McDonough High School's first-year swimming programs continued to find ways to win Saturday night against Thomas Stone at St. Mary's College. The Rams boys team put things away early in a 101-63 triumph, while the girls team clinched an 86-82 victory in the final event.

The McDonough girls (3-1) trailed Stone, 78-76, heading into the meet-closing 400-yard freestyle relay. Needing to capture the event to win the meet, Rams seniors Carrie Rafer, Sara Sanders and Esther Michela and sophomore Jessica Cornette led from the start and won in 4 minutes 5.06 seconds. Cougars senior Laura Finley, juniors Diana Rhoades and Victoria Webber and freshman Mary Scott finished second in 4:06.9.

"This win gives [the girls team] a lot of momentum heading into the end of the season and the conference championship meet," McDonough Coach Marty Pride said.

In the individual events, the Rams were led by Rafer, who won the 200 freestyle (2:04.3) and 100-yard freestyle (58.3), and Sanders, who won the 100 butterfly (1:02) and 100 backstroke (1:08.1).

Scott finished first for Stone in the 100 breaststroke (1:18) and 500 freestyle (5:59).

McDonough's boys (3-1) had four different victors. Sophomore Lee Hamilton won his first high school race by finishing the 100 backstroke in 1:09.1. Other Rams winners were freshman Jonathan Michela (200 individual medley, 2:32.4), sophomore Ethan Ratliff (100 butterfly, 58.3) and sophomore Scott Seymour (100 freestyle, 58.3).

"I knew both our teams were going to be strong this year," said Pride, whose teams have a bye Saturday before facing Calvert on Feb. 5. "I even think we have a chance at winning the conference meet--each week our times are getting faster and faster."

WESTLAKE BOYS 118, LA PLATA 28: Josh Smith won the 50 free (24.16) and 200 free (2:16.05), and Derik Holley won the 100 free (56.01) and 500 free (5:35.68) as the Wolverines (3-1) beat first-year program La Plata.

The Warriors (0-3) were missing seven of their 13 swimmers--six were competing in an indoor track meet, and sophomore standout Scott Woods was out with an injury. He should return Saturday, Coach Chris Butler said. Sophomore Matt Diehl was the only La Plata swimmer to win an event--he took the 100 fly in 1:08.95.

WESTLAKE GIRLS 121, LA PLATA 36: Senior Kim Hampton won the 200 IM (2:28.2) and the 100 breaststroke (1:15.85), and sophomore Erin Antroinen won the 100 free (1:05.46) and 100 back (1:17.12), as the Wolverines (4-0) remained the conference's lone undefeated girls team.

The Warriors (0-3) were led by junior Shanann Cooksey, who has won all six races she has entered this season after winning the 50 free (27.17) and 500 free (7:02.16) on Saturday. The Warriors were missing eight of their 17 swimmers due to illness and a senior trip, but junior Lindsay Damon gained her first high school victory, in the 200 free (3:03.92).

NORTHERN BOYS 118, PATUXENT 58: The Patriots (3-0) stayed undefeated as junior Jeff Burek won the 50 free (22.6) and 500 free (6:00.83), and sophomore Bryan Freimuth notched the first individual victory of his high school career in the 100 breaststroke (1:17.01). Freshman standout Matt Cribbs--still unable to swim his specialty, the breaststroke, because of a knee injury--won the 100 fly in 1:07.64.

The Panthers (2-2) were led by junior Patrick Chan, who won the 100 back (1:01.52) and 200 IM (2:17.74).

NORTHERN GIRLS 96, PATUXENT 74: Northern freshman Emily Dare claimed her first individual victory by winning the 100 fly in 1:17.22 as the Patriots (2-1) prevailed. Northern will face first-place Westlake on Saturday. The Panthers (2-2) were led by Sarah Burkhart, who won the 200 free (2:14.95) and 500 free (6:15.71).

CAPTION: Patuxent's Sarah Burkhart wins the 200 freestyle against Northern on Saturday night, but the Panther girls lost, 96-74.

CAPTION: Northern freshman Matt Cribbs, unable to swim the breaststroke because of a knee injury, wins the 100 butterfly.