La Plata's and Northern's senior swimmers certainly know how to close their careers. In what was probably the final meet of the season for most Southern Maryland Athletic Conference teams, each school had a relay team go into the record books at the SMAC championships Saturday in Landover.
Northern senior Kacy Cribbs will leave the Patriots having etched her name in their record books in five places. At the SMAC championships, where the Patriots captured the girls' team title, Cribbs was the winner in the 100-yard breaststroke and swam the third leg of Northern's 200-yard freestyle relay team. The unit, which included junior Brittany Lee and freshmen Danielle Henwood and Amy Lacosse, finished in a record-setting 1 minute 49.71 seconds.
La Plata's Stephanie Young congratulates fellow senior Krystina Weaver after Weaver won the 50-yard freestyle. The two have swum together since age 7.
(Michael Temchine For The Washington Post)
La Plata's girls went in the books with a win in the 200 medley relay, a victory that was extraspecial for La Plata seniors and friends Krystina Weaver and Stephanie Young.
"It's been special for me because I know I'm finishing," Weaver said. "For my best friend, Stephanie, we've been swimming together since we were 7, and this will probably be the last time we ever get to swim together."
Along with fellow senior Mikey Pride and junior Stephanie Stahl, the Warriors set a meet record in the 200-yard freestyle relay, at 2:01.26. The group also captured the 400-yard freestyle in 4:01.40, helping La Plata to a second-place finish at the championships.
Weaver closed her career as the SMAC record holder in the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard freestyle and was again the winner in the 50 free and the 100-yard butterfly Saturday. Pride closed her career with a win in the 200-yard individual medley.
"They have carried our team," said La Plata Coach Christine Wiegand. "Their leadership and abilities have allowed other kids to watch them and learn from them."
For Leonardtown senior Eric Pinno, this season has been the only opportunity for him to swim for the Raiders. Before the 2004 campaign, swimming was not a sport offered in St. Mary's County. But with a new pool opening at Great Mills, the three schools in the county now have a place to practice, and Pinno wasted no time in leaving his mark on the SMAC.
Pinno, a freestyle specialist, led the boys' team through an undefeated regular season before coming in a strong second to Patuxent at last weekend's championship meet.
"I was glad they were able to fit swimming in for me. It's more fast-paced, and the meets are really quick," said Pinno, comparing the atmospheres of high school and club swimming.
Of the four events Pinno entered Saturday, he was a winner in three, setting records in each. Pinno lowered the mark in the 50-yard freestyle to 22.21 and destroyed the previous record of 51.93 in the 100-yard freestyle by touching the wall in 48.15. He also swam the anchor on the 400-yard freestyle relay team, which included freshman Ryan Pinno and sophomores Shaun Loughram and Jackson Webb. The team finished the relay in 3:33.23, smashing the previous mark by more than eight seconds.
"Eric did whatever we asked him to," said Leonardtown Coach Megan Shelton about her top swimmer. "It's kind of rough when you are a senior and that's the only year you get to swim. It's also an opportunity, and he used that opportunity very well. It was his moment to shine."