MCSL Week 1

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.

Surprises!

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.

Stand-out swims

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.

Looking forward

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.

12 thoughts on “MCSL Week 1

  • Jun 17, 2019 at 9:12 am
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    I love when you call out kids by name for strong performances. Perhaps you could stop naming individual kids as the reason their team does poorly.

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  • Jun 17, 2019 at 11:53 am
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    It’s unclear to me why you continually focus on swimmers who are NOT in MCSL (for whatever reason) this year rather than on the swimmers who ARE there and turning in strong performances.

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  • Jun 18, 2019 at 10:02 am
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    1) I think it is notable that the best overall swimmers on TH and SG were absent. Those absences likely had a large effect on the meets so that is good reporting, no need to get angry about that.
    2) They do a nice job calling out strong performances. Unfortunately there are 89 teams and 15 divisions so they can’t list every standout performance or swim but they hit on a lot of important ones in a short article
    3) I am confused how the transfer rules did not force the QO swimmers to sit out this season. The transfer rules are seldom applied and it impacts the integrity of the league when swimmers can be recruited from their home pools to better teams. What is even more ridiculous is when one sibling transfers pools but the other remains at the old pool, which often displays that the family did not move and the swimmer should have to sit out but they are not made to. This happened in two notable cases last summer
    4) The virtual meet tool appears to have some glitches and is not working as designed last I tried

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    • Jun 18, 2019 at 12:42 pm
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      We are aware of the virtual meet glitch and working to resolve. Thanks for reading and contributing to the conversation!

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  • Jun 18, 2019 at 12:09 pm
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    Looks like pretty sound reporting to me. It seems their goal is to report on emerging stories and developments around a pretty large swim league. If 5 or 6 of that league’s overall top swimmers are absent for some reason, that’s news worth reporting as it would affect the outcome of almost every meet they would have participated in, possibly force coaches to shuffle rosters, and so on. No different than reporting that the star quarterback for a football team had to miss a game. To not report that sort of thing would be omitting valuable context and information about the outcome of the contest.

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  • Jun 19, 2019 at 1:16 am
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    great job trying to report on the news. it’s tough given how many teams there are. hard to follow all of them. a couple of comments below for feedback

    – try to avoid using words like lackluster to describe a team. it implies lacking passion and energy. kids could be trying their hardest on that team, but they might not have enough year round swimmers to make the impact that they were looking for. who knows

    – don’t assume all kids are swimming again this summer. some of your “keep an eye out for…” swimmers are not swimming this summer

    – not sure that WG coming close was a surprise. if you take a closer look at the division B results on each team, you’ll notice that it’s pretty close between all 6 teams. don’t overlook top performances in this division vs depth. both are important. your previous article also stated that Stonebridge was the the most unlikely to finish even third in their division (implying likely last) because they’ve never been in a high division before. that’s not sound reasoning. they are both top heavy and have depth in certain groups. they could actually be the dark horse to be a top 2 finish in the division.

    just critiquing and helping you tweak your game. thanks for reporting. keep it up!

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    • Jun 19, 2019 at 10:52 am
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      we’ve updated the system & relays are now being tracked, virtual meet should be functioning normal again.

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      • Jun 20, 2019 at 3:10 pm
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        Hi, it seems there I still some glitch occurring with the relay results/virtual meets. For the Stonebridge-Damascus meet only a few relays appear (Damascus relays only).

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        • Jun 20, 2019 at 3:11 pm
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          Thanks we’ll update by end of today.

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  • Jun 22, 2019 at 12:20 pm
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    Old farm beating Daleview(your projected #1) by 100 points in division E?

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  • Jun 28, 2019 at 12:22 pm
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    Wondering why you called Northwest Branch the predicted Division B Champs when Wildwood Manor Wombats were (and continue to be) ranked 1st in B Division?

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    • Jun 28, 2019 at 1:06 pm
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      Predictions should be taken at face value, results are what matters! Good luck to all this weekend, including the swimmers in the NWB vs. Wildwood showdown!

      Reply

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