McDonough High School's boys and girls swimming teams have opened their first seasons with ample success. But that doesn't mean the Rams are celebrating.
"We know we are capable of doing a lot more," said McDonough Coach Marty Pride on Saturday after her boys team improved to 2-0 and her girls to 1-1 with victories over La Plata, which is also in its first year of swimming. "This . . . gives us confidence, and after Christmas break we should be even better."
Both Rams teams were impressive against La Plata at St. Mary's College. The boys won, 113-55, and the girls took home a 102-65 victory.
Freshman Jonathan Michela and sophomores Ethan Ratliff and Scott Seymour won two individual events apiece to lead the Rams. Michela won the 200-yard freestyle (2 minutes 11.28 seconds) and the 500 freestyle (6:03.85), Ratliff finished first in the 200 individual medley (2:07.22) and 100 butterfly (59.15), and Scott Seymour captured the 50 freestyle (23.96) and 100 backstroke (1:13.28).
The Rams boys won seven of the eight individual events and all three relays. Junior Mike Vaira salvaged the lone win for the Warriors when he claimed the 100 breaststroke in 1:17.24.
On the girls side, the Rams won without the help of senior standouts Sara Sanders and Carrie Rafer, who were in Pittsburgh at a Junior Nationals qualifying meet.
Sophomore Jessica Cornette won the 200 freestyle (2:30.79) and the 500 freestyle (7:05.67), and senior Esther Michela placed first in the 200 individual medley (2:44.34) and the 100 butterfly (1:17.99).
"This win gives our girls a lot of confidence," Pride said. "They now know Carrie and Sara don't have to carry the team, and when we get them back, we're going to be that much better."
La Plata Coach Chris Butler said he was most pleased with the performance of sophomore Tracy Warring, who placed second in the 500 freestyle (8:15.12) in her first meet at any level.
* THOMAS STONE BOYS 88, CALVERT 75: Junior Patrick Phalen, sophomore Steve Heimpel and senior Scott Lohman each won two individual events for the Cougars (1-1). Phalen won the 200 freestyle (2:27.58) and the 100 backstroke (1:11.69), Heimpel was victorious in the 200 individual medley (2:32.69) and the 500 freestyle (6:14.71), and Lohman took the 50 freestyle (23.75) and the 100 breaststroke (1:13.92).
Junior Phil Buddenbender won the 100 butterfly in 1:33.68, as the Cougars won seven of eight individual events and all three relays. Junior Nick Grigsby was the Cavaliers' only event winner, taking the 100 freestyle in 55.80.
* THOMAS STONE GIRLS 99, CALVERT 63: After losing their first meet of the season by one point to Northern on Dec. 11, the Cougars won every race against the Cavaliers.
Junior Vicky Weber won the 100 (59.90) and 200 freestyles (2:07.82), and senior Laura Finley posted victories in the 100 backstroke (1:18.55) and 200 individual medley (2:43.46). Junior Jessica Lohman won the 50 freestyle (27.53) and the 100 butterfly (1:19.23). Mary Scott won the 100 breaststroke (1:18.25) and the 500 freestyle (6:10.34).
The Cougars won without their top swimmer, junior Diana Rhodes, who was in Pittsburgh trying to qualify for Junior Nationals, Coach Shawn Starcher said.
* WESTLAKE BOYS 105, PATUXENT 60: Sophomore Derik Holley won the the 100 backstroke (1:09.79) and the 500 freestyle (5:48.25), as the defending Southern Maryland Invitational and state invitational champion Wolverines rebounded from a season-opening loss to McDonough. Westlake's Josh Smith won the 50 freestyle (24.5) and senior Jeff Carbone took the 100 freestyle (58.57).
* WESTLAKE GIRLS 93, PATUXENT 75: The Panthers' Anna Joy won the 200 individual medley and the 100 backstroke, but the deep Wolverines (2-0) still found a way to remain unbeaten. Westlake was led by sophomore Erin Antroinen, who won the 100 freestyle in 1:03.69.
Thomas Stone 88, Calvert 75
McDonough 113, La Plata 55
Westlake 105, Patuxent 60
Thomas Stone 99, Calvert 63
McDonough 102, La Plata 65
Westlake 93, Patuxent 75
* Boys and girls; at St. Mary's College, Jan. 8
Northern vs. McDonough, 5
Calvert vs. Westlake, 7
Patuxent vs. La Plata
Bye: Thomas Stone
CAPTION: McDonough junior Jehan Alvani, who anchored the Rams' boys 400 freestyle relay victory, gets a congratulatory handshake from a teammate.
CAPTION: La Plata's Lindsey Adkisson anchored the winning girls 400 freestyle relay team against McDonough, but the Warriors lost, 102-65, at St. Mary's College.