By Marisha Goldhamer
ALEXANDRIA, VA – The Chinquapin Wahoos, Alexandria’s only public summer swim team, opened the 2023 season against the Ashburn Farm Barracudas on June 24. The Wahoos faced a tough match up in their first meet since being promoted to the white division of the Colonial Swim League (CSL) and the Barracudas took 269 points to the Wahoos 175.
Each swimmer can compete in a maximum of three individual events and Wahoos Bennett Sherry and Karon Moten scored victories in all of their races.
Sherry led the 8 and under boys squad with wins in the 25-yard backstroke (19.35 seconds), 25-yard breaststroke (22.04 seconds) and 25-yard butterfly (18.64 seconds).
The youngest male swimmers swept the Barracudas in every stroke with Derrick Grajkowski touching first in the 25-yard freestyle in 17.46 seconds, followed by Chase Conjura (18.12 seconds) and Maxim Postow (19.35 seconds).
Conjura took second in the backstroke (22.27 seconds), followed by Grajkowski (23.41 seconds). Sherry was joined on the breaststroke podium by Daniel Freinberg (31.48 seconds) and Postow (35.46 seconds) and by Grajkowski (24.62 seconds) and Conjura (25.07 seconds) in butterfly.
Moten returns to the Wahoos after winning three events at the CSL all-star meet last summer and showed he is still one to watch by topping the 11-12 boys 50-yard freestyle (28.91 seconds), 50-yard backstroke (32.58 seconds) and 50-yard butterfly (32.65 seconds).
He was also part of one of the most exciting races of the meet as he joined Luca Lorenzen-Schmidt, Christopher Billips, and Dominic Grajkowski to win the 200-yard medley relay in 2:22.06.
Billips was another stand out in the 11-12 division for his win in the 50-yard breaststroke (39.93 seconds) and his third-place finish in freestyle (30.84 seconds).
Lorenzen-Schmidt also scored key points with third place in the backstroke (37.85 seconds) and breaststroke (45.22 seconds).
The 9-10 girls were led by Isabel Martorana who won the 50-yard freestyle in 34.73 seconds, with teammate Annelynn Dahlstrom in third (43.09 seconds). Martorana also won the 50-yard breaststroke in 51.10 seconds and took second in the 25-yard butterfly (19.45 seconds).
Cecelia Falcon grabbed third place in the 50-yard backstroke (53.66 seconds) to give the girls an additional point.
Elisabeth Carroll turned in a strong meet for the 15-18 girls, winning both the 50-yard backstroke (30.43) and 50-yard breaststroke (35.93 seconds). She was joined on the backstroke podium by Catherine Salomons in third (32.53 seconds) and in breaststroke by Maria McLemore in second (37.37 seconds).
In the 50-yard freestyle Carroll placed second (26.95 seconds), while McLemore led the Wahoos in the 50-yard butterfly coming second (31.21 seconds), followed closely by Salomons in third (31.81 seconds).
Carroll, Salomons, McLemore and Evangeline Billips combined to win the 200-yard medley relay in 2:07:25, more than 4 seconds faster than the Barracudas.
The 15-18 boys put up strong times in the 50-yard breaststroke with Jolan Foronda winning in 29.34 seconds, followed by Jonathan Ramsdell (30.05 seconds). Foronda also took second in the 50-yard butterfly (26.25 seconds) and third in the 50-yard backstroke (28.06 seconds).
The oldest Wahoos went 2-3 in the 50-yard freestyle with Bodie Lauinger touching in 23.78 seconds and Mikal Helms in 24.18 seconds.
Ramsdell, Foronda, Blake Conjura and Helms joined forces to win the 200-yard medley relay by more than 5 seconds with a time of 1:47.94.
In the 13-14 boys division Alex Guevara won the 50-yard breaststroke in 35.43 seconds and also took second in the 50-yard backstroke (30.84 seconds). His teammate Alex Wittmer touched third in the 50-yard breaststroke (38.48), 50-yard freestyle (27.00) and 50-yard butterfly (29.98).
The 11-12 girls faced tough competition, but coming off of her league win in the 25-yard butterfly last year, Micaela Zuniga took the 50-yard butterfly in 36.85 seconds. Grace Wittmer was third (37.51 seconds) and also took second in the 50-yard freestyle (31.09 seconds) and third in the 50-yard backstroke.
Freya Montes de Oca put up points with a second-place finish in the 50-yard breaststroke (42.94 seconds).
The 8 and under girls also faced a solid Barracudas squad, but Winnie Cloninger took second in the 25-yard backstroke (24.15 seconds). Madison Forde snagged points for third place in the 25-yard backstroke (24.34 seconds) and 25-yard breaststroke (31.95 seconds) while Ryan Shaw touched third in the 25-yard freestyle (19.31 seconds).
In the 13-14 girls group Camila Zuniga, Ansley Godfrey and Julia Davis earned points. Zuniga hit the wall second in the 50-yard freestyle (30.73 seconds) with Godfrey third (31.36 seconds).
Zuniga also snagged third in the 50-yard backstroke (36.87 seconds) and 50-yard butterfly (35.10 seconds).
Davis touched third in the 50-yard breaststroke (42.67 seconds).
In the 9-10 boys group, Max Kessler-Gowell was three hundredths of a second off Ashburn’s first place finisher Camden Waite with his 18.60 second 25-yard butterfly.
Caleb Gartner also earned praise from Coach Denis Burstein for his third-place finishes in the 50-yard freestyle (36.75 seconds) and 50-yard breaststroke (58.19 seconds).
The Wahoos next face the South Riding Stingrays on July 1 in Chantilly. [SEE ALSO: Alexandria’s Deputy City Manager Debra Collins Retiring July 1]