<b>Mount Vernon Park Gators Wins Season-Opening Meet</b>
Fans of the Mount Vernon Park Gators were on the edge of the seat throughout a closely contested swim meet on June 26 — and, there were no vuvuzelas, so everyone still has their hearing, which is a bonus. By meet’s end, MVP defeated Virginia Run 206-196.
The Gators got off to a strong start by winning five of the first six freestyle races, but the Virginia Run Riptides fought back to trail by just four points, as MVP led 47-43 after the freestyle events.
Backstroke went the Riptides’ way by two points (46-44), so the meet tightened to 91-89 after two events. The Gators widened the lead back to four points by narrowly winning breaststroke 46-44 to take a 137-133 lead. By now, the crowd was buzzing without need for vuvuzelas.
The Riptides struck back by carrying butterfly by four points, (38-34), knotting the meet at 171 each.
And so the meet came down to the 12 relay races. Seven wins would clinch the meet. Six wins for each team would mean a tie, while only five Gator relay wins would result in a tough loss.
The boys 8-and-under relay won, spurred by a strong swim by Nicky McBroom to overtake his Riptide foe. The 8-and-under girls won as well, putting the Gators up 2-0. After that, each team traded relay wins — the Riptides taking the boys relays, while the Gator girls went undefeated. The mixed age girls relay — the last race of the day — clinched the victory with a victory by nearly a four-second margin. Every Gator girl relay won by at least 1.5 seconds.
Turning back to the individual events, the balance in Division 5 was shown by the fact that the Gators only swept one event — the girls 11-12 50 freestyle. Led by Torie Bolger, Emily Walzl took second and Molly Cabral earned a close third to take all nine points.
Double winners included Nicholas Dupuis (free and breaststroke), Dom Heratsch (free and fly), Sheridan Phalen (free and back), Cassidy Bayer (free and fly), Torie Bolger (free and back), Holly Jansen (back and breaststroke), and Sara Bertram (back and fly).
Other Gator winners included Nicky McBroom (back), Gus Leyden (back), Leigh Orleans (free), Kaila Stein (breaststroke), Sophia Passacantando (breaststroke), and Christine Rholl (fly). The Gators won 20 of the 38 individual events.
Second-place points were earned by Brian McNamara (free), Sean Jansen (breaststroke), Tristan Colaizzi (breaststroke), Austin Neal (breaststroke), Josh Stein (breaststroke), Kevin Adams-Mardi (fly), Bea Heratsch (free), Emily Walzl (free), Christine Rholl (free), Molly Cabral (back), Sophia Passacantando (back), Julia Bolger (back), Taylor Makin (breaststroke), Jayne Orleans (breaststroke), Maddy Bolger (breaststroke), Emma Jones (fly), and Mollie Passacantando (fly),. The Gators took second in 17 of the 38 individual events.
Third-place points were scored by Gus Leyden (free), Aidan Chadduck (free), Andrei Zaitsev (back), Kevin Adams-Mardi (back), Cyrus Adams-Mardi (back), Brian McNamara (breaststroke), Nicolas Ducceschi (breaststroke), Griffin Colaizzi (fly), Joe Darville (fly), Parker Fulghum (free), Molly Cabral (free), Jessica Metter (free), Maddie Finn (back), Maddy Bolger (back), Julia Hunger (breaststroke), Sarah Jones (breaststroke and fly), Hannah Gwartney (breaststroke), Leigh Orleans (fly), and Julia Bolger (fly). The Gators took 19 third places.
On July 3, the Gators travel to South Run to take on the 1-0 Seahawks in Fairfax Station.
— Glen Bolger
<b>Barracudas Set Record Despite Loss</b>
In Division 9 action of the Northern Virginia Swim League, the Hollin Meadows Barracudas lost to the Arlington Forest Tigers 220-182 in the first A-Meet of the 2010 season. The meet was held at the Arlington Forest pool. The Barracudas were led by Kristine Stout, Andrew Hohman, Lexie Kroeger, Olivia Petretich, Charlie Costigan, Camryn McNutt and Paul O'Hara all winners in both of their individual events. Other event winners included Mark Mattis and Lydia Perkins. In addition to the winning races, four team records were set during the meet. The highlight was the 13-14 boys 100-meter medley relay team of O’Hara, Hunter Aardema, Hohman and Ben Cermak who broke a 25-year-old team record with a time of 59.58 seconds. The previous record was 1:00.73 set back in 1985 by Chris Laux, Jason Gritzner, Ken Schwartz and Colin Crowther. O’Hara and Mattis both improved on records they already held from earlier in the season with O’Hara swimming the 13-14 boys 50-meter freestyle in 25.96 seconds and swimming the 13-14 boys 50-meter butterfly in 29.50 seconds. Mattis went 29.93 seconds in the 15-18 boys 50-meter backstroke. The Barracudas’ next meet will be at home on July 3 against the Poplar Heights swim team starting at 9 a.m.