By Marisha Goldhamer
ALEXANDRIA, VA – The Chinquapin Wahoos won 15 events at the Colonial Swim League Blue Division meet on July 23. After topping the division as a team with an undefeated season, 60 members of Alexandria’s only public swim team had the chance to demonstrate individual excellence across 50 races.
Each of the division’s six teams invited up to three boys and girls in each age group to race in freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and the 100-meter individual medley (IM), with ribbons awarded for first through sixth place.
Swimmers were limited to competing in three disciplines and Wahoos Emil LaSida, Madison Schang and Karon Moten, completed a triple, taking home first place in all of their events.
LaSida continued his dominance of the boys 15-18 50-meter backstroke. His winning time of 27.02 seconds is the fastest in the CSL this season. He also won the 50-meter freestyle in 25.03 seconds and the 50-meter butterfly in 27.15 seconds.
Schang turned in a stellar swim to win the girls 11-12 50-meter breaststroke in 39.51 seconds, more than five seconds faster than the second place finisher. She also won the 50-meter butterfly in 34.38 seconds and the IM in 1 minute 18.84 seconds.
Moten will be the one to beat at the All Star meet in the boys 9-10 age group. He holds multiple league topping times, including in the IM (1:27.85). He lowered his 50-meter backstroke time to win in 37.06 seconds, and his winning 25-meter butterfly time to 16.01 seconds.
Additional Wahoos division winners included Tyler Turner in the 9-10 boys 50-meter freestyle (34.83), Jonathan Ramsdell in the boys 13-14 50-meter breaststroke (34.75), Bennett Sherry in the boys 8 and under 25-meter butterfly (23.39), Micaela Zuniga in the girls 9-10 25-meter butterfly (18.19) and Ronan Lauinger in the boys 15-18 IM (1:03.18).
Jolan Foronda led the Wahoos 1-2-3 sweep in the boys 15-18 50-meter breaststroke, winning in 32.02 seconds followed by Lauinger (32.59) and Mikal Helms (33.39).
In addition to lifting the division trophy, the Wahoos also captured 12 second place and 16 third place finishes on Saturday.
Among the youngest swimmers, Sherry added to his butterfly win with second place finishes in the 25-meter backstroke (23.22) and 100-meter IM (1:59.82).
Max Kessler-Gowell also represented the 8 and under boys with third place swims in the 25-meter freestyle (20.57) and the 25-meter backstroke (24.28) and a fifth place finish in the IM (2:20.89).
The 8 and under girls snagged three third places. Beatrice Mills was third in the 25-meter backstroke (26.20) with Ryan Shaw in sixth (28.48). Avery Murray’s time of 27.06 seconds in the 25-meter butterfly was just .06 off of second place.
Sophie Wharton came third in the 25-meter breaststroke, before Charlotte Reyna and Wharton took fifth and sixth in the IM (2:32.19 and 2:37.60).
In the 9-10 age group, Turner added to his freestyle win with second place in the 50-meter breaststroke (49.44) and third in the 25-meter butterfly (18.80).
Ethan Sherry grabbed two fourth place finishes in 50-meter freestyle (37.56) and 50-meter backstroke (43.68) while Sawyer Blaise touched fifth in freestyle (41.40) and sixth in the IM (1:47.16).
For the girls, Zuniga added to her butterfly win with a fifth place ribbon in the 50-meter freestyle (41.16).
Freya Montes de Oca was just out touched to come third in the 50-meter breaststroke in 51.03 seconds before taking fifth in the IM (2:00.25).
The boys 11-12 squad continued to be led by Alex Guevara who picked up three second place ribbons, including the IM (1:23.10). He swam the 50-meter backstroke in 36.52 seconds, with Dominic Grajkowski sixth (46.57), and swam the 50-meter breaststroke in 43.72 seconds with Christopher Billips in fifth (47.59).
Chris Paz made his mark for the 11-12 boys with a third place finish in the 50-meter butterfly (39.31), a fifth place finish in the IM (1:40.32) and a sixth place finish in the 50-meter freestyle (34.10).
For the 11-12 girls, Ellie Medina placed second in the 50-meter butterfly (36.28). She also featured in a thrilling 50-meter freestyle race with four swimmers turning in 35 second times. Medina hit the wall in 35.83 seconds to grab sixth place.
The Wahoos went 2-4-6 in the 50-meter backstroke, Eleanor Robb taking second in 42.61 seconds, followed by Julia Davis (43.69) and Grace Wittmer (45.39).
Ramsdell’s win in the 13-14 breaststroke was accompanied by a third place finish in the 50-meter freestyle (28.15) and third in the IM (1:07.80).
In the 50-meter backstroke, Alex Wittmer placed second (35.81), just 0.23 seconds off of the win. Teammate Willem Schultz placed sixth (41.97). Wittmer also came sixth in the 50-meter butterfly (34.94) and the IM (1:22.82).
For the 13-14 girls, Evangeline Billips turned in a strong 50-meter backstroke to place second in 36.66 seconds. Bella McLemore took sixth with a time of 39.88 seconds.
Billips was also sixth in the 50-meter breaststroke with a time of 45.24 seconds.
The senior Wahoos continued to excel despite the 100 degree heat on the pool deck. Bodie Lauinger was third in the 50-meter freestyle (26.58), only 0.17 seconds separating him from Helms in fifth (26.75). Lauinger also finished fifth in the IM with a time of 1 minute 08.68 seconds.
The Lauinger brothers both factored in the 15-18 backstroke race with Ronan’s 30.24 second time snagging third over Bodie’s 31.78 second fourth place swim.
Foronda added to his breaststroke win with a fifth place finish in the 50-meter butterfly (28.03) – just out touching teammate Blake Conjura who came sixth (28.68) – and a third place finish in the IM (1:05.34).
Elisabeth Carroll stood out for the 15-18 girls, finishing second in the 50-meter backstroke (34.38), third in the 50-meter breaststroke (40.63), and fifth in the freestyle (30.88).
Catherine Salomons touched third in backstroke in 35.83 seconds. She also took fourth in the 50-meter butterfly (34.37) and the IM (1:20.89).
The CSL comprises four divisions, and the fastest swimmers from across all teams based on times from the divisional meets are invited to compete for the league title at the All Star meet. The Wahoos saw 27 swimmers qualify for the July 30 showdown in Ashburn.