By Reach for the Wall Staff
Baltimore, MD- January 14-15, Stone Ridge, along with many other Catholic schools from the DMV made the trip Loyola University to compete against some of the top Catholic schools on the East Coast. As in prior years, the Girl’s team title race came down to two schools, Stone Ridge and Notre Dame Prep (Baltimore). The same can be said for the Boy’s title, where Gonzaga came to the meet poised to upend 2022 champion, Loyola Blakefield (Baltimore). The meet started Saturday morning with the prelim heats for the swimming events, and diving finals at 5:30 pm. Michelle Mazzarra (Stone Ridge) got things going for the Gators as she captured her first National Catholic title, outscoring 2nd place by more than 50 pts! In the Boy’s competition, Finn Gelbach (The Heights) also won in commanding fashion, posting 304.80 for 6 dives and narrowly missing the meet record!
The swimmers hit the pool Sunday afternoon in a combined finals session where the events alternated between the girls and the boys. Stone Ridge set the pace from the start as their 200 Medley Relay quartet (Darby LaFaivre, Cameron Hose, Liza Goetcheus, Lauren Tucker) cruised to a 1-second victory, missing their own meet record from 2022 by .10, finishing in 1:46.80. In the next event, Stone Ridge freshman Addison Webb, took the win in a closely contested race, touching in a personal best 1:50.32. Stone Ridge’s Eleanor Sun kept it going in the 200 IM, finishing well ahead of the field (7 seconds) in a personal best 1:59.37 (Automatic All American), also setting a new meet record!
Gonzaga started the swimming events playing catchup to Loyola Blakefield after the diving, but quickly showed they were up to the task in winning the opening relay by a 1.7 second margin. Loyola bounced back in the 200 Free taking 1st, 4th, and 10th to Gonzaga’s 7th place by Palmer Bice. Jack Moloney took command of the 200 IM and cemented Gonzaga’s first individual win of the meet, touching in 1:52.39, just ahead of Georgetown Prep’s Fletcher Bautz who finished 2nd in 1:53.57. The 50 Freestyle was a turning point for both the girls and boys team races as Stone Ridge’s Cameron House touched in 5th place (24.69) and Notre Dame Prep did not have any in the final heat, placing 3 swimmers in the consolation heat, 11th, 12th and 14th. Gonzaga piled up the points with Aiden Bond winning in 20.76, and teammate Lucas Zidlicky in 3rd with a 21.23. Eleanor Sun captured her 2nd victory of the meet with a win in the 100 Butterfly in 54.66, and teammate Liza Goetcheus in 5th. In the Boy’s team race, Loyola Blakefield stormed back into the lead after the 100 Butterfly as the placed 2nd, 7th, 8th and 10th. Gonzaga’s Trent Badrak placed 3rd in 50.42, and Andre Brooks was 15th in 54.37. Stone Ridge’s Darby LaFaivre finished 3rd in the 100 Free in a personal best 52.67, while Notre Dame had one swimmer place 14th. Aiden Bond captured his 2nd win of the meet, touching 1st in 45.51. Nick Arndt from Georgetown Prep was 2nd in 46.20. Madison Smith from Good Counsel took the top spot in the girls 500 Free with Addison Webb touching out Tess Lankford (NDP), but just behind Alexandra Bastone (SHG) to get third. Bastone clocked 4:59.02, Webb 4:59.48 and Lankford 5:00.64. Loyola Blakefiled all but sealed their team victory in the 500, with Patrick Branon finishing 1st in 4:34.15, and his teammates finishing 5th, 6th, and 13th. The top finisher from the DMV was DeMatha’s Joshua Lopez who touched 3rd in a personal best 4:39.87. In the Girls 100 Backstroke, Stone Ridge’s Darby LeFaivre got to the wall 1st, touching in 56.83 (personal best) and teammate Liza Goetcheus in 4th, well ahead of their NDP competitors. Perhaps the most thrilling swim of the meet came from St. Mary’s (Annapolis) Senior Joe Hayburn who eclipsed the meet and pool record in the 100 back, hitting the wall in 47.61, 2+ seconds ahead of the field.
Joe Hayburn, a Class of ’27 signee for @H2ounds, broke the @LoyolaMaryland pool record in the 100 Back at last weekend’s National Catholic H.S. Champs. More impressive… the previous record-holder… @MichaelPhelps!
— Loyola Greyhounds (@LoyolaHounds) January 18, 2023
Stone Ridge kept the win streak going in the girls 100 Breaststroke as Cameron House touched 1st in 1:05.05, Stone Ridge ahead in the race for the team title. In the Boys Breaststroke race, Gonzaga’s Jack Moloney nabbed his 2nd win of the day hitting the wall in 57.00, holding off a tough challenge from The Heights Michael James who touched 2nd in 57.42. In he final race of the Championship, Stone Ridge finished with a flourish as the team of Darby LeFaivre, Addison Webb, Lauren Tucker and Eleanor Sun broke the meet record, finishing in 3:29.64, a time that was 5+ seconds ahead of 2nd place Notre Dame Prep. With this relay win, Stone Ridge ended the meet 23 points ahead of Notre Dame Prep claiming the team title. Gonzaga also won the final relay, but ended up 22 points shy of the team title. Loyola Blakefield repeated as team champion.
Here’s a quick rundown of area swimmers/divers that won events:
|Girls Event||Swimmer/Team||Boys Event||Swimmer/Team|
|200 Med Relay||Stone Ridge 1:46.80||200 Med Relay||Gonzaga 1:33.44|
|200 Free||Addison Webb (SR) 1:50.32||200 IM||Jack Moloney (Gonz) 1:52.39|
|200 IM||Eleanor Sun (SR) 1:59.37 (Meet Record)||50 Free||Aiden Bond (Gonz) 20.76|
|100 Fly||Eleanor Sun (SR) 54.66||100 Free||Aiden Bond (Gonz) 45.51|
|500 Free||Madison Smith (GC) 4:53.05||200 Free Relay||Gonzaga 1:24.78|
|200 Free Relay||Stone Ridge 1:37.43||100 Breast||Jack Moloney (Gonz) 57.00|
|100 Back||Darby LeFaivre (SR) 56.83||400 Free Relay||Gonzaga 3:06.72|
|100 Breast||Cameron House (SR) 1:05.05||1m Diving||Finn Gelbach (Heights) 304.80|
|400 Free Relay||Stone Ridge 3:29.64 (Meet Record)|
|1m Diving||Michelle Mazzara (SR) 227.20|