By: Ally Navarrete and Annabel Redisch
After months of waiting, the MCSL opened its 2019 season on Saturday June 15. With new division assignments, Week 1 did not disappoint. Here’s a recap of what went down across MCSL pools on Saturday.
In Division A, Stonegate (#2 seed) barely overtook Tallyho (#4 seed). Stonegate is normally a dominant team in Division A. This result was a surprise, especially considering that Tallyho star, Phoebe Bacon, was not present. The absence of Stonegate star and MCSL record holder, Jason Hernandes Fuentes, contributed to this close outcome.
Another surprise was the close result of the Northwest Branch versus Woodley Gardens meet. Our predicted Division B champs, Northwest Branch, only beat Woodley Gardens by 9 points. This was an impressive result for WG considering their pool house burned down earlier this year, and the team was forced to relocate for the summer season.
Other close results included Division C’s Old Georgetown’s 12 point upset over former Division A team Tilden Woods. In Division J, Garrett Park beat out Lake Marion by 49 points. Both teams experienced substantial drops in division assignments. And, after Garrett Park’s lackluster performance in Division H last year, it was exciting to see them come out on top.
Aside from meet results, one unexpected transfer was North Creek’s Catherine and Anastasia Belyakov’s move to Quince Orchard. The sisters will make QO’s 15-18 girls much stronger and may result in the fastest girls’ open medley relay in Division D.
In the girls 8&Under 25 freestyle, Potomac’s Julia Zettler (8) and Wildwood Manor’s Harper Bartholomew (8) finished first and second in the league, both going under 17 seconds (16.75 and 16.88, respectively). For the 8&Under boys, Robin Hood’s Daniel Fry (8) is first in the league with a 17.44 in the 25 butterfly, which is over a second faster than the next swimmer in the event.
14-year-old Toby Barnett of Flower Valley had an outstanding performance in the boys 100 IM, going 1:01.62. He is currently first in the league by nearly 4 seconds, and would be the 5th fastest 15-18 boy right now. Meanwhile, the top 13-14 girls across the county are posting extremely fast times. In freestyle, two girls are already under 28 seconds; in backstroke, three are under 32; in breaststroke, three are under 37; in butterfly, two are under 30; and in IM, seven are under the 1:10 mark. The top five 13-14 girl IMers are also faster than the top 15-18 in the same event.
For the 15-18 boys, Regency Estates’ Noah Rutberg (16) had a stand-out 100 backstroke. His time was 59.21; he is currently the only 15-18 boy under 1:00 in this event, earning him the top spot in the county. Additionally, Rockville’s Alan Li had outstanding swims this weekend, most notably in the 100 IM. Li went 58.75, making him the number one seed in the league, and the only 15-18 boy under the 1:00 mark.
Week 1 brought a lot of unexpected results and excitement to MCSL, but the season is barely underway. After Saturday’s results, it will be interesting to see what other upsets occur. We also noticed several older swimmers, many of whom are regulars at Coaches Long Course and All-Stars, that were absent from the meets. In the coming weeks, keep an eye out for Joyce Wu (KFM), Phoebe Bacon (TH), Timmy Ellett (TW), Giulia Baroldi (PGL), and Ryan Vipavetz (MB), to name a few.