<b>‘Westfield Had Heroes’</b>
Despite its best efforts, the Robinson wrestling team could not prevent the Westfield Bulldogs from winning their sixth consecutive Concorde District championship last Saturday at Chantilly High School.
“Westfield had heroes,” said Robinson coach Bryan Hazard, whose team had four first-place finishers but still trailed Westfield, 225-209. “The kids that wrestled well wrestled great, and we still have work to do. We have a big week ahead of us.”
Robinson will advance to this weekend’s Northern Region tournament at Fairfax High School. The Rams have won 11 regional championships but none since 1991.
On Saturday, 103-pound Jake Smith started the action for Robinson, pinning Westfield’s Brett Campbell 39 seconds into the match. Roman Perryman cruised an 11-1 win over Kyle Arnold of Westfield in the 135-pound final.
Ben Stallings, a 140-pounder who has missed the past two district tournaments because of a contusion in his lower back and a broken leg, pinned Harry Van Trees of Westfield at the 2:50 mark of the match.
“I worked my butt off all summer because I was not going to let injury stop me from getting this,” Stallings said.
Sands Smith capped the day with a 3-1 decision over Ian Davies of Fairfax in the 215-pound final.
“Obviously, we wanted to come in and take the tournament, but it wasn’t our year,” Smith said. “We’re going to work hard, have another good week of practice, come back and try our hardest this week.”
<b>Stallions Gaining Ground</b>
When South County sophomore Sarah Chandler grabbed the baton as the anchor leg for the indoor track and field team’s 4x200-meter relay, she was nowhere near the leader — Alex Abrahamson of West Springfield.
By the time Chandler zipped around the track at Episcopal High School on Saturday, Feb. 7, for the Patriot District indoor track and field championships, Chandler, though second, had made the race quite interesting.
“I think ‘fighter’ is probably synonymous with her name,” coach Greg Rowe said. “She goes out there, and she will not let people beat her.”
The South County girls team eclipsed the previous school record for points (38) scored in a district championship meet, garnering 53.5 and finishing fifth. Lake Braddock’s girls team won its 21st indoor track and field title with 138 points.
Rowe also pointed to junior Tom Schafer’s performance in the 3,200 (9 minutes, 55.02 seconds) as another encouraging sign for the boys team, which finished sixth with 27.5 points. Annandale was first with 98.
“The boys put out a great effort.,” Rowe said. “Two years ago [Shafer] was a 5:43-miler, and now he’s a 9:55-two miler. I’m proud of what these kids have accomplished.”
<b>Young Stallions Surge</b>
In only its fourth year, the South County swim and dive program tends to compare itself to some of the more-established programs in the area.
For instance, the boys team (4-3 this season in district dual meets) suffered a 189-126 loss to Lake Braddock last season but this year only lost by three points, while the girls team (5-2) turned an 83-point loss in 2007-08 into a 16-point defeat this winter.
“The school has a ‘we-can-do attitude,’ and I think it perpetuates to all sports,” said coach Bo Jones, who was an assistant football coach on Mount Vernon’s 1983 state championship team. “The kids believe that if they practice, they can catch up to the big schools that have been around for awhile.”
South County proved that Saturday night, Feb. 7, at Lee District RECenter for the Patriot District championships, as the boys finished fourth with 265 points and the girls took third with 333.50. West Springfield swept the meet.
Freshman Michael Herrman won the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 54.60 seconds, while sophomore Alison Smith and freshman MacKenzie Walsh each had top-three individual finishes and swam on two top-three relay teams.