By Marisha Goldhamer
ALEXANDRIA, VA – The Chinquapin Wahoos beat the ManorGate Marlins to go 5-0 for an undefeated season in the Colonial Swim League (CSL) blue division. The Wahoos won 293-158 on July 16 to cap what head coach Dennis Burstein called a “great season.”
Senior Emil LaSida led the boys 15-18 squad with wins in the 50-meter freestyle (25.69), 50-meter backstroke (30.12) and 50-meter butterfly (28.26).
Asked what kept him returning to the Wahoos each summer, he reflected on the sense of community he feels with his teammates. “Growing up together at the pool is kinda fun,” he said.
LaSida was joined by Ronan Lauinger and Mikal Helms in a sweep of the freestyle (26.84 and 27.00).
Jolan Foronda was .61 seconds behind LaSida as he and Lauinger (29.92) completed a Wahoos sweep of the butterfly.
Foronda also topped the 50-meter breaststroke (32.25), followed closely by Lauinger (33.36), while Paris Johnson snagged a third place point in the backstroke (34.01).
LaSida, Lauinger, Foronda and Helms joined forces to win the 200-meter medley relay in 2 minutes 00.87 seconds.
Burstein congratulated LaSida and Lauinger on their final dual meet performance. He said he was impressed how humble the boys remained, despite being among the fastest on the team and thanked them for being “great role models for the younger swimmers.”
Karon Moten and Madison Schang also had a stellar meet, winning all three of their individual events on Saturday.
Moten lowered his league-leading backstroke time by more than 2 seconds to touch first in 37.69 seconds in the 9-10 boys 50-meter backstroke. He also won the 50-meter breaststroke in league’s fastest time this season – 46.56 seconds – and passed ManorGate’s Chase Rogers to swim the fastest 25-meter butterfly in the CSL this season with a time of 16.59 seconds.
He led a Wahoos sweep of the breaststroke with Tyler Turner (49.40) second and Sawyer Blais (59.02) in third. He was joined by Ethan Sherry in third place in the backstroke (45.59), and Turner in third in the butterfly (18.68).
Turner (34.72) and Sherry (37.18) also went 1-2 in the 50-meter freestyle before joining Moten and Blais to easily win the 100-meter medley relay in 1 minute 20.53 seconds – the fastest time by a 9-10 relay team in a meters pool this season.
Schang outswam the other 11-12 girls in the 50-meter freestyle (32.03), 50-meter breaststroke (40.97) and 50-meter butterfly (35.37).
Ellie Medina also had a strong showing for the 11-12 girls, coming second in backstroke (46.93), second in butterfly (37.85) and third in the freestyle (36.34).
Ellie Robb won the backstroke in 45.15 seconds, while Julia Davis took second in the breaststroke in 49.78 seconds.
In the 200-meter medley relay, Medina, Robb, Davis and Grace Wittmer won with a time of 2 minutes 49.22 seconds.
The youngest Wahoos swimmers competed with heart and captured four first place wins in the 8 and under division.
Bennett Sherry topped the 25-meter breaststroke (31.47) and came second in the 25-meter butterfly (26.13) with Max Kessler-Gowell in third (30.51).
Kessler-Gowell also took second in the 25-meter freestyle in 21.03 seconds with teammate Derrick Grajkowski in third (25.81), and Kessler-Gowell touched second in the 25-meter backstroke (26.67).
In the 100-meter medley relay, the 8 and under boys turned in an upset win over ManorGate. Sherry put the team ahead with his backstroke and Daniel Freinberg, Kessler-Gowell and Grajkowski held the lead to win in 1 minute 54.68 seconds.
On the girls squad, Ryan Shaw and Beatrice Mills went 1-3 in the 25-meter freestyle (21.82 and 25.75). The girls flipped spots in the 25-meter backstroke with Mills snagging first by just .09 seconds (26.56) and Shaw in third (29.03).
Sophie Wharton just edged out ManorGate by .5 seconds to win the 25-meter breaststroke in 33.31 seconds.
Avery Murray came second in the 25-meter butterfly (28.50) before combining with Shaw, Mills and Wharton to kick off a sweep of the medley relays by the Wahoo girls, winning the 100-meter medley in 1 minute 48:25 seconds.
On the 9-10 girls squad, Micaela Zuniga won the 50-meter freestyle (42.99), the 25-meter butterfly (20.78) and placed third in the 50-meter backstroke (55.62).
Freya Montes de Oca continued her streak of 50-meter breaststroke wins with a time of 51.60 seconds, while Isabel Martorana sprinted to second in the freestyle (44.43) and third in the butterfly (24.03).
Martorana, Montes de Oca, Zuniga and Genesis Divett battled for a close win in the 100-meter medley relay in 1 minute 32.78 seconds.
The boys 11-12 squad was led by Alex Guevara who won the 50-meter backstroke (37.13), the 50-meter butterfly (37.93) and went 2-3 with teammate Chris Paz in the 50-meter freestyle (32.71 and 35.56).
Christopher Billips won the 50-meter breaststroke in 49.62 seconds with Eamonn Greiner in third (52.50). Luca Lorenzen-Schmidt also snagged a third place point in backstroke (42.53) as did Rodney Gardner in the butterfly (45.21).
Jonathan Ramsdell stood out for the boys 13-14 squad. He won the 50-meter breaststroke in 35.85 seconds, came second in the 50-meter butterfly (31.15) and went 2-3 with teammate Alex Wittmer in the 50-meter freestyle (28.19 and 32.37). Wittmer also placed third in breaststroke (45.94).
The 13-14 girls races featured Evangeline Billups winning the 50-meter freestyle (33.62), 50-meter backstroke (37.50) and coming second in the 50-meter breaststroke (47.60).
In the 50-meter butterfly, Camila Zuniga and Bella McLemore went 2-3 (40.25 and 41.03).
The 13-14 girls turned in one of the most exciting races of the meet winning the 200-meter mixed medley in 2 minutes 31.93 seconds. McLemore was just behind ManorGate at the end of the backstroke leg. Schang, swam up a division and brought the race even with her breaststroke. Zuniga battled to keep even in the butterfly before Billups won the race off the turn with a strong anchor freestyle leg.
The Senior girls also closed the season strong. Elisabeth Carroll topped a tight 50-meter freestyle race with a time of 31.22 seconds. Maria McLemore was third in 32.62 seconds. Carroll also won the 50-meter breaststroke in 41.41 seconds with Catherine Salomons in third (43.25).
Salomons was first to the wall in the 50-meter backstroke in 36.37 seconds, less than a second ahead of McLemore. While it was McLemore who just out touched Salomons to go 2-3 in the 50-meter butterfly (35.34 and 35.85)
McLemore, Carroll, Salomons and Morgan Heitman won the 200-meter medley relay in 2 minutes 27.18 seconds.
As the Wahoos celebrated their undefeated run, coach Jake McGrail, put it down to teamwork. “The kids stuck together this season,” he said.
This was evident as the Wahoos closed the competition with wins in the 200-meter mixed-age freestyle relays.
The Wahoos girls completed their sweep of the relays with Micaela Zuniga, Billips, Schang and Carroll posting a 200-meter time of 2 minutes 23.98 seconds.
Boys Moten, Guevara, Ramsdell and LaSida faced a tough ManorGate squad. With less than two seconds separating the teams, the Wahoos won in 2 minutes 00.15 seconds.
Burstein said the Wahoos are already focusing on the CSL postseason. “Even though we went undefeated, one of the biggest thrills is watching a swimmer make it to All Stars for the first time,” he said.
The Wahoos next compete in the CSL Blue Divisional meet on July 23.