PWSL Red Division – Bridlewood BWaves, Ashland Stingrays at Dominion Valley Sharks

By Contributor Brenten Gilbert

Lead photo: The 15-18 Girls anchored the BWaves efforts with dominant swims, a league record, and a sweep of their events. (photo credit: Lauren Yowell)

The 2019 Summer Season came to a close with Divisional matchups across Prince William’s Swim League. For the Bridlewood BWaves, that meant competing in the Red Division Championships against the hosting Sharks of Dominion Valley and the Stingrays of Ashland. By far the smallest of the three teams, the BWaves needed everything to line up just right to pull of a third straight title campaign. Fortunately, the weather was perfect for some great swimming from every team across the county. 

The future of the BWaves is in good hands with this group of 8&Under swimmers, posing with Coach Ashley Somma. (photo credit: Karolyn Gardner).

Ashland took the first lead of the day as their dominant 15-18 Boys laid claim to the 200m Freestyle relay in a quick team-record time of 1:40.07. Ashland would see two more of their team relay records go down at the hands of their 9-10 Boys and 11-12 Girls Medley teams. Dominion Valley’s medley relay teams claimed three first place finishes and set three team records of their own (9-10 Girls, 11-12 Boys, and 13-14 Boys). 

However, it was the BWaves setting the pace for the meet, nabbing first place in six of the eleven opening relays, building a 104-point lead to carry into the individual events. Their momentum culminated in a show-stopping performance from the 15-18 Girls 200m Medley Relay team of Sarah Yowell, Georgia Johnson, Erin Quinn, and Shay Walker. The quartet set the league standard all season and this week, it became official when they chopped almost three full seconds off of the league record. The new standard is an impressive 2:01.27. 

Dominion Valley charged back in the freestyle events, cutting the BWaves lead in half and further distancing themselves from the third-place Stingrays. The BWaves managed to claim first place in five of the ten freestyle contests to stay atop the board. In the midst of the action, Paul Querijero lowered his 11-12 Boys 50m Freestyle record from a time of 29.84 seconds to 28.94 seconds. 

Heading into the IM, the Sharks looked poised to steal the lead and the Stingrays were still in the hunt. The BWaves began to pull further ahead on the strength of strong performances across the board. Once again, it fell on the 15-18 Girls to close out the event strong. Georgia Johnson tied the BWaves team record in the 100m IM with a swim of 1:05.27, but she touched second to Erin Quinn, who’s time of 1:04.75 was good enough for the team record and the PWSL mark, which was previously 1:04.84. (Notably, the league record would be eclipsed elsewhere, but it still injected the team with a new dose of energy heading into the backstroke events.)

Backstroke proved to be a strong event for the BWaves as they more than doubled their lead on the strength of seven out of ten first place finishes and two new team records. Jacob Thorpe managed to claim the team’s 9-10 Boys record with a time of 38.50 seconds and Jordan Durocher improved on her record from last year, setting the 13-14 Girls standard to 31.44 seconds. 

All three teams split the breaststroke events fairly evenly and the scores began to constrict slightly. The BWaves remained in control of the meet with a comfortable lead, but Ashland notably began to climb back into contention for second place, closing ground on Dominion Valley. Georgia Johnson closed the Breastroke portion of the meet by leading the way in the 15-18 Girls event, setting a new team record of 33.21 seconds – over two seconds quicker than anyone else in the league for the day. 

Entering the Butterfly events, the meet had a new energy. Besides trivia, music, announcements, and banter echoing across the deck from the announcers booth, all the teams had begun offering fond farewells to senior swimmers as many of them partook in their last splashes. But there was still work to do and the BWaves rose to the challenge, dominating the Butterfly races and claiming first place in 80% of the contests. Haley Edenberg completed her run of first place finishes with an impressive time of 16.39 seconds, good enough to break a long-standing (15 years old) team record in the 9-10 Girls 25m Butterfly. For the 11-12 Boys, Paul Querijero set the standard, lowering his own 50m Butterfly record to a new time of 31.77 seconds. 

Haley Edenberg claimed first place in all three of her races – and took down a 15-year-old team record in Fly. (photo credit: Karolyn Gardner)

As the meet drew to a close, the Sharks took to the freestyle relays with a reckless abandon, claiming first place in five of the eight events. The BWaves claimed the other three relays and secured their third straight Red Division Title (sixth straight divisional championship overall). Ashland fell out of contention for the championship as Dominion Valley claimed second place. 

The BWaves won the meet with a balanced approach and on the strength of two age-group sweeps. The 11-12 Girls and the 15-18 Girls had been the BWaves’s leading ladies all season long and it was only fitting that both groups refused to yield first place in any of their events on the day. The final tally was as follows: BWaves – 4101, Sharks – 3823, and Stingrays – 3544.  The BWaves would like to thank Dominion Valley and Ashland for a wonderful time and a well-contested meet.

Not exactly a “racing start,” but Brian Burnett captures the joy of swimming in his last splash after 12 years on the BWaves.(photo credit: Karolyn Gardner).

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