By Reach for the Wall Staff
The 2022 Metro Championship meet successfully concluded Saturday January 12th with Stone Ridge taking the girls’ title scoring 390.5 points. Second through fifth places were Holton-Arms with 349 points, Walter Johnson 324 points, Richard Montgomery with 224 points and B-CC with 213 points. Churchill won the boys’ title with 464.5 points, followed by Gonzaga 462 points, Whitman 288, Wootton 234, and Georgetown Prep with 211. Congratulations to all teams on a successful season and an exciting Metros swim and dive meet.
Before we get into the specifics of the athletes and their teams, it’s important to address the difficulties of this year’s season and commend the schools and administrators, but mostly these amazing athletes on adhering to all rules and restrictions as well as performing well despite all that. Most athletes and coaches were subject to weekly covid-19 testing, pool time may have been restricted forcing teams to swim outside in the winter cold again, and everyone having to navigate safe or unsafe social situations regarding covid-19 exposure. Leading into the meet, the meet directors followed Montgomery County guidance by restricting the number of attendees. This resulted in a no spectators ruling as well as the enforcement of the indoor mask covering rule.
For everyone not able to attend the meet, they could view it as a livestream through the county YouTube site. Unfortunately, it had the production value of a grade school band recital. The action was difficult to follow with no graphic identification of the swimmers and many times, especially the first half of finals, there was no view of the scoreboard. Savvy users could reference the meet programs that were offered via the Metros website or try to follow along on the Meet Mobile app. There were several instances where the video feed buffered or stopped, and parts of races or entire races were unviewable. It was even more difficult at finals to understand how the team scoring was playing out. If you were lucky to be listening at certain times, the meet announcer would count down the top 5 teams, but again there was no way to follow the scoring on the Meet Mobile app, which is easy to use and could have eased some of the frustration of the online viewers.
While the covid restrictions these past seasons have mandated alternate ways spectators can view and appreciate competitions, it also brought innovation. Meet directors need to be cognizant of the innovations and technology available within reach and plan ahead for a quality broadcast. We’ve seen several successful meets over the past year that were run by county staff out of county facilities (PWCS) as well as with club team management out of University of Maryland (NCAP Invite), and even private school leagues (the weekend of February 5 at University of Maryland -2022 WMPSSDL Championships) which contained high quality production, including lane markings, times, and camera angles that caught all aspects of the races. The Metros swim and dive meet showcases athletes posting times that are some of the fastest in the nation. We believe this meet should have been on par with providing a consistent higher production quality viewing experience for those that want to support and appreciate these athletes’ achievements.
Now on to the meet wrap-up. We’re going to provide an event-by-event commentary, highlighting the awesome accomplishments and a ‘running score’ to show how close the meet was as the events unfolded.
The team scoring began with the diving results that took place Wednesday for the boys and Thursday for the girls. In the boys’ event, Max Weinrich garnered a repeat championship. As mentioned in a prior post, Haley Marshall (Good Counsel) achieved her second Metro diving title by edging out Michelle Mazzarra (Stone Ridge) on the last dive. It was some of the most exciting diving we’ve seen at this meet! According to the NISCA rules, divers can apply for All American status if they scored 375 or greater for 11 dives and the sum of the Degree of Difficulty (DD) for optional dives is 13.3 or greater for boys and 13 for girls. The following met the score standard, but we can’t tell if the optional dives met the DD criteria- either way, Congratulations!!
Top 5 team scores after Diving:
Girls: Seneca Valley 35 Good Counsel 26 Whitman 24 Stone Ridge 21 Flint Hill 19
Boys: Churchill 51 Whitman 36 Sherwood 24 The Heights 21 Blake 20 Wootton 18
200 Medley Relay:
In the prelims, Gonzaga set a meet record and automatic All American Standard with 1:31.76. In the Finals session, they bested that time, posting a new meet record 1:30.28!! The prior meet record was 1:31.90, set by Georgetown Prep in 2015. Setting the new standard was JT Ewing, Collin McKenzie, Mac Marsh and Aiden Bond. Gonzaga and Whitman (1:32.13) swam Automatic All American times while Churchill (1:34.21) swam a Consideration time.
Stone Ridge took the title in the Girls race in an All American Consideration time of 1:44.65. The team consisted of Melina Anschutz, Cameron House, Eleanor Sun and Erin Gemmell. Their time bested the field by a full 2 seconds and Erin splitting a 22.32 on the anchor leg, the only swimmer to break 23!
Top 5 team scores after the Relay:
Girls: Stone Ridge 69, Whitman 62, Walter Johnson 47, BCC 43, Wootton 40
Boys: Churchill 91, Whitman 78, Walter Johnson 54, Gonzaga 48, Wootton 44
Everett Oehler (Richard Montgomery) immediately took charge of the race from the first 50, splitting 22.85 (the only swimmer under 23) and never relinquished his lead. He finished in 1:37.62 (currently 16th best in the country), surpassing the Automatic All American standard and just off the meet record set by Matt Hirschberger (1:37.13) in 2015. It was a tight race for 2nd as David Yune (Wootton) out touched Jack Maloney (Gonzaga) 1:40.83 to 1:40.91.
Erin Gemmell ‘out did’ Everett in her 200 Freestyle race in that she bested the field by a full 5 seconds! Her time of 1:44.37 (Currently the #1 time in the country) is an Automatic All American standard and earned Erin the Frank R. Martin award for the ‘most outstanding’ swim of the meet! Madsion Smith (Good Counsel) finished 2nd in 1:49.76 (Currently #52 in the country) and Maren Conze (Walter Johnson) was 3rd in 1:50.04 (Currently #57 in the country), each beating the All American Consideration standard.
Top 5 team scores after 200 Free:
Girls: Stone Ridge 122, Walter Johnson 66, Whitman 62, Holton-Arms 59, Einstein 58
Boys: Churchill 156, Whitman 78, Gonzaga 72, Wootton 65, Walter Johnson 56
Collin McKenzie (Gonzaga) led the way throughout the race on his way to setting a new meet record & Automatic All American time, finishing in 1:46.21(Currently #4 in the country)! The prior meet record of 1:47.59 was set by Eric Friedland in 2008. Toby Barnett finished 2nd in 1:47.21, Adriano Arioti was 3rd in 1:48.42, and Zak Owen was 4th in 1:49.52 each achieving Automatic All American! Jordan Kelly (Wootton) 1:50.60 and Simon Bermudez Santa Maria (Flint Hill) 1:51.13 finished 5th and 6th respectively and achieved All American Consideration times.
Sophie Duncan (Holton-Arms) held a commanding lead after backstroke and went on to crush the field, winning the race in 1:58.90 (Currently #9 in the country), surpassing the automatic All American standard. Sienna Karp (Walter Johnson) was the closest competitor to Sophie, touching 2nd in an All American Consideration time of 2:03.15 (Currently #60 in the country).
Top 5 Teams after 200IM:
Girls: Stone Ridge 122, Walter Johnson 107, Holton-Arms 104, Good Counsel 65, Whitman 62
Boys: Churchill 183, Gonzaga 119, Whitman 101, Wootton 83, Walter Johnson 63
Gonzaga teammates Mac Marsh and Aiden Bond were the only two swimmers to dip under the 21 second barrier, with Mac winning in 20.51 (Currently #26 in the country with his time from WMPSSDL) – Automatic All American and Aiden in 20.88 (Currently #66 in the country with his time from Nat’l Catholics)- All American Consideration.
Nina Allen (BCC) led the race among 4 girls that swam under the 24 second barrier. Her time of 23.10 (Currently #32 in the country) is an Automatic All American, while 2nd place finisher Amy Qin (Wootton) swam a 23.33 (Currently #52 in the country) for an All American Consideration time. Healy Morgan (Walter Johnson) and Ainsley Taylor (Quince Orchard) were the other two under 24, finishing in 23.76 and 23.93 respectively.
Top 5 Teams after 50 Free:
Girls: Walter Johnson 148, Stone Ridge 128, Holton-Arms 113, Wootton 99, BCC 90
Boys: Churchill 198, Gonzaga 197, Whitman 124, Wootton 89, Walter Johnson 79
Everett Oehler (Richard Montgomery) continued his assault on the meet records and took the title in an Automatic All American time of 48.13 (Currently #18 in the country), the prior record was set in 2019 by Alex Colson. Everett was pushed by JT Ewing (Gonzaga) who place 2nd in an Automatic All American time of 48.64 (Currently #32 in the country). Adriano Arioti (Georgetown Day) touched 3rd and also achieved an Automatic All American time with a 48.87 (Currently #46 in the country). Kris Lawson (Whitman) and Nasim Elkassem (Churchill) finished 4th and 5th, eclipsing the standard for All American Consideration.
The girls race was a tie, yes a tie for 1st!! Sophie Duncan (Holton-Arms) and Carly Sebring (Damascus) both hit the wall in 54.49 to earn All American consideration and the 34th fastest time in the country. Eleanor Sun (Stone Ridge) touched 3rd in 54.60 (#39 in the country), also under the All American consideration time. Way to go!!
Top 5 Team after 100 Butterfly:
Girls: Walter Johnson 157, Stone Ridge 155, Holton-Arms 148.50, Wootton 110, Churchill 107
Boys: Gonzaga 232 Churchill 229 Whitman 156 Walter Johnson 107 Wootton 94
Mac Marsh (Gonzaga) blasted his way to the front in the first 50 of the race in 21.46 the only swimmer to split under 22) and out-split the field in the second 50 to take the title in an automatic All American time of 44.69 (Currently #28 in the country). His Gonzaga teammate Jack Maloney finished 2nd in 45.48 which is an All American consideration time.
Erin Gemmell competed in her second individual event and captured another win. She went after the meet record of 48.75 set by Caroline McTaggart in 2015, but came up just .08 short, finishing in an automatic All American time of 48.83 (Currently #8 in the country, however we think she’s likely 3rd as the times that are faster are relay splits that seem faulty)! Amy Qin (Wootton) 50.39 (#41 in the country) and Lauren West (Einstein) 50.55 (#49 in the country) finished 2nd and 3rd respectively, their times meeting the standard for All American consideration.
Top 5 Team after 100 Free:
Girls: Stone Ridge 187, Walter Johnson 176, Holton-Arms 161.50, Wootton 130, BCC 122
Boys: Gonzaga 294, Churchill 277.5, Whitman 176, Walter Johnson 113, Georgetown Prep 108
In the prelims, Brady Begin (Churchill) blew away his best time and put himself as the top seed going into Finals. Sean Santos (Good Counsel) was 3rd in this event in 2020, got the win, pulling away from Brady around 250 yards. Sean touched in 4:31.80 (#44 in the country) which is an All American consideration time, but just shy of his all time best. Brady touched 2nd in 4:34.10, just ahead of Miles Haraldsson (BCC) who finished third in 4:34.98.
The girls race pitted the 2020 champion, Maren Conze (Walter Johnson), against Madison Smith (Good Counsel). Madison made it a Good Counsel sweep by winning the race in an automatic All American time 4:49.51 (Currently #13 in the country). Maren finished 2nd in 4:55.66 (Currently #56 in the country), which is under the All American consideration standard. In the prelims, Ella Myers from Holton-Arms also swam an All American consideration time 4:56.54, but could not repeat that speed in finals as she finished 4th overall in 4:58.18, just behind 3rd place Lauren Tucker (Stone Ridge) 4:57.85.
Top 5 Teams after 500 Free:
Girls: Stone Ridge 228, Walter Johnson 201, Holton-Arms 200.50, BCC 141, Wootton 131
Boys: Churchill 315.5, Gonzaga 303, Whitman 176, Walter Johnson 114, Poolesville 113.5
200 Free Relay:
Gonzaga entered the meet with the fastest seed time, however qualified 2nd for finals behind Whitman. They led off with Jack Maloney who gave them ‘clean water’ by splitting 20.92, almost 3 tenths faster than the field. Aiden Bond picked up from Jack and split a blazing 20.64 to increase their lead ~1.6 seconds. Lucas Zidlicky maintained the lead and Ethan Doudna swam the fastest leg of any team splitting 20.51 to win the race in 1:23.23. This eclipsed the old meet record of 1:24.34 set in 2015 by Georgetown Prep. Whitman placed 2nd in 1:25.23 just ahead of Wootton 1:25.77, both achieving All American consideration times.
The girls race was a lot closer, with Holton-Arms, Wootton and BCC finishing within 7 tenths of each other. At the 100, BCC had a slight lead over Holton-Arms and Wootton due to the 22.71 split from Nina Allen. Ella Myers put Holton in the lead for good with her leg of the race and Palmer Holley finished it off, touching 1st in 1:35.93, an All American consideration time. Wootton finished 2nd in 1:36.63 and BCC 3rd in 1:36.69, both All American consideration times.
Top 5 Teams after 200 Free Relay:
Girls: Stone Ridge 260, Walter Johnson 248.5, Holton-Arms 239, BCC 181, Wootton 173
Boys: Churchill 353.5, Gonzaga 351, Whitman 218, Wootton 147, Walter Johnson 145
JT Ewing (Gonzaga) captured the win, dipping under the automatic All American standard, posting a 49.26 (#35 in the country), and was Gonzaga’s lone finalist. Blake Conway (Whitman) was close behind in 2nd with an All American consideration time of 50.01 (Currently #66 in the country).
Carly Sebring (Damascus) won her 2nd title of the meet touching 1st in 54.38 (Currently #23 in the country), an automatic All American time! Eleanor Sun (Stone Ridge) finished 2nd in an All American consideration time of 55.75 (Currently #75 in the country).
Top 5 Teams after 100 Backstroke:
Girls: Stone Ridge 300.5 Holton-Arms 287, Walter Johnson 239, BCC 181, Wootton 173
Boys: Churchill 388.5 Gonzaga 375, Whitman 246, Walter Johnson 164, Wootton 163
Collin McKenzie (Gonzaga) snatched his second title of the night as he lead the race from start to finish and touched in 55.07 (Currently #15 in the country) an automatic All American time. The next four swimmers, Jed Garner (Clarksburg) 55.97, Toby Barnett (Rockville) 56.29, Jordan Kelly (Wootton) 56.33, and Alvin Kimwon (Churchill) 56.89, each were under the All American consideration standard. (Currently #45, 54, 56, and 97 in the country)
Sienna Karp (Walter Johnson) was pushed by her teammate Hanna Bingley, but prevailed winning the race 1:03.60 to Hanna’s 1:03.77, both times All American consideration. (Currently #56 & #74 in the country respectively)
Top 5 Teams after Breaststroke:
Girls: Stone Ridge 342.50 Holton-Arms 307, Walter Johnson 284, Richard Montgomery 186, BCC 181
Boys: Churchill 422.5 Gonzaga 414 Whitman 254 Wootton 194 Walter Johnson 175
400 Free Relay:
As with many meets, the culminating event, the 400 Free relays is greeted with much enthusiasm and anticipation. Metros was no exception as you expected the team standings were extremely tight up to this point and any missteps by a team could lead to a change in the standings. Gonzaga nearly sealed their fate in prelims as they narrowly qualified in the 10th position for the Final heat. Churchill qualified as the top seed and only needed to finish 2nd to win the team title as they built an 8.5 point lead going into the race. (Note: scoring for relays is 48, 42, 40, 38, 36…). Gonzaga swam out of lane 10 and was led off by Mac Marsh who posted a 45.05 split, 1.6 seconds ahead of everyone else. Churchill led off with Ethan Fu, splitting 46.99, which had the team in 4th after the first 100. JT Ewing continued to build Gonzaga’s lead by splitting 44.83, and at the 200 Gonzaga was 1:29.88. Samir Elkassem swam the 2nd leg for Churchill in 47.35 and got them to back to 2nd place, their time at the 200 1:34.34. Jack Maloney kept things rolling for Gonzaga splitting 45.26, while Nasim Elkassem put some distanced between Churchill and the rest of the field splitting 46.53. Only Poolesville (4th place), Maxwell Chen had a swimmer in the 3rd position split under 48, as he went 47.62 . As the swimmers completed the final leg of the relay it was evident that Churchill would retain 2nd place in 3:07.00 (All American consideration) and win the team title. In the course of the race, Gonzaga did set their 3rd Meet record in winning each of the relays, finishing in 3:03.18 (automatic All American), eclipsing the prior record of 3:03.84 set by Georgetown Prep in 2015.
The girls race was a bit less dramatic as Stone Ridge built a large enough lead in the team standings that they could not be surpassed, however it was evident the girls from Holton-Arms were swimming for pride and wanted the 400 Free Relay title. Lauren West (Einstein) jumped out to the early lead with a 51.41 split, followed closely by Maren Conze (Walter Johnson) 51.97 and Georgia Yang (Churchill) 52.39. The standings quickly turned on the 2nd leg of the race where Stone Ridge jumped from 5th to first on the strength of Eleanor Sun splitting 50.91.Walter Johnson was holding onto a slight margin over Holton-Arms as Sienna Karp split 52.85 for WJ and Rin Iimi split 52.73 for Holton. Holton made a big move the 3rd leg as Courtney Watts swam a 52.30, out splitting the field by 1.2 seconds! Holton hit the water for the last leg a half second ahead of Stone Ridge. Erin Gemmell (Stone Ridge) pulled even with Sophie Duncan (Holton-Arms) in the first 25 and never looked back Erin ended up splitting 47.94 to Sophie’s 49.96 to seal the victory for Stone Ridge. Stone Ridge finished in 3:25.98, Holton-Arms in 3:27.49, both times automatic All American.
Final Top 5 Team Standings:
Girls: Stone Ridge 390.50 Holton-Arms 349.00 Walter Johnson 324, Richard Montgomery 224, BCC 213
Boys: Churchill 464.5, Gonzaga 462 Whitman 288, Wootton 234, Georgetown Prep 211
Double winner Recognition:
The following swimmers won both individual events they entered for the meet- Congratulations:
- Carly Sebring (Damascus) 100 Butterfly, 100 Backstroke, committed to Auburn
- Collin McKenzie (Gonzaga) 200 IM, 100 Breaststroke, committed to NC State
- Mac Marsh (Gonzaga) 50 Freestyle, 100 Freestyle, committed to Cornell
- Everett Oehler (Richard Montgomery) 200 Freestyle, 100 Butterfly, committed to North Carolina
- Erin Gemmell (Stone Ridge) 200 Freestyle, 100 Freestyle, committed to Texas
- Sophie Duncan (Holton-Arms) 200 IM, 100 Butterfly, committed to Stanford