It was all smiles Saturday for the Walter Johnson boys at the Maryland 4A/3A swimming and diving state meet, and none were bigger than the one on senior Barry Mangold’s face as he hoisted the championship trophy over his head with his left arm, his right arm in a sling.
Mangold led the Wildcats to their second consecutive boys’ title at the University of Maryland’s Eppley Recreation Center. Their 274 points easily outdistanced runner-up Blair (204). Wootton won the girls’ title with a dominating 329 points; Sherwood (255.5) was second.
Mangold, who injured his shoulder while helping set up for a school dance, entered the meet unsure whether he would be able to race.
“This was a really fun meet. Yesterday I dislocated my shoulder, so to be able to come back and go fast today was a lot of fun,” Mangold said. “To be able to continue the winning tradition [Walter Johnson] has and to go out with another state title means a lot.”
Mangold defended his state titles in the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle in 21.33 and 47.73 seconds, respectively. Before each race Mangold swung his arm overhead, testing for tightness or pain. But once on the starting block, the Virginia-bound senior radiated confidence, which he converted into raw speed in the water with dominating performances that included a state record in the 50 freestyle.
Mangold’s victories were two of 22 state titles won by Montgomery County students, including both diving events. Northern junior Ben Lawless was the lone event winner from outside the county. He set the state record in the boys’ 200 freestyle (1 minute 40.59 seconds) and dominated the field in the 500 freestyle to win in an automatic all-American cut time of 4:30.55 — a personal best by six seconds.
“Coming from Calvert County, I sort of feel like an underdog,” Lawless said. “I wanted to show everyone that there is some fast swimming in other parts of Maryland.”
Wootton’s girls completed a perfect season without winning an individual event in the meet. Kristina Li, Jessica Chen, Scarlett Sun and Emily Zhang won the 200 medley relay for the Patriots in 1:49.70.
“We were pumped up for this meet and knew that if we came in and did what we were capable of that things would work out. And that’s what the girls did,” Wootton Coach Jackie Emr said.
Blair senior Jack Foster set the record in the boys’ 200 individual medley (1:53.16); Wootton senior Austin Dickey reset his own record in the boys’ 100 breaststroke (57.28); and Einstein sophomore Rory Lewis set the state mark in the boys’ 100 butterfly in 51.06.
Seniors Charlotte Meyer (Whitman) and Anna Kolanowski (Sherwood) were also double event winners. Meyer, who has signed with Navy, claimed the 200 IM and 500 freestyle. Kolanowski, who will swim for Georgia, captured the 100 and 200 free.
Poolesville won five of the six relay events and five individual state titles to sweep the Maryland 3A/2A/1A state swimming championships. It was the Falcons’ second consecutive boys’ crown and their first girls’ title.
Junior Xavier Laracuente lead the Falcon boys by capturing the titles in the 50 and 100 freestyle. For the girls, senior Diana Hanson won the girls’ 200 IM and sophomore Dorit Song won the girls’ 100 freestyle to lead Poolesville to the victory. Both swimmers placed second in their second individual events.