South River wins first-ever girls swimming county championship, Falcons and Bruins post solid performances
South River has had enough of the county swimming season being a two-horse race between Severna Park and Broadneck.
The Seahawks emphatically took control of the county championship meet at Arundel Olympic Swim Center on February 5, winning the opening two relay events and never slowing down en route to county championships on both the girls and boys sides.
The Lady Seahawks totaled 291 points to top runner-up Broadneck (237) and third-place Severna Park (185), while the Seahawk boys totaled 275 points, good for comfortable victories over runner-up Broadneck (219) and third-place Severna Park (204).
The county championship is the first in program history for the South River girls, who had seen Severna Park win the girls championship in seven of the last 10 years and watched the Lady Bruins take the crown last season, when the Bruin girls and boys swept. The boys title is the second for South River, which also won in 2009-2010.
Event wins by South River girls Emily Carella (100 butterfly) and Grace Burkhardt (100 backstroke) as well as victories in the 200 free relay, 200 medley relay and 400 free relay powered the Lady Seahawks’ first-ever county championship. Event-winners Devin McClure (200 free and 100 backstroke), Sean Twomey (500 free and 200 IM) and Andrew Falsone (100 breaststroke) helped earn the victory for the Seahawk boys, who also won the 200 free relay, 200 medley relay and 400 free relay.
The day was not without its bright spots for Broadneck and Severna Park. Megan Dickey won both the 50 free and 100 breaststroke for the Lady Bruins, who saw Nastya Jacobson win the 100 free and place second in the 100 back. Genevieve Madden was fourth in the 500 free and fifth in the 200 IM. Chloe Harrison and Kate Crum were sixth and seventh, respectively, in the 200 free; Harrison was fourth in the 100 free and Crum was seventh in the 500 free. Jessica Parker was fifth in the 100 butterfly. Rachel Sarkady was fifth in the 100 breaststroke. Claudia Boehringer was sixth in the 200 IM. Emma McGrady was seventh in the 100 back. Samantha Lynchard was seventh in the 50 free.
Jacobson, Sarkady, Dickey and Lynchard were third in the 200 medley relay; Lynchard, Madden, Harrison and Boehringer were third in the 200 free relay. Jacobson, Lynchard, Madden and Dickey were second in the 400 free relay.
On the boys side, the Bruins’ Corey Byrne won the 100 free over Severna Park’s Reid Hussey and was second in the 200 IM. Ryan Akhavan was third in both the 100 breaststroke and 100 butterfly. Ben Sames was fourth in both the 200 free and 500 free. Ethan Gazelle was fifth in the 100 back. Gabrielle Kott was fifth in the 200 IM and sixth in the 100 butterfly. Marriott Davis was fifth in the 50 free. John Bernhardt was fifth in the 100 breaststroke.
Byrne, Akhaan, Jakob Datko and Davis were second in the 200 medley relay.
Broadneck coach Colleen Winans said that while she always expects to contend for the county title, her squad has nonetheless put in great work over the course of the season.
“We’re not loaded with superstars, but we are loaded with depth,” said Winans of the Bruins, who suffered only a season-opening loss to South River prior to the county meet and finished the county schedule at 8-2. “Every single kid has worked so hard at practice, because there wasn’t a superstar on the team this year. So they all had to fight to get position. Across the board, there’s a lot of swimming talent and a lot of great personalities. It’s a very close-knit team, which I really like. It’s just nice to see all the kids saying, ‘Hey, I’ve got a shot at getting on a relay, or I’ve got a shot at getting in an event.’ They’ve really shown the work to do that.”
For the Lady Falcons at the county championship meet, Kierra Murphy placed third in the 100 back and fourth in the 200 IM. Robin Bachkosky was third in the 50 free and fifth in the 100 back. Andreanna Roros was fourth in the 100 breaststroke. Freshman Elena Harris was fifth in the 200 free. Annie Myers was sixth in the 500 free. Allison Troy was seventh in the 200 IM. Lucy Sharpe was seventh in the 100 breaststroke. Allyson Lee was eighth in the 50 free. Isabel Whaling was eighth in the 100 butterfly.
Lee, Maddie Maier, Harris and Murphy were second in the 200 free relay; while Murphy, Roros, Bachkosky and Harris were fourth in the 200 medley relay.
For the Severna Park boys, Jack McKeehan was second in the 100 breaststroke. Hussey was second in the 100 free and third in the 200 IM. James Muessig was third in both the 100 backstroke and 500 free. Ryan Maloy was fifth in the 200 free and eighth in the 100 butterfly. Daniel Fernandez was sixth in the 200 IM and eighth in the 500 free. Troy Caelan was sixth in the 50 free and 100 free. Matthew Dalton was seventh in the 100 breaststroke and eighth in the 100 backstroke.
Muessig, McKeehan, Caelan and Hussey were third in the 200 medley relay and second in the 200 free relay.
Severna Park, which graduated tons of talent from last year’s squad, had an influx of youth and inexperienced swimmers in putting together a 7-3 overall county record this year. The Falcons continued to improve from the beginning of the season through recent meet victories over Northeast, Meade, Southern, Arundel, North County and Glen Burnie and into the county championship meet, said first-year head coach Carra Blair.
“We have kids who swim year-round, and we also have kids who are just starting out or who are just summer swimmers or who haven’t done it before, So we’ve got a lot of stroke drills to work on to teach them all the techniques and to be a good racer and do well in the relays,” said Blair. “So we had to go back to some of the basics, but the older kids were very responsible, they were great examples for the others, always eager to do demonstrations to help them learn. Practice attendance was wonderful, and everyone really works hard.”