Walter Johnson seniors Daniel Mengering and Adrian Astiz form a potent one-two combination at the top of the Wildcats' lineup. Mengering is prolific in distance freestyle events, while Astiz is a master of many strokes. No matter the circumstance, the result is invariably the same: They win.
At the Montgomery County Swim and Dive Championships yesterday at the Martin Luther King Jr. Swim Center in Silver Spring, Mengering and Astiz each posted two individual victories and, paired with senior Andrej Lopuchov and sophomore Joey Knecht, won the 200 and 400 freestyle relays. The result was a repeat championship for the Walter Johnson boys, who finished with 311 points. Whitman was second (257) and Blair took third (240).
Richard Montgomery's Katura Harvey, left, and Whitman's Jill Hamilton prepare for the 200 freestyle. Harvey finished in first, and also won the 500 freestyle, as the Rockets claimed the girls' title.
(Don Wright For The Washington Post)
Richard Montgomery dominated the girls' competition with 315 points. Junior Susan Kim and sophomore Katura Harvey both scored two individual wins and two relay wins to lead the Rockets. Sherwood placed second (226), followed by Blake (201).
Walter Johnson also claimed the overall team title, securing 510 points, outdistancing runner-up Richard Montgomery (469).
"It's great having those guys," said Walter Johnson Coach Jamie Grimes of his two seniors. "Daniel can do distance freestyle and in the relays he can sprint, and Adrian can do anything and he's fast in everything."
Mengering had little to worry about in the 200- and 500-freestyle events. He easily outdistanced his competition, winning the 200 in 1 minute 44.60 seconds and the 500 in 4:40.77. Astiz was first to the wall in the 100 breaststroke, finishing in 1:00.20. He won the 100 butterfly in 51.78, using a fierce late surge to hold off teammate Knecht in the tightest race of the day.
"I knew it the whole time," said Astiz of his fast-approaching competitor. "He went fast, and I just didn't want to lose to a sophomore, so I pulled it out in the last 25."
The Wildcats' 200-freestyle relay win in 1:29.01 set the only record of the meet. Sherwood's Nick Conrad swept the sprint events, winning the 50 freestyle in 22.20 and the 100 freestyle in 48.62. Walter Johnson's Brian Miller won the one-meter diving competition with 351.6 points.
After falling to the Warriors by four points last year in the girls' competition, Richard Montgomery swimmers were determined to avoid a similar result. Harvey, suffering from flu symptoms, anchored the winning 200 medley relay in the opening event, then went on to win the 200 and 500 freestyle, in 1:56.24 and 5:01.96 respectively. Kim added wins in the 200-individual medley in 2:11.39 and the 100 breaststroke in 1:06.23.
"We wanted to crush [the competition]," said Kim. "We wanted to do well here and we knew we could."
Whitman's Colleen Law also had a standout performance, earning wins in the 50 freestyle in 24.48 and the 100 freestyle in 52.55. Blake's Ashley Goins was the one-meter girls' diving champion, earning 393.7 points.