If the results from the Northern Region boys' swim meet on Feb. 15 are any indicator, the South County Stallions' future is bright.
Led by sophomore Michael Herrmann, who qualified for the state finals in the 100-yard butterfly and 100-yard backstroke, the underclassmen gave head coach Robert Jones reason to leave the Washington and Lee pool proud.
"The kids really did their best," Jones said. "I'm very pleased with my swimmers."
The meet also produced a new school record for the 400-yard freestyle relay. The team of freshman Alex Martin, junior Kyle Dost, junior Tyler Jones and Herrmann finished with a time of 3:21.05.
"They missed [the state cut] by one second," Jones said. "But it's the team's best [showing] and I'm very pleased with that effort."
The boys' 200-yard medley relay was even closer. The team of Herrmann, Dost, senior Pedrom Kheirandish and junior Joseph Walton missed the state cut by .23 seconds with a time of 1:41.92.
Disappointed with the finish, Walton said the snowstorm's vise grip on the area may have attributed to the relay's shortcoming.
"It hurt that we hadn't been in the water for over a week and a half," Walton said. "I couldn't get out of my house to go to the pool to practice on my own."
A blizzard wasn't enough to stop the Robinson boys' swim team from making its mark on the Northern Region swim meet on Feb. 15 at Washington and Lee.
Eight Robinson swimmers exceeded state cut times for their events, some even surpassing state cuts they set at previous meets.
"I'm proud of my guys," head coach Clayton Joyner said. "They were in a tough situation with this break."
Five Rams also earned All-American Consideration (AAC) times across four events.
Junior Ricky Munch earned his AAC time in the 100-yard breaststroke and finished third with a time of 58.51.
Munch earned another AAC time in the 200-yard freestyle relay alongside junior Matt Osiecki, freshman Johann Shim and junior Cameron Boster with a time of 1:28.26. The 200-yard freestyle relay team finished fourth in the event.
The 400-yard freestyle relay featuring Munch, Boster, junior Ben Zajic and junior Kyle Bumiller finished with a time of 3:12.47, good enough for fourth place and an AAC time.
With the Northern Region meet over, Joyner said it's time to focus on the state meet in Virginia Beach on Feb. 19.
"[The Northern Region meet] was a tough, but every team had its ups and downs," Joyner said. "We're all about preparing for states now."
Lake Braddock head swim coach Miriam Lynch is optimistic for the Bruins' future. At the Northern Region boys' meet on Feb. 15 at Washington and Lee, she saw two building blocks her team could use in upcoming seasons.
First, her junior boys swam a strong meet, earning three state cut times, giving Lynch a glimpse at the club's future.
Junior John McKenzie earned a trip to Virginia Beach on Feb. 19,for the state finals with a 1:46.24 in the 200-yard freestyle event, and junior David Maquera punched his ticket with a 53:88 in the 100-yard backstroke. In addition to the individual feats, the boys' 200-yard medley relay, featuring four juniors, beat the state cut time of 1:41.69 with a time of 1:40.37.
"My junior boys were awesome," she said. "[This meet] will motivate them for next year."
Despite more than a week of separation due to snowstorms, the team's unity remained strong, Lynch said.
"The meet kind of distanced us from each other," she said. "But the kids were still cheering for each other and were focused [on the meet]."
The meet's move from the usual site of Oak Marr Recreation Center — considered by some coaches as the fastest pool in the Northern Region — to Washington and Lee also forced the team to adapt.
"Our kids stepped up considering the circumstances they were given," Lynch said. "It wasn't the same venue, but [the meet] had the same feeling."
Of course that didn't mean the swimmers were pleased with swimming in a "slower" pool.
"I wasn't that excited about [the meet] because I really like the pool at Oak Marr better," said junior Troy Chewning, a member of the 200-yard medley relay.
Lynch was pleased with her team's results. " It was a great meet," she said.