By Contributor: Lauren Essig
Photographs by Patrick Ferrara
Sunday, July 1 Manchester Farm Swim Team in Germantown, MD hosted the G Division Relay Carnival in the Montgomery County Swim League (MCSL), where the heat was on, the competition was tight, and the difference between three teams was six points, with a shared first place! Forest Knolls and Westleigh took top honors, tying with 186 points, while Manchester Farm was tugging at their heals with 180 points. Old Farm came in fourth with 156 points, Lakelands fifth with 130 points, and Rock Creek rounded out the Carnival with 110 points. Forest Knolls is sending eight relays to the All Star Meet, the most of all teams participating. Manchester Farm and Westleigh will each send six, and Lakelands and Rock Creek get to send one each.
Despite the heat, the Carnival was exciting from start to finish. It was a three-way battle most of the way between Manchester Farm, Forest Knolls, and Westleigh, each trading top spots 22 of the 24 events. Of note were several exciting relays that brought the heat to another level. In the Mixed 15-18 200M Freestyle Relay, Westleigh came from behind against the strong team from Rock Creek, as anchor Kevin Scher helped propel the group to the win and a very raucous celebration! Another tight race was the Boys 18U 200M Medley Relay. The team from Westleigh once again was able to bring home first, this time against Lakelands with a time .29 seconds faster, as anchor Evan McLaughlin held off Lakelands swimmer Reed Stiles. The girls 9-10 100M Medley Relay saw another exciting finish, as Manchester Farm tasted victory with a margin of .52 seconds against a strong Old Farm team. The MFST girls were lead by MCSL All Stars Eden Fiery, Iris Chakiath, Sophie Castro, and Riley Gorman.
While some of the races were tight, we also had some races that showed how strong and formidable swimmers in the G Division truly are. There were several races that were almost decided from the first stroke in the pool, as these relay teams brought the heat from start to finish, burning their competition in the process. The largest margin of victory came in one of the youngest races of the day – the Girls 8U 100M Medley Relay. The young ladies from Forest Knolls were finished almost 20 seconds before the next closest team. Similarly, the Boys 8U 100M Medley Relay saw a margin of victory of almost 10 seconds. The young men of Westleigh were the victors in this race! In the Girls 13-14 200M Medley Relay, the Rock Creek team of Audrey Plague, Ruby Buczkowski, Ailey Gold, and Alexandra Zupnik lead the way more than seven seconds faster than the next closest team.
Throughout the morning, the scores were announced, and the top three spots were the same teams (MFST, FO, and WL), always separated by just a few points. With two races left in the Relay Carnival, MFST was tied for first with Forest Knolls, but after earning no points in the Boys 18U 250M Freestyle Relay and first place in the Girls 18U 250M Freestyle Relay with an amazing come-from-behind swim, they fell to third, allowing Forest Knolls and Westleigh to share the top spot.
Many swimmers racked up multiple first-place accolades with their various relay teams Sunday, but 12 year old Oliver Jackson from Forest Knolls takes top honors earning a spot in five All Star Relays! 10 year old Eden Fiery from Manchester Farm took home second, with a spot in four All Star Relays! Congratulations to both swimmers!
It may have been a hot day on deck, but the competition and excitement from all six teams from the G Division was fierce!