By Marisha Goldhamer
ALEXANDRIA, VA – Three swimmers from the Chinquapin Wahoos raced to Colonial Swim League titles and six new team records were set as 22 members of Alexandria’s only public swim team, competed in the Cory Young All Star Meet on July 30.
The 18 fastest boys and girls in each age group from the league’s 1200+ swimmers faced off in freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and the individual medley (IM) for the title of CSL champion.
Karon Moten had a banner day for the Wahoos, winning three league titles in the boys 9-10 age group.
Head coach Denis Burstein called the accomplishment “one of the meet’s outstanding performances.”
Moten opened with a decisive win in the 50-meter backstroke in 38.20 seconds.
He followed that with a win in the 25-meter butterfly. His time of 15.94 seconds bested the team record of 16.01 seconds he’d set just one week prior.
His biggest challenge came at the end of the day in the 100-meter IM. Moten came from behind to win it at the wall by 0.13 seconds, touching in 1:28.21 seconds.
Micaela Zuniga powered to an upset win in the 25-meter butterfly race with a time of 17.78 seconds, the fastest meters time by a 9-10 girl recorded in the league all summer.
Emil LaSida also lived up to expectations. After dominating the boys 15-18 50-meter backstroke throughout the Wahoos undefeated season, he won the league in 26.45 seconds, breaking a team record he had held since the 2021 All Star meet.
He placed second in the 50-meter butterfly with a time of 26.71 seconds, a drop of 0.44 seconds off the previous record time he swam on July 23.
LaSida also set a new Wahoos record in the 50-meter freestyle with a time of 24.22 seconds. That swim earned him third place in the league.
Additional team records were broken by Jolan Foronda who placed third in the boys 15-18 50-meter breaststroke (31.21 seconds) and Ronan Lauinger who took second in the boys 15-18 100-meter IM (1:01.08 seconds).
Lauinger and LaSida were both swimming their final meet for the Wahoos. Burstein said the boys had been “an integral part” of the team for more than ten years, noting their contributions as swimmers, but also as coaches and role models for their younger teammates.
Adding to the five league titles won by Moten, Zuniga and LaSida, the Wahoos brought home four second place, five third place, two fifth place and six sixth place medals.
Bennett Sherry cemented a strong season in the 8 and under age group with a second place finish in the 25-meter butterfly, just 0.02 seconds off the win. He also placed third in the 100-meter IM (1:54.72) and fifth in the 25-meter backstroke (23.84).
For the 9-10 boys, Tyler Turner touched second in a thrilling 50-meter freestyle race, just 0.47 seconds off the win and only 0.40 seconds ahead of the third place finisher. He also took sixth in the 25-meter butterfly with a time of 18.78 seconds.
Moten was joined on the backstroke podium by Ethan Sherry who finished sixth with a time of 42.81 seconds.
In the 11-12 age group, Alex Guevara touched third in the boys 50-meter backstroke (36.02) and sixth in the 100-meter IM (1:21.75).
Two Wahoos make the podium in the 11-12 girls 50-meter butterfly. Madison Schang touched third in 34.31 seconds and Eleanor Medina sixth in 35.80 seconds.
Jonathan Ramsdell factored in a close battle in the boys 13-14 50-meter breaststroke race. He touched sixth in 34.28 seconds, just 0.20 seconds separating him from fifth place.
In the 15-18 age group, Foronda added to his breaststroke medal with a fifth place finish in the 100-meter IM (1:03.92).
The Wahoos also saw several swimmers finish off the podium, but still beat their seed times including Max Kessler-Gowell in the 100-meter IM (2:09.30), Bodie Lauinger in the 50-meter freestyle (26.23) and backstroke (31.69), Elisabeth Carroll in the 50-meter backstroke (34.34), Freya Montes de Oca in the 50-meter breaststroke (50.39), Avery Murray in the 25-meter butterfly (26.12) and Christopher Paz in the 50-meter butterfly (38.17).
Alex Wittmer, Beatrice Mills and Sawyer Blais also competed on the Wahoos All Star squad.
The Chinquapin Wahoos welcome all interested swimmers to join the team. Information about registration for stroke clinics and the 2023 summer season is available through the Alexandria Department of Recreation.