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Swim Briefs: Lightning Strikes Twice at WGCC

On July 13, the Washington Golf and Country Club Lightning Bolts hosted Division-A rivals Kenwood at home. In what promised to be the most exciting dual-meet of the season, the Lightning Bolts planned to show Kenwood that their domination of the Country Club Swimming and Diving Association last season was no fluke. WGCC did not disappoint.

Many thought the showdown would be a close one — but WGCC’s prowess in the water proved to be too much for Kenwood. After event No. 30 (out of 50 events), the Lightning Bolts had a comfortable lead of 173.5 to 120.5. Then, lightning struck — literally. After a lengthy delay, the storm hung overhead and the meet was finally called.

One of the highlights of this meet was the acknowledgement of WGCC’s graduating seniors. The team honored six of its long-time (and much-beloved and respected) swimmers, all of whom graduated from high school in the spring and will head away to college in the fall. These seniors (and the schools they’ll be attending in the fall) are: Hope Barrazotto (James Madison University), Ariel Cohen (William and Mary); Blake McKelvey (Sewanee), Matty Prominski (University of South Carolina); Olivia Shipley (Virginia Tech), and Drew Wallace (University of Alabama).

Then, on July 20, WGCC, the 2009 CCSDA defending champions, took one step closer to repeating this feat as they won the Division-A Championships at home. With a score of 357.5, the Lightning Bolts defeated their Division-A rivals Kenwood (339.5), Congressional (246), Edgemoor (144), and Columbia (133). WGCC showed its depth and power across the board, leading after each stroke was completed.

Ryan Baker continued his dominance this season with wins in the boys 12U 100-meter IM, 50-meter backstroke, and 50-meter butterfly. Baker has won three individual events (the most a swimmer can enter) in every meet this season — and he’s broken a few records along the way.

Other winners were Drew Wallace (boys 18U 50-meter free); Jillian Johnson (girls 8U 25-meter backstroke); Richard Gentry (boys 10U 25-meter backstroke); Grayson Offutt (girls 10U 25-meter breaststroke); Duncan Green (Boys 10U 25-meter breaststroke); George Cranwell (boys 12U 50-meter breaststroke); Shipley (girls 18U 50-meter breaststroke); Carson Wood (boys 10U 25-meter butterfly); and Amanda Didawick (Girls 18U 50-meter butterfly).

The boys relay teams dominated the competition: The boys 18U medley relay team (Gentry, Cranwell, Daniel O’Berry, and Mike Poppalardo) and the boys 14U medley relay team (Baker, Green, Will McMahon, and Angus Ricks) both won their events. The boys also won the 18U 200-meter Freestyle Relay (Ricks, Grant Welch, Baker, McMahon, and Nick Knise).

The Lightning Bolts travel to Congressional this week for their final meet — the two-day CCSDA Championships. The league was formed in 1952 and, prior to last year, WGCC had won the swim championship only once — in 1956. Perennial powerhouse Kenwood has won 41 times. The Lightning Bolts hope to serve notice that a new dynasty has taken hold.

<b>Overlee Falls to Chesterbrook in Division 1 Showdown</b>

The Overlee Flying Fish traveled to Chesterbrook for the season-ending matchup of undefeated teams with the Division 1 NVSL title on the line. The Flying Fish were on a mission to claim their 26th consecutive dual meet victory, their fifth consecutive Division 1 title, and their 27th Division 1 title overall. Overlee knew coming in that the Tiger Sharks had the times to win and the Flying Fish would need their best times of the summer to overtake them. The Overlee swimmers delivered with 74 percent best times for the summer in the individual events. Chesterbrook responded with many best times of its own and repelled the Overlee challenge. The Tiger Sharks won the meet by a final score of 217.5–184.5 to break the Overlee win streak and secure their first Division 1 title since 2004 and their sixth overall.

Both teams brought their "A-games" to the pool. In the 38 individual events, an incredible 34 percent of the times were in the top 25 for the summer for the entire NVSL. There were a few cases where a top 25 time was not fast enough to score a point in this meet. The meet was full of fast races and close finishes. Some races were decided by a hundredth of a second. Team records fell — four for Overlee and three for Chesterbrook. In the end, Chesterbrook took more event victories (22-16) and more second-place finishes (20-18) to go into the relays with a 187.5-154.5 advantage. A split in the relays led to the final score.

The meet started close in the freestyle events with the lead changing hands. The 15-18 girls delivered the only Overlee sweep of the meet in the final freestyle event to put Overlee in front 49-41. Chesterbrook responded with a sweep in the 8U boys back and added their second and final sweep in the 15-18 boys back to win the backstroke events by a 57.5-32.5 score and take a 98.5-81.5 lead. The Flying Fish fared better in the breaststroke and butterfly events, but were still outscored 49-41 in the breast and 40-32 in the fly.

Overlee was led by the 15-18 girls, who recorded the only sweep and scored 38 of the 41 available points. The 11-12 girls followed with 27 of 41 points to outscore their Tiger Shark rivals. The 11-12 boys were the only other age group to outscore Chesterbrook as they took 23 of 41 points. Overlee had five double winners: Ryan Baker (11-12 boys free and fly), Suzanne Dolan (11-12 girls free and fly), Michaela Morrison (11-12 girls back and breast), Rachel Robertson (13-14 girls back and breast), and Kaitlin Wolla (15-18 girls free and fly). The six single event winners for Overlee included Brady Almand (11-12 boys breast), Katie Bennett (15-18 girls back), Emma Day (9-10 girls free), Jonathan Day (9-10 boys back), Abigail Ortmayer (15-18 girls breast), and Nick Pasternak (9-10 boys free). Overlee swimmers set four new team records. In three cases, the current record holder lowered their own record time set earlier this summer. Ryan Baker lowered his 11-12 boys 50 fly record from 31.46-31.26. Nick Pasternak dropped his 9-10 boys 50 free record time from 32.43-31.85. Wolla improved her record time the 15-18 girls 50 fly from 29.83 to 29.82 seconds. The new record holder is Suzanne Dolan, who swam a 32.11 in the 11-12 girls 50 fly to break the record time of 32.16 set by Caitlin Ham in 2000.

<b>Overlee Finishes Second at 2010 NVSL All Star Relay Carnival</b>

The 2010 NVSL All-Star Relay Carnival was held on July 21 at Hayfield Farm. It was hot and humid and the swimming was fast with seven new Relay Carnival records set. The Overlee Flying Fish, along with Chesterbrook, qualified a league-high 21 relays for the meet. Overlee exceeded its point total from 2009 by scoring 594 points (the Fish scored 586 points in 2009 while finishing first), but Chesterbrook used a total of four event victories and 15 top-five finishes to two event victories and 11 top-five finishes for Overlee to claim the 2010 title with 660 points. The rest of the top 10 in the team scoring included Tuckahoe (412), Fairfax Station (312), Lee-Graham (306), Mosby Woods (304), McLean (288), Highlands Swim (282), Donaldson Run (277) and Oakton (272).

The 11-12 girls led Overlee as they won both of their relays. The 100 medley relay consisted of Suzanne Dolan, Michaela Morrison, Katherine Lundy, and Beth Gentsch. The winning 100 free relay team included Dolan, Gentsch, Morrison, and Anna Polise. The 9-10 boys posted two second-place finishes to be the second highest scoring group. They also provided the only new team record at the meet when Nick Pasternak, Jonathan Day, John Aldinger, and John Thomas Dolan swam a 1:01.16 in the 100 free relay to break their own record of 1:01.93 set last week at the Division Relay Carnival. The 15-18 girls (Katie Bennett, Abigail Ortmayer, Kaitlin Wolla, Olivia Shipley, and Molly Merkel) added a second- and third-place finish in their relays to be the third-highest scoring group for Overlee. The boys mixed age 200 free relay team of Ryan Baker, Pasternak, Andrew Loranger, and Torey Ortmayer also posted a second-place finish. When scoring is separated by gender, The Overlee girls were the top scoring team in the NVSL with 352 points. They were followed by Tuckahoe (328) and Chesterbrook and Mosby Woods tied for third (254). The Overlee boys were the third-highest scoring team on the boys’ side with 242 points, outdistanced only by Chesterbrook (406) and McLean (258).

<b>Dominion Hills Falls to Popular Tree</b>

The Dominion Hills swim team lost to Popular Tree in Chantilly 279-123 on July 24. First-place finishers for Dominion Hills were: Daniel McCreedy (11-12 free), Sophia Moses (11-12 free), James Hughes (11-12 free), Abby Young (15-18 free), KJ Morris-Larkin (8U back), Henry Uz (8U breast), Jacob Larsen (11-12 breast) and Haley Sanner (15-18 breast).