Although Loudoun Valley senior Emily Kelly and junior M.T. Boland did not repeat as individual state champions at last Saturday's AA/A swim and dive championships in Charlottesville, Vikings Coach Donna Kelly's spirits weren't dampened.
In fact, Donna Kelly, Emily's mother, was elated that the Vikings girls finished seventh with 104 points.
"I was expecting to do well, but we've never placed as high as seventh before," she said. "Especially relating to Potomac Falls's boys, who were in seventh place, I was happy that we could . . . place as high as they did."
Emily Kelly, last year's state champion in the 200-yard freestyle, was suffering from lingering effects of the flu and finished fourth with a time of 1 minute 56.18 seconds -- nearly three and a half seconds slower than her winning time last year.
"I was happy that Emily was able to come to the meet at all," Donna Kelly said. "Emily was out of the water for six days and had a fever for five. She was just barely back in the water [by the state meet]. . . . If the meet was a week earlier, she wouldn't have been able to go."
Boland lost the 100 breaststroke to Lafayette's Anna Linkenauger after beating her for the crown last year and setting a state record. Boland finished Saturday's race in 1:07.82, behind Linkenauger's state-record time of 1:07.38.
"M.T. is a great competitor," Donna Kelly said. "She's a fighter. She went into the race confident she would win it, but it was just one of those things. It could have gone either way."
Loudoun Valley's individual disappointments were tempered by its performances in the 400 freestyle and 200 medley relays.
The Vikings established school records by placing sixth in the 400 freestyle relay in 3:49.90 and by finishing seventh in the 200 medley relay in 1:57.62.
On the boys' side, Vikings junior Andy Maddux achieved his goal of besting 1:05.00 in the 100 breaststroke when he finished in 1:04.84.
Mortensen Takes Third
Danielle Mortensen's four-year quest for an individual state title fell short Saturday when she finished third in the 500-yard freestyle in 5:08.25. The Broad Run senior placed second in the event in each of her first three state meets, and she entered Saturday's final seeded first.
"At the beginning of the high school season, I didn't really care about the high school season and just wanted to do it for fun," Mortensen said. "But after districts, I realized how badly I wanted to win. At the [state] meet, I didn't do very well. But it's over now."
Mortensen said the difference in her first-place preliminary race and her third-place finish in the finals was that the event's top swimmers swam in different heats during preliminaries.
"That makes it a little different," she said. "When you're racing people, it's different. For some reason, I put more pressure on myself when there's someone in my heat that I really want to beat."