Jefferson sophomore Jenny Basel's "alter ego" made two appearances today during the Virginia AAA swimming and diving meet at Princess Anne Recreation Center, and it helped her win two individual titles.
Basel was in second place midway through both the 200-meter freestyle and 100 breaststroke races, but made stunning comebacks in each. Basel also swam a leg of the Colonials' victorious 400 freestyle relay as Jefferson won its second consecutive girls' team championship.
"She calls it her 'alter ego,' " Jefferson Coach Melissa Stefan said when asked about Basel's comebacks. "She just hates to lose."
Jefferson junior Emily Verdin, who anchored the 400 freestyle relay, won the 200 individual medley title and placed runner-up in the 100 backstroke as the Colonials compiled 253 points. South Lakes placed second with 163 and Robinson (144) finished third.
Robinson won the boys' competition with 239 points and Menchville placed second with 180. Defending champion Jefferson was fourth with 126 points.
Though the Rams had no individual champions, their depth was apparent as they scored in all but one of the meet's events and won the 200 freestyle relay. Steve Scheren anchored that relay and placed second and third in the 50 and 100 freestyles, respectively.
Early today, Lee senior Mary Yarrison added the perfect ending to a high school career that was, quite literally, perfect. Yarrison remained unbeaten in her four years with the Lancers by winning her fourth straight AAA girls' diving championship with a state-record score of 483.30. The previous record was set in 1999, when Yarrison was in eighth grade.
"The state record has been my goal since my freshman year," said Yarrison, who will dive for the University of Arizona next fall.
In the boys' diving competition, Lake Braddock freshman Scott Hudson compiled 440.37 points to edge W.T. Woodson freshman Mikey McDonald (433.08) in what should be an intense and competitive rivalry for the next three years. A week ago at the AAA Northern Region meet, McDonald beat Hudson by 8.76 points.
South Lakes senior Chris Meleski extended his reign as Virginia's top distance freestyler. Meleski won the 200 freestyle for the third consecutive year and 500 freestyle for the second straight year.
Gar-Field senior Brett MacLennan staked his claim as perhaps the best high school swimmer to come out of Prince William County by winning the 200 individual medley and 100 backstroke.
Westfield freshman Yeng Lan Beller made a considerable first impression at the state meet by winning the girls' 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke in national record-breaking times of 1:01.35 and 1:03.59, respectively.
Both Mike Ott of Oakton and Meghan Thiel of Yorktown rebounded from disappointing first races to capture state titles. Ott won the 100 freestyle after placing runner-up in the 200 medley. Thiel blazed to the 500 free title in a national-record time after a fourth-place finish in the 200 free.
Tabb High swam to its second straight boys' and girls' title in the Group AA and A meet. The Liberty (Bealeton) girls' team placed sixth and the Potomac Falls girls' placed seventh of 54 teams.
Special correspondent Kate Martin contributed to this report.