Wahoos Swim Meet Comes Down to the Wire in Alexandria

Sawyer Blais swims breaststroke in the boys 11-12 200-yard medley relay (Photo: Marisha Goldhamer)

By Marisha Goldhamer

ALEXANDRIA, VA-The blistering heat wasn’t the only reason fans were sweating at the Old Town Pool as the July 6 Colonial Swim League face-off between Alexandria’s Chinquapin Wahoos and the Chantilly Highland Dolphins was decided by just five points. The nailbiter of a meet came down to the final relay as the Dolphins swam away victorious with a score of 228 to 223.

While the Wahoos missed out on the win, senior Jolan Foronda turned in a top notch performance for the 15-18 boys, beating his own team record in the 50-yard breaststroke by .14 seconds to set the new mark at 28.83 seconds.

Jolan Foronda dives in over Julia Davis to swim the 50-yard breaststroke leg of the mixed gender 5-18 200-yard medley relay (Photo: Marisha Goldhamer)

Foronda and his Wahoos teammates Julia Davis, Micaela Zuniga and Max Kessler-Gowell opened the meet with a win in the 5-18 200-yard mixed medley relay in 2 minutes 11.53 seconds.

The oldest Wahoos boys continued a strong season, taking first in all four strokes, including a sweep of the 50-yard backstroke led by Jonathan Ramsdell in 27.64 seconds, with Foronda second (28.79 seconds) and Blake Conjura third (30.42 seconds).

Foronda was followed in breaststroke by Ramsdell (29.62 seconds) and also won the 50-yard butterfly in 26.13 seconds ahead of Conjura (26.56 seconds).

In freestyle, Bodie Lauinger snagged the blue ribbon in 24.44 seconds with Conjura just .01 seconds off of Dolphin Marcus Young as he came third.

Foronda, Ramsdell, Conjura and Lauinger combined to take the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 1 minute 46.90 seconds.

– Triple winners –

A first place win in an individual event is worth five points and Bennett Sherry and Karon Moten won the maximum three races to add 15 points each to the Wahoos total.

Karon Moten dives in over Bennett Sherry as Bodie Lauinger (right) cheers during the boys 5-18 200-yard freestyle relay (Photo: Marisha Goldhamer)

Sherry continued his season win streak, leading the 9-10 Wahoos boys in a sweep of the 50-yard freestyle. He touched in 32.41 seconds followed .17 seconds later by Max Kessler-Gowell. Chase Conjura was third in 35.68 seconds with Axel Odom fourth (38.16 seconds).

Sherry also won the 50-yard backstroke (38.26 seconds) and out touched Conjura by .26 seconds in the breaststroke (42.05 seconds). Kessler-Gowell came from behind to take second in backstroke (40.69 seconds) and powered to second in the 25-yard butterfly (17.09 seconds) ahead of Conjura (19.20 seconds).

“Max had a tremendous turn in the 50-yard backstroke,” Wahoos head coach Denis Burstein said.

Sherry closed the meet with a relay win as he teamed with Moten, Lauinger and Alex Guevara in a come from behind win in the boys 5-18 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1 minute 51.28 seconds.

Moten continued his dominance in the 11-12 boys 50-yard backstroke, touching in 31.50 seconds, more than eight seconds ahead of Dolphin Luke Hogan (39.87 seconds) and Wahoo Benjamin Bromley (43.12 seconds).

He went 1-2 with teammate Sawyer Blais in the 50-yard butterfly (30.00 seconds and 37.25 seconds) and 1-3 with Blais in the freestyle (27.44 seconds and 30.94 seconds).

Blais also gave a great effort taking second in the breaststroke (40.59 seconds) followed by Cash East (49.25 seconds).

Blais was joined by Sherry, Kessler-Gowell and Bromley to win the 11-12 200-yard medley in 2 minutes 31.73 seconds while Moten also swam up a division to help Guevara, Christopher Billips and Javier Kent crush the Dolphins 13-14 boys 200-yard medley relay team by more than a minute in a time of 2 minutes 09.79 seconds.

Other triple wins came from Dolphins Jessica Young in the girls 13-14 division, Allie Wiggins in the girls 15-18 division, Mason Talley for the 8 & under boys, Ben Matyas in the 13-14 boys division and Sophia Lu who led Chantilly’s 9-10 girls as they took all points in that age group.

– Technique matters –

Burstein praised the Wahoos for their effort saying his swimmers had performed to “the best of their abilities.” He also emphasized the importance of learning stroke accuracy. “Technique is also a key, and technique is emphasized starting with our youngest swimmers.”

This was evidenced by the 8 & under girls squad who swept the top four places in the 25-yard freestyle event. Edie Mullane took first in 21.47 seconds, followed closely by Katherine League (21.62 seconds), Rose Sparrow (22.17 seconds) and Mary Ellis Jones (24.00 seconds).

League then won the 25-yard backstroke in 25.00 seconds with Nora Forde second (25.94 seconds). Forde (29.94 seconds) and Jones (31.68 seconds) went 2-3 in the 25-yard breaststroke, while Sparrow and Forde were neck-and-neck (27.50 seconds and 27.53 seconds) to take second and third in the 25-yard butterfly.

In the 8 & under boys, Lawson Blais was second in the 25-yard backstroke with a time of 24.44 seconds, and third in the butterfly (36.68 seconds).

Additional 9-10 boys also showed excellent form as Wilson Jones, Axel Odom and Fernando Campos joined Conjura to beat the Dolphins in the 100-yard medley relay with a time of 1 minute 22.09 seconds.

The Wahoos had two winners in the 11-12 girls division. Zuniga captured the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 31.72 seconds with teammate Isabel Martorana taking second (32.62 seconds).

Freya Montes de Oca won in the 50-yard breaststroke (40.62 seconds) with Martorana in third place (44.75 seconds). Burstein called Montes de Oca “superb” as she snagged second place in the 50-yard butterfly (41.96 seconds).

Genesis Divett grabbed a point for third in the backstroke (40.78 seconds).

In the 13-14 boys division, Alex Guevara turned in a trio of second place finishes for the Wahoos. He went 27.28 seconds in the 50-yard freestyle, 30.75 seconds in backstroke and 31.90 seconds in the butterfly.

In the breastroke, Wahoo Chris Billips was first (37.97 seconds) and teammate Javier Kent was third with a time of 43.84 seconds. Billips also took third in the butterfly (34.34 seconds).

The 13-14 girls also faced a tough Dolphins squad, but Grace Wittmer captured the 50-yard freestyle in 29.53 seconds and took third place in the backstroke with a time of 37.20 seconds.

Ellie Medina took second place in the butterfly in 34.84 seconds.

Maria McLemore was the top point winner for the Wahoos 15-18 girls. She won the 50-yard breaststroke in 35.82 seconds with teammate Olivia-Grace Boyd taking third (41.66 seconds).

In the 50-yard freestyle, she edged out Emme Kershner of the Dolphins by .06 seconds for second place (28.37 seconds) and in the 50-yard butterfly she out touched her sister Bella by .52 seconds as they went 2-3.

In the 50-yard backstroke, Wahoo Abbie Altenburg took second place (32.94 seconds) with Bella third (34.26 seconds).

McLemore was joined by Bella, Altenburg and Boyd to win the 200-yard medley relay in 2 minutes 07.72 seconds.

The Wahoos host their final regular season meet against the Fort Myer Squids on July 13 at the Old Town Pool.

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