By: Contributor Ron Spink
Featured Image: Piedmont’s Luke DeVore on pace for top marks in the Boys 15-18 50M Breast; Photos courtesy of Ron Spink
Cool temperatures and clear skies inaugurated the 2019 season for the returning PWSL Blue Division Champion Piedmont Tsunamis on Saturday, as the team delivered an impressive road win against the Victory Lakes Piranhas. The final tally of 3029.5 v 2203.5 extended the Piedmont undefeated streak from last season to eight consecutive wins.
Swimmers around PWSL were challenged to improve upon seed times in the opening weekend. With only one team in the league delivering more than 50% faster starts, Tsunami depth and consistency would prove to be the deciding advantage in the victory.
The Piedmont relays controlled the leaderboard early by delivering opening wins in nine of the eleven combined events. As the competition unfolded, reliability from top seeded swimmers would become a major factor in the Tsunami’s success as individual swimmers tallied an impressive 68% of top five finishes. The most dominant for the club proved to be the 15-18 Boys, who remarkably placed in 24 of 25 of the Top Five slots through individual swims for the morning.
The Tsunamis saw a total of three team records and one league record fall during the contest – and all to the same swimmer. Camille Spink edged out her own Girls 13-14 50M Fly top mark from last season’s Divisional Championships to set a new team record at 29.53. Earlier in the morning, Spink also landed a 1:06.62 in the 100 IM, recasting a seven year old team mark previously set by Piedmont alum Reni Moshos in 2012. Finally, in the 50M Back, Spink logged the only PWSL league record for the day – notching a time of 29.84 and improving narrowly on the bar set by Aris Runnels in 2018.
All first-place Tsunami swimmers included (with PWSL top overall times also noted by number in parenthesis): Declan Bengtson, Sophia Malinowski, Alyssa Sagle (1), Sophie Hayden, Alex Crown, Emma Hannam (1), Henry Radzikowski, Jessica Lee, Sedonah Traister, Charlotte Hannam, Davin Phe, Camille Spink (3), Luke DeVore (1), Jonathan Herrera, Gannon Maxwell, Maddie Richardson, Justin Lee, Eric Liao, Blake Hayden, and Amber Parsons. In total, these efforts combined to give Piedmont swimmers first-place marks in 75% of all individual events. Additionally, four of the Tsunami relay squads ranked as the league’s best comparatively.
Next Saturday, Piedmont will be facing local rival Dominion Valley in the “Battle for James Madison Highway.” The Sharks, coming off a leadoff win, will be challenging the Tsunami squad who look to keep their current win streak alive as Tent City returns for the 2019 home opener.