. Kopac, Barmak, Gerstl, Lippy) 1:31.48

-100 backstroke
Sam O’Brien (LV) 54.81

-100 breaststroke
Andrew Blusiewicz (D) 1:00.0

-400 freestyle relay
Loudoun County (Hughes, Ramberg, Hunter, Backus) 3:15.28

-Photos by Mike Walgren


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