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Alexandria’s Chinquapin Wahoos Open Summer Swim Season with a Win

Catherine Salomons dives into the water over Maria McLemore during the 13-14 girls 200-meter medley relay. (Photo credit Lolo LaSida)

ALEXANDRIA, VA — On Saturday, June 18, The Chinquapin Wahoos, the swim team made up of children from all across Alexandria, opened the Colonial Swim League season with a win over the Sequoia Farms Stingrays. Strong performances in the relays helped lift Alexandria’s only public summer swim team to a 255-176 victory.

Following a division win last season, the 15-18-year-old boys squad looks set to dominate again, sweeping all four strokes. Veteran Wahoo Emil LaSida won the 50-meter freestyle (25.26), backstroke (27.89), and butterfly (27.42).

Jolan Foronda took first in the 50-meter breaststroke, second in the freestyle (31.76), and second in the butterfly (29.26), while Bodie Lauigner turned in two second place finishes in breaststroke (36.66) and freestyle (26.34), plus a third-place finish in backstroke (31.95).

Mikal Helms put up third place points in freestyle (28.14) and breaststroke (37.33), as did Blake Conjura in the butterfly (31.31). LaSida, Foronda, Lauinger, and Conjura won the 200-meter medley relay with a time of 1:57:25.

The 15-18 girls team of Abbie Altenburg, Maria McLemore, Catherine Salamons, and Cate Cox also won the 200-meter medley relay with a time of 2:29:30.

McLemore finished second in the 50-meter freestyle (32.00) and 50-meter breaststroke (44.03), and touched third in the 50-meter butterfly (36.97). Altenburg took second in the 50-meter freestyle (33.76), and Salamons placed second in the 50-meter butterfly (36.04).

The 15-18 girls matched the boys with a clean sweep of the 50-meter backstroke – Salamons touching in 37.12 seconds just ahead of Altenburg with 37.50 seconds and Cox with 39.50 seconds.

The closest finish of the day saw Eva Billups win the 50-meter freestyle for the 13-14 girls by just .01 seconds. Billups then finished second in the 50-meter backstroke in 38.59 seconds ahead of Bella McLemore in third with 39.95 seconds. Billups also snagged a third-place finish in the 50-meter breaststroke (48.41). The Wahoos celebrated a tie for first place in the 50-meter butterfly with McLemore and teammate Camilla Zuniga touching in 40.13 seconds.

Jonathan Ramsdell scored wins in the boys 13-14 50-meter freestyle (28.20) and breaststroke (35.50), also turning in a third-place performance in the butterfly (31.33). In backstroke, Alex Wittmer (38.38) and Willem Schultz (41.72) placed second and third, respectively. Wittmer also finished third in the breaststroke (49.55). Ramsdell, Schultz, Wittmer, and Xavier Young won the 200-meter medley relay with a time of 2:31.30.

On the girls 11-12 division, Ellie Medina won the 50-meter butterfly in 39.88 seconds, with teammate Grace Wittmer finishing third in 45.52 seconds. Medina placed third in the 50-meter backstroke (47.22), and Wittmer was third in the 50-meter breaststroke (54.62).

In the 11-12 squad, the boys relay team, Luca Lorenzen-Schmidt, Amir Smith, Chris Billups, and Dominic Grajkowski won the 200-medley relay with a time of 3:03.06. Lorenzen-Schmidt touched third in the 50-meter backstroke (50.38), while Smith came second in the 50-meter butterfly (50.38) and third in 50-meter breaststroke (40.72).

The Wahoos saw a battle at the wall in the boys 9-10 50-meter freestyle, with Ethan Sherry touching in 37.22 seconds, just ahead of Tyler Turner in 37.30 seconds. The Wahoos again went 1-2 in the 50-meter breaststroke, with Turner (54.88) finishing ahead of Sawyer Blais (1:02:01). Turner turned in a 19.40 second swim to win the 25-meter butterfly, with Sherry finishing third in 22.32. Blais also snagged third place points in the 50-meter backstroke before joining Sherry, Turner, and Lucas Babineaux to beat the Stingrays in the 100-meter medley relay with a time of 1:32.46.

Micaela Zuniga was a standout in the girl’s 9-10 division, winning all three of her events – 50-meter freestyle (41.49), 50-meter backstroke (53.53), and 25-meter butterfly (21.52).

Not to be outdone by the older swimmers, Ryan Shaw (29.00), Cecilia Frisk (32.78) and Campbell Robb (34.81) swept in the girls 8 and under 25-meter backstroke. Sophie Wharton took first in the 25-meter breaststroke (37.62) and came third in the 25-meter freestyle (27.70), just behind Shaw in second (27.63). Frisk won the 25-meter butterfly (45.69).

The youngest boys also racked up points with Bennett Sherry winning the 8 and under 25-meter backstroke (23.69), breaststroke (31.35), and butterfly (29.92). Max Kessler-Gowell won the 25-meter freestyle with a time of 21.37, followed closely by Derrick Grajkowski in 21.94. Kessler-Gowell also took third in the butterfly (38.70). Team newcomer Daniel Freinberg placed second in the breaststroke (36.45) and joined Sherry, Kessler-Gowell, and Grajkowski to win the 100-meter medley relay in a time of 2:01:06.

It was also the first swim meet for Lawson Blais and Santiago Madalo, who gave it their all.

The meet closed with exciting mixed-age freestyle relays. Ellie Robb, Micaela Zuniga, Eva Billups, and Maria McLemore were just edged out, but the boys were cheered to a come-from-behind win. On the third leg, Jonathan Ramsdell regained the lead for the Wahoos following strong efforts by Ethan Sherry and Amir Smith. Finally, Emil LaSida swam a powerful anchor leg for the team to touch in 2:12:01.

On June 25, the Wahoos will face the Saratoga Stingrays at the Old Town Pool.

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