By Reach for the Wall Contributors: Brenten Gilbert, Jim Riley and Ron Spink
- Dale City 2519, Victory Lakes 2675
- Meadowbrook 2514, Brookside 2619
- Ridgewood 2500, Dominion Valley 2713
- Kingsbrooke 2435, Ashland 2849
- Ben Lomond 2273, Lake Manassas 1999
- Stonewall 2903, Urbana 1726
- Veterans Park 2119, Old Bridge 2668
- Montclair 1807, Westridge 2980
- Lake Ridge 2719, Wellington 2437
- Virginia Oaks 2385.5, Southbridge 2421.5
- Piedmont 2818, Braemar 2462
- Bridlewood 2593.5, Sudley 2679.5
Bridlewood BWaves at Sudley Seahorses
Straight from the frying pan and into the fire, the BWaves pressed on from last week’s narrow defeat at the hands of Braemar and headed to another of the league’s perennial powerhouses, the Sudley Seahorses. Once again, the BWaves were outgunned – entering 45 fewer swimmers – and once again, they took to the relays with a determination that gave them a lead heading into the individual events, dropping only 4 of the opening eleven relays.
During the individual events, the score held close, shifting hands a few times, but the numbers slowly came to bear on the BWaves and it was clear that this tight race would come down to the final events. The BWaves managed to claim first in five of the final eight relays, but despite their best efforts, they fell short of the upset by a mere 86 points (final score: Sudley 2679.5, Bridlewood 2593.5).
Grant Eyre accounted for the lone BWave team record this week, lowering the 8&U 25m Backstroke record for the third time in as many weeks. The record now stands at 22.18 seconds.
A bright spot for the season thus far for the BWaves has been the incredible display of team spirit and sportsmanship while playing the role of the underdog against the league’s top teams. Each meet is marked by determination, handshakes, loud cheering, and unparalleled fun – even when the score doesn’t end in their favor. Says Coach Mark Faherty, “That’s the culture we want on this team. We want to be the most fun, the most loud, and the most respectful of other teams and swimmers.”
And with consistently high marks in the relays, it seems that it’s only a matter of time before the scores start turning in their favor. Once again, the Bwaves relay teams posted times that were top five or better in the majority of their relay swims. At the halfway mark of their season, the BWaves are poised to finish strong in their quest for the Red Division Championship.
The BWaves will be hosting the Third Annual Stars and Stripes Invitational on Tuesday, July 4th. With events beginning at 8:30, this all-star meet will showcase the top swimmers from Ben Lomond, Dominion Valley, Kingsbrooke, Virginia Oaks, Wellington, and Bridlewood in a unique, fun meet that will include medal podium presentations and a trophy for the winning team. Next Saturday, the BWaves will visit Victory Lakes.
SEALS STUN SEA DEVILS 2421.5 TO 2385.5
Prince William Swim League’s Week 3 matchup between two of its remaining undefeated teams, the Southbridge Seals and Virginia Oaks Sea Devils, promised to be an exciting one. Each team moved up one division this year after claiming their respective division championships in 2016.
The Seals traveled to Virginia Oaks this week to swim up a division against the Sea Devils. The meet came down to the wire and was only decided by the last relays of the day as the Seals stunned the Sea Devils by a mere 36 points, 2421.5 to 2385.5, in the league’s closest score of the week.
The outcome of the meet was so narrow that each and every swimmer contributed in a positive way to the Seals’ victory. Most impressively, the 8 & Under Boys Freestyle Relay B Team comprised of Hudson Gherdovich, Jimmy Riley, Landon Hansen and Colin Diehl saved the day by taking the second place points in the relay after the A Team was disqualified for an early start.
Southbridge swimmers set five new team records, including Owen Howery (100M IM and 50M Fly); Ainsley Juhlin (50M Back and 50M Fly); and Caila Sullivan (50M Back), while the Sea Devils upended two of their records, Boden Pearson (50M Fly) and Melinda Wong (50M Back).
The Seals had seven relay teams make “Top 15 Times” and 16 individual swimmers recorded 39 “Top 25 Times” for the week in the PWSL. Three Seals claimed the top spots in the county for the week – Owen Howery (100M IM), Ainsley Juhlin (50M Back) and Parker Juhlin (50M Breast) – while several others finished in the top five of their events countywide.
In addition to the outstanding relay and individual performances, 14 Southbridge swimmers recorded 19 valid times in events in which they had yet to complete a legal swim this season including Abbie Grace Becker (50M Breast, 50M Free, 25M Fly); Ian Becker (50M Fly); Pedro Burset (50M Fly); AJ Fucito (50M Breast); Evie Gherdovich (25M Fly); Jameson Gherdovich (25M Fly); Landon Hansen (25M Back); Felicity King (25M Free and 25M Back); Hunter Muirhead (100M IM); Rigved Rajbhandari (25M Back); Moira Savidge (50M Fly); Ian Stephenson (50M Breast); Fernando Vazquez (50M Breast); and Mylin Windley (50M Free, 100M IM, 50M Breast).
“This was a fantastic performance by the entire team,” Seals head coach Greg Giovinazzo stated. “It’s really exciting when the outcome of the meet is dependent on the freestyle relays as it shows it takes a complete team effort to contribute towards a victory.”
Southbridge will welcome Lake Manassas for their next meet July 8 against the Blue Dolphins.
The Seals are the official swim team of Southbridge on the Potomac located in Southbridge, Va., and includes swimmers from the Southbridge, Potomac Shores and other surrounding communities in southeastern Prince William County. They previously won the Prince William Swim League’s Purple Division championship in 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2016 before moving up to the Orange Division this year, which also includes Montclair and Stonewall Park. Southbridge will host the divisional championship July 29.
Piedmont Defeats Braemar to Jump to 3-0 Start
In an always competitive divisional rivalry, the Piedmont Tsunamis executed an impressive victory at their home pool on Sunday to defeat the three-year PWSL Blue Division champion, Braemar Blasters. Coming off a 2-0 away meet start, the 366 point statement win by Piedmont opened a three swim home-stretch that will include both of their Blue Division competitors.
The day started strong out of the gates for Piedmont with a team record-breaking performance from the Boys 15-18 Free Relay squad. Evan Brandt, Luke DeVore, Henry Radzikowski and Sebbie Borden combined for a 1:44.22 victory that set the tone for the day. From there, Piedmont established themselves by outperforming positional rankings on four relay squads – jumping to an early lead that was never relinquished.
The team contribution was dramatic for Piedmont as swimmers combined for a PWSL-leading 55% faster swim times to prior performance. Individually, Piedmont Tsunamis owned eight of the top PWSL times on the day. Charlotte Hannam, Matthew Pianoto, Katherine Diatchenko, Emma Hannam (2), Camille Spink (2), and Christian Mulroe, all shared number one overall spots in the league for individual performances.
Piedmont record-breakers were exceptionally notable this week: Both Alex Diatchenko and Christopher DeVito broke the Boys 9-10 team Breast record, with DeVito’s time of 44.53 standing as the top mark. Camille Spink broke both the Girls 11-12 team 50 Back and 50 Fly records for the third time each this season. One to watch: Emma Hannam – with an 11-12 Girls team record on the 50 Breast that has tied the PWSL league record set last year at 36.71. Both Hannam and Spink joined Erin Walters and Alyssa Kendrick to also take down the Girls 11-12 100 Free Relay team record at the end of the day with a time of 58.24.
The teams will meet once more at the end of the month for the Blue Division finals. Next week, the Tsunamis look to stretch momentum as they will swim at home to take on their other division rival, the Sudley Seahorses.