One point. That is all that separated the Poolesville and Bethesda-Chevy Chase high school swimming and diving teams the dual meet season.
The defending Maryland Class 3A/2A/1A state champion Falcons boys’ win at Saturday’s Montgomery Division II Championships coupled with Poolesville’s girls’ runner-up finish to Sherwood gave the Falcons a 19-18 advantage in the overall standings and clinched their spot in the county’s top division next winter.
Teams earned one point for each dual meet win. First place at Saturday’s championship was worth seven points. Subsequent finishers earned points in decreasing amounts, starting with five points for second place.
“We might go 0-5 next year but that’s fine, you have to at least throw your hat in the ring. This is a good thing. There are no negatives. You have to rise to whatever challenges,” Poolesville coach Johnny Leong said.
Before the Falcons can even think about next year, however, they must focus on three consecutive weeks of championship competitions. Both teams are major contenders for state titles.
One championship down, three to go for the Thomas S. Wootton swimming and diving team.
The Patriots followed up their dominant dual-meet win over Winston Churchill with another victory at Saturday’s Division I Championships.
The Patriots finished with 454 points ahead of the Bulldogs in second with 422 points. Richard Montgomery (309 points) finished third.
Wootton nearly swept Saturday’s competition but was short a swimmer in the 200-yard individual medley after sophomore Daniel Yook showed up to his starting block mere seconds after his heat was sent.
Barring unforeseen circumstances Yook, who finished fourth in the 100-yard backstroke, would have scored enough points in the race to make up for the meet’s ultimate champion, Walter Johnson’s, 381.5-379.5 advantage.
The defending Maryland Class 4A/3A champion Wildcats went undefeated during the regular season but Wootton proved Saturday that it will be a major contender at the end of the month.
After graduating the majority of its top-end swimmers, Walt Whitman will drop to Division II next winter for the first time since 2001.
In the closest final in Washington Metropolitan Prep School Swimming and Diving League Championship history, the Holton-Arms School erased an early 32-point deficit to knock off eight-time defending champion Our Lady of Good Counsel by .5 points Saturday.
The competition was decided by the meet-finale 400-yard freestyle relay, won by the Panthers in meet-record time.
Eight total marks were eclipsed Saturday.
Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart sophomore and Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky broke two league records in winning the 100-yard butterfly and 200-yard freestyle. She also anchored the Gators’ meet-record-setting 200-yard freestyle relay.
Good Counsel senior Jack Conger set meet records in the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly and was part of the Falcons 200-yard medley relay that set a meet record en route to winning the competition’s first event.
Gonzaga’s Paul O’Hara’s mark in the 200-yard individual medley helped the Eagles to their third straight WMPSSDL title; Georgetown Prep finished second.
How they rank
1. Georgetown Prep
2. Our Lady of Good Counsel
3. Walter Johnson
3. Thomas S. Wootton
5. Montgomery Blair
1. Thomas S. Wootton
2. Our Lady of Good Counsel
4. Winston Churchill
5. Stone Ridge