Reanna Dona set her focus on succeeding in the backstroke during the Northern Virginia Swim League all-star meet on Aug. 6 at her home pool at Waynewood Recreation Association. But before Dona could compete in her main event, the West Potomac senior set a positive tone with her performance in the butterfly.
Dona discovered she was the top seed in the girls 15-18 50M fly when she arrived at the pool and responded by winning the event with a time of 29.1 seconds.
"It feels very good," Dona said after winning the 50 fly. "Of course, there were some big shots that aren’t here because they are at other meets, but it feels good. I broke my record from two years ago that I did at the last all-stars, so I’m happy with myself. … I didn’t know I was seeded first until this morning when I saw the meet sheet. I’m focusing more on backstroke."
Dona also took care of business in primary event, winning the 15-18 50M back with a time of 29.18.
Alexandria native and Fork Union Military Academy graduate Blake Sundel won the boys 15-18 50 fly with a time of 26.29. Sundel, a member of the Little Hunting Park swim team, said he entered the meet seeded ninth in the event, but elevated to the fourth seed to due to scratches. Swimming in the final heat, Sundel made the most of his opportunity.
"It was awesome. It was a shock. It was a very good way to go out," said Sundel, who will attend Harvard University in the fall. "… I was able to take advantage of the scratches and just swim my fastest and today it was good enough for the win. … I felt good during the swim. I did look (under water) during the second 25 [meters]. … I looked and saw I was in the lead. I just hoped to stay on. I was really shocked when I touched the wall. I even asked the timer, ‘Did I win? They said, ‘Oh yeah.’"
In boys freestyle competition, Andrew Bernstein (Chesterbrook, 8U 25M, 16.22), Lachlan Flatin (High Point Pool, 9-10 50M, 31.6), Roman Lowery (Fairfax Station, 11-12, 28.09), Ben Lambert (Hayfield Farm, 13-14, 25.14) and Christopher Fiala (Sully Station, 15-18, 23.65) won their respective events. In girls free, Leaya Ma (Mosby Woods, 8U 25M, 16.07), Faith Lowery (Fairfax Station, 9-10 50M, 31.93), Lia Campbell (Crosspointe, 11-12, 28.65), Laura Branton (Oakton, 13-14, 27.84) and Laura Schwartz (Camelot, 15-18, 27.84) captured titles.
In boys backstroke, Anthony Grimm (Fair Oaks, 8U 25M, 18.17, Zachary Risseeuw (Vienna Woods, 9-10 50M, 37.09), Zander Abrams (High Point, 11-12, 31.4), Luke Thorsell (Fox Mill Woods, 13-14, 29.23) and Brandon Fiala (Sully Station, 15-18, 28.23) took first place in their respective events. In girls back, Leaya Ma (Mosby Woods, 8U 25M, 19.29), Sinead Eksteen (Shouse Village, 9-10 50M, 34.98), Amanda Peren (High Point, 11-12, 33.41) and Maxine Clifford (Waynewood, 13-14, 31.84) finished atop the standings.
In boys breaststroke, Bernstein (21.8), Flatin (41.16), Carter Flint (Tuckahoe, 11-12 50M, 36.19), Garrett Walsh (Hamlet, 13-14, 33.5) and Charles Katis (Highlands, 15-18, 29.13) took home titles. In girls breaststroke, Isabella Manzione (Fairfax, 8U 25M, 22.350, Alina Jones (Mantua, 9-10 50M, 42.6), Jacqueline Clabeaux (Greenbriar, 11-12, 36.5), Suzanne Dolan (Overlee, 13-14, 35.3) and Elizabeth Collins (Waynewood, 15-18, 34.64) won their respective events.
In boys butterfly, Anthony Grimm (Fair Oaks, 8U 25M, 16.8), Thomas Outlaw (Chesterbrook, 9-10 50M, 15.58), Lowery (30.2) and Lambert (26.75) were winners. In girls fly, Annie Hood (Mansion House, 8U 25M, 19.01), Morgan Frueh (Mansion House, 9-10 50M, 16.5), Cassidy Bayer (Mount Vernon Park, 11-12, 30.17) and Laura Branton (Oakton, 13-14 50M, 28.98) finished atop their respective event standings.
Boys IM winners were: Daniel Gyenis (Fox Mill, 9-10 100M, 1:18.9), Timothy Wu (McLean, 11-12, 1:10.44), Luke Thorsell (Fox Mill Woods, 13-14, 1:04.22) and Brandon Fiala (1:00.43). Girls IM winners were: Eksteen (1:15.26), Bayer (1:10.64), Hannah Baker (Commonwealth, 13-14 100M, 1:08.75) and Schwartz (1:06.38).
— Jon Roetman