By: Reach for the Wall Staff
The last weekend of dual meets for MCPS included ‘out of conference’ showdowns, as the swimmers and teams prepare for the upcoming Divisional meets. This allowed teams and swimmers to compete in some different events as they will likely be swimming their ‘strong’ events the next few weeks through to States. The Girls had 17 new Top 10 swims, with 8 coming from Sherwood. Kaitlin Gravell led the way, in their dual meet with B-CC, posting the top time in the county for the 500 Free and the 2nd fastest in the 200 IM. Her teammate Erica Hjelle also had two swims in the Top 10, with her win in the 100 butterfly 4th fastest in the county and second place finish behind B-CC’s Jazz Barry in the 100 Breaststroke, for 7th fastest in the county. The Boys had 3 new top 10 swims, with standout Timmy Ellett swimming the 50 Freestyle in 21.77 for the 4th fastest in the county and 100 Backstroke, posting the new top time of 51.78.
At the end of the dual season, Churchill, Poolesville, Rockville, and Wheaton Boys finished undefeated. For the Girls, Sherwood, Damascus, and Wheaton were unblemished. In the tally of top 10 times, the Girls from Sherwood and B-CC tied with 15 swims each, Quince Orchard 9, and Damascus 8. The Boys from Churchill remain on top with 15, Walter Johnson and Richard Montgomery tied with 13 each, and Blair was next closest with 12.
Going into the Championship meets it will be interesting to see how the coaches maneuver the lineups to maximize their points as there are 2-4 schools that have the ability to capture big points.
As a reminder, MCPS high school swimmers participate in up to 4 annual meets that are considered “Championship” meets: (i) Divisional Championships (Divisionals, February 2); (ii) the Washington Metropolitan Interscholastic Swimming & Diving Championships (Metros,
February 6 – 9 ); Region Championships (Regions, February 14-16); and Maryland State Championships (States, February 22-23). VHSL high school swimmers participate in up to 3 annual championship meets – District Championships (held 1/25-26) (similar to MCPS’ Divisionals), Regionals (between February 2-9) & States (February 14-16). Many of the area’s private schools participate in Metros, the WMPSSDL Championships, the Independent School League Championships (for girls) or the Interstate Athletic Conference Championships (for boys) as well as other regional meets.
Below are short descriptions of the MCPS championship meets:
“Divisionals” is the first of the “championship” meets. Each division (e.g., Division I, II, III), which typically has 6 or 7 teams, sends its top swimmers to compete against one another (e.g., similar to how, say Division A in the Montgomery County Swim League sends its top swimmers to its “divisional meet” each summer). Each swimmer may swim two individual events and two relays OR one individual event and three relays at Divisionals.
The team with the most combined points in the regular season divisional dual meets and the postseason divisional meet is the divisional winner. If there is a tie in points for divisional winner, head-to-head competition is the second tiebreaker. If teams are still tied, overall record in regular season divisional meets is the third tiebreaker. If there is still a tie, there will be co-champions. Divisionals are held in pools across the county February 2, 2019.
The teams in Division II, III, and IV with the most points will move up a division. The teams in Division I, II, and III with the least amount of points will move down a division.
“Regions” and “States” are where things start getting really confusing. There are 8 regions meets in Maryland. 4A-3A North, South, East and West and 3A-2A-1A S North, South, East and West. They are broken down by geographic territory, as well as school size (as determined by the MPSSAA. In simple terms, schools are classified as follows:
4A (the largest), 3A, 2A, and 1A (the smallest).
- 4A = Top 25% based on enrollment
- 3A = Next 25% based on enrollment
- 2A = Next 25% based on enrollment
- 1A = Lowest 25% based on enrollment
Regions only allow a maximum of 2 competitors from a given school to compete in any individual event. Their times must be documented times from a regularly scheduled swim meet in 2018-2019 . Each team also will submit its one automatic relay entry with up to 8 swimmers per relay event and the documented seed-time. “No time” entries will not be accepted.
With regard to Maryland States, there are actually 2 Maryland States meets: the 4A-3A Swimming Championship and the 3A-2A-1A Swimming Championship. Unlike Regions, States pits swimmers from throughout the state of Maryland and only breaks the meet down based on school size.
The States meet is seeded from the results of Regions, based on time. In addition to the top 3 individuals and top 3 relay teams advancing from their region to the States meet, the individual competitors or relay teams who, in the finals of their Regions meet, are among the top 12 times statewide will qualify for the States meet (excluding automatic qualifiers). In the event a tie for 24th, both individuals will be included.
To be eligible for postseason championship meets, athletes must compete in a minimum of 6 out of 7 dual meets (or 5 out of 6, as applicable), unless in the judgment of the coach and the athletic director, the swimmer/diver was legitimately absent due to illness, testing or other unavoidable reasons. This gets tricky for high school kids because of the PVS championship meets in December (e.g., NCAP Invitational, RMSC Holiday Invitational), January travel meets and college visits.
There you have it… now the lists: