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Schwee Rebounds to Set Record Straight

By Rich Campbell
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, February 20, 2005; Page E10

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Feb. 19 -- Stone Bridge freshman Suzanne Schwee entered the 100-yard backstroke at Saturday's Virginia AA/A Swimming and Diving championships with one eye on her first state title and the other on Tabb's Kristin Cihoski.

In the 200 individual medley earlier in the meet, Cihoski, the seventh seed, surprised the top-seeded Schwee and won by 0.30 of a second. Schwee got her revenge, though, in the 100 backstroke with an automatic all-American and state-record time of 57.36 seconds.

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"I was right next to her [in the 100 back], so I really wanted to win," Schwee said.

Schwee's individual title helped Stone Bridge's girls amass 166 points and finish third at the University of Virginia Aquatics and Fitness Center.

"I am completely ecstatic about finishing in third place," Bulldogs Coach Sarah Horning said. "It was more than I could expect."

On the boys' side, Potomac Falls junior Matt McLean shattered the state record in the 200 freestyle and led the Panthers to a seventh-place finish. He broke the previous state record of 1 minute 42.90 seconds in Friday's preliminaries and then topped that effort with an automatic all-American time of 1:39.96 in the final.

"I've been doing everything I should at practice," McLean said. "I've been working really hard. I was just ready to go. It felt really good to just get out and race."

In one of the meet's closest finishes, Fauquier freshman Caitlin Perks came from behind during the last 25 yards of the 200 freestyle to beat Stone Bridge senior Megan Newell with a time of 1:53.27 to Newell's 1:53.54.

"I was just thinking in my head, 'No, I really, really, really want this,' " Perks said. "Everything that was going through my head was saying, 'You have to go faster.' "

Dominion sophomore Lauren Ritter successfully defended her title in the 500 freestyle with a time of 5:04.89. She trailed Sherando's Allie Smith for most of the race but took the lead when Smith faded at the end.

"It means so much more than last year because, as a freshman, I don't think I understood how great it was," Ritter said. "But now I do."

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