The Oakton High boys’ swim and dive team captured its first-ever state AAA title last weekend. The postseason meet was held at the Princess Anne Recreation Center in Virginia Beach. The Cougars scored 202 team points to finish ahead of fellow Northern Region schools Langley (173), Fairfax (163) and Robinson (152), who were second through fourth, respectively, in the team standings.
Robinson entered states as the seven-time defending champion. But the Rams were finally dethroned as the Oakton boys prevailed.
Oakton seniors K.J. Park and Bradley Phillips had huge meets for the Cougars. Phillips won the 200-freestyle race with a new state record time, and also captured the 400-free event with a new national record time. Park, meanwhile, earned a new state record in winning the 200-individual medley event. He also won the 100-breastroke event.
It was the Oakton boys’ first-ever state crown and coach Hunter Owen could not have been more thrilled. Earlier in the postseason, the Cougar boys captured Concorde District and Northern Region titles as well.
“I think these boys were very focused,” said Owen, of his team. “They had goals in mind since the get-go of the season. They wanted to go from district, to region to state champions. It was a phenomenal season for these guys. Everybody was ecstatic [at winning the state title]. Everyone contributed. I’m still horse from the weekend.”
Owen credited his senior tri-captains – Phillips, Park and Mike Shevat – with leading the boys all season long.
“They’re my leaders and they are great role models with great presence,” said the coach, of the trio. “They don’t need to speak much. What they do in the pool speaks for itself.”
The Oakton girls’ team, meanwhile, finished a strong fourth place overall at states.
Kaitlin Pawlowicz won both the 200-IM and 100-butterfly events to lead the Cougars. Her 200-IM win came in a national record time.
<b>THE LANGLEY BOYS’</b> 200-medley relay team of Stephen Richards, Chuck Katis, Ryan Natal and Chris Pivik captured first place with a new state record time.
The Saxon girls, meanwhile, In the state girls’ competition, the Langley Saxons took second place behind champion Robinson. The Oakton High girls took fourth place, behind third place Osbourn High (Manassas).
<b>A WEEK EARLIER</b> at the boys’ Northern Region championships, held at Oak Marr Recreation Center, Oakton captured the team title with 244 points, ahead of second place Fairfax (215), third place Langley (198) and fourth place Robinson (193). Other top team finishers at the 25-team meet were sixth place Madison, seventh place Westfield, ninth place Herndon, 11th place South Lakes and 14th place Chantilly.
Oakton’s Bailey captured first place in both the 200 and 500-free races. Also for the Cougars, freshman Phil Hu won the 100-backstroke. Other Oakton place finishers were: Park (2nd in both the 200-IM, 100-breaststroke events); Hu (4th in 100-fly); and sophomore Chris Megaw (7th in 100-free).
The Cougars’ 400-free relay team of Hu, Park, Megaw and Phillips captured first. The Oakton foursome of Hu, Park, senior Zach Smith and junior Steven Robbins finished second in the 200-medley relay.
For Langley, the 200-medley relay team of Richards, Katis, Natal and Pivik captured a region title. Also, the Saxons’ 400-free relay of Natal, senior David Case, Katis and Richards finished second.
Katis, a junior, won both the 200-IM and 100-breaststroke events. Other place finishers for the Saxons were Natal (2nd in 100-fly, 6th in 200-free) and Richards (3rd in 200-IM, 4th in 100-breaststroke).
From South Lakes, senior Brad Dillon was first place in the 100-fly event and third in the 100-back race. Senior Mike Grimmett-Norris was fifth in the 500-free.
McLean High’s Charlie Putnam, a junior, took second in both the 200-free and 200-back races.
Herndon’s Danny Camozzo, a senior, was third in the 500-free and fourth in the 200-free events. Brian Via, a senior, was fourth in the 500-free.
Madison High senior Adam Pennington finished second in the 500-free and was fifth in the 200-free. Also for the Warhawks, junior David Fallavollita took fourth in the 50-free, freshman Evan Owens was sixth in 100-free and, in diving, junior Ryan Fox took fifth.
Westfield swimmers Richard Xue, a sophomore, and CJ Fiala, a junior, finished fifth and sixth, respectively, in the 200-IM race. In the 100-breaststroke, Fiala was fifth. Also for the Bulldogs, junior Kurtis Ratcliff finished third in 100-butterfly and seventh in the 500-free.
Chantilly freshman Bradley Johnston finished fifth in the 50-free.
Marshall sophomore Cyrus Hashemi finished sixth in the 500-free.