Whispers of a historic evening spread through Germantown Indoor Swim Center in Boyds early Saturday night. Heading into the finals of the Washington Metropolitan Interscholastic Swimming and Diving Championships, some coaches believed that a public school would win the boys’ title.
For nearly the past two decades, this was not the case. Gonzaga and Georgetown Prep alternated taking home the championship since 2001, creating a culture of winning that left their competition out of the top spot. Walter Johnson was the last public school boys’ team to win Metros in 2000.
In the end, the coaches’ premonitions proved correct, and the Churchill boys were crowned champions with 324.50 points, edging past Georgetown Prep (298). Richard Montgomery finished third (261.50). It was the Bulldogs’ first Metros title since at least 1997, when Potomac Valley Swimming, USA Swimming’s D.C. area committee, started publishing results
“We all just bonded together,” said junior Steven Mendley, who anchored the Bulldogs to a victory in the 400-free relay. “We were all so motivated to end that 17-year [private-school] streak.”
Standout performances included Good Counsel junior Ryan Vipavetz, who won the 200-yard freestyle in 1 minute 39.14 seconds. He also claimed the 500 free in an automatic all-American time of 4:26.91.
Georgetown Prep freshman Brett Feyerick was also a double-winner, as he picked up titles in the 100 free (46.35) and 100 back (49.87).
The Quince Orchard boys started off the meet in one of the tightest races of the night, holding off Georgetown Prep in the 200-medley relay, 1:33.99 to 1:34.23. Cougars senior Eli Fouts, a Wisconsin commitment, was the winner in the 100 fly (49.09) and 100 breast (55.08), which was an automatic all-American time.
In the girls’ competition, Sherwood won its second Metros championship in three years, with 362 points. Holton-Arms finished second (304) and Stone Ridge was third (293).
“It’s just the love we have on this team,” Warriors sophomore Amanda Wenhold said. “We’re always pushing each other to get better.”
Wenhold out-touched St. John’s junior Keyla Brown in the 100 free, 51.96 to 52.07. Brown was the winner in the 50 free (23.46).
Some of the loudest cheers of the night erupted when Stone Ridge superstar sophomore Phoebe Bacon won the 100 fly by nearly a full body length in 52.91 seconds — a Metros record. Bacon also won the 100 breast in an automatic all-American time of 1:02.02 and anchored the team to a Metros record in the 400 free relay (3:27.07).
“When we broke the Stone Ridge school record [in the preliminary round], we knew we could do it,” Bacon said.
Bacon’s only loss was in the 200-medley relay, which Holton-Arms juniors Jing-E Tan and Olivia Jubin and sophomores Jillian Johnson and Tatum Zupnik won in an automatic all-American time of 1:44.71.
Earlier in the week, Bethesda-Chevy Chase senior Madeline Pfaff won the girls’ one-meter diving competition with 485.50 points, beating out the defending champion, Seneca Valley senior Hannah Montau (465.45). Sherwood freshman Michael Parker claimed the boys’ title (419.90), followed by Churchill sophomore Quinn Westwood (408.25).