By Contributor Ron Spink
Lead photo: Tsunami Maddie Richardson launches off the blocks on her way to victory in the Girls 11-12 50M Back. Photos courtesy of Ron Spink
Only a distance of a little more than 100 pool lengths separate the Piedmont and Dominion Valley swim clubs, however it has been several years since the two teams have squared off in head-to-head PWSL action. That was rectified Saturday, with the Piedmont Tsunamis defeating the Dominion Valley Sharks in the “Battle for James Madison Highway” by a score of 2,884.5 v 2,388.5.
The Tsunamis performed solidly through early relay and individual contests during their home opener, and extended their undefeated streak from last season to a total of nine straight wins. Although the Sharks were able to rally back for the free relay events at the end of the day, the Tsunamis held those final matches to an even draw – maintaining their cumulative point total on the morning and bringing the club to a 2-0 start for the season.
Both Piedmont and Dominion Valley were almost perfectly paired by way of swimmers, entries, splashes, and qualifying swims. And while no team in the county was able to crest more than 50% faster starts, both squads yielded athletes that delivered 40% better swims than in prior weeks. This ranked in the upper range for the league by way of individual performance.
The Tsunami 15-18 year olds and IM relay teams established a foundational lead in early action, combining for eight of eleven team swim victories. As individual competition completed, the Piedmont squad would ultimately command 73% of first place honors.
Blue ribbon Piedmont swimmers included (with PWSL top overall times also noted by number in parenthesis): Declan Bengtson, Sophia Malinowski, Sedonah Traister (1), Maddie Richardson, Davin Phe, Camille Spink (3), Henry Radzikowski, Charlotte Hannam (1), Luke DeVore (1), Gannon Maxwell, Alyssa Sagle (1), Justin Lee, Sebbie Borden, Jessica Lee, Jonathan DeVito, Ethan Lee, Emma Hannam (1), Eric Liao (1), Amber Parsons, and Christian Mulroe. Additionally, four of the Tsunami relay squads ranked as the league’s best comparatively.
One relay of particular note made their stamp of distinction in the Piedmont record books as well. Last week, against Victory Lakes, the Girls 9-10 100M Free Relay combination of Sedonah Traister, Sammi King, Kaylee Dominguez and Alyssa Sagle were a mere half second away from taking down the all-time club mark for the event. Racing with this goal clearly in mind, the squad would not be denied in Week Two – celebrating immediately as they smashed the 2015 team record by 1.2 seconds to come in at 1:04.99.
On the individual front, Camille Spink matched her accomplishment from last week by once again delivering the only PWSL record performance. This time, Spink took down her own posting from the 2018 divisional championships as she set a new league mark of 26.87 in the Girls 13-14 50M Free – an improvement of almost a half second. Eight events later, Spink would go on to shave similar time from her Piedmont record, set just one week ago, in the Girls 13-14 100M IM and created a new bar of 1:06.20.
Next Saturday, Tent City travels once more as Piedmont faces their Blue Division rivals, the Braemar Blasters. Much is on the line in the contest, as the Tsunamis look to keep both an undefeated season and their current win streak alive against a Braemar club seeking to even up the overall standings against a tough divisional challenger.