RICHMOND — As Andrew Seliskar hung on the wall after winning the 100-yard butterfly at Saturday’s Virginia 5A state swimming and diving championships, the Jefferson senior sucked air hungrily into his lungs. He had taken just four breaths over the race’s first 75 yards, none during the final length of the Collegiate School Aquatic Center pool.
“I thought I was going to pass out afterward,” he said.
It was Seliskar’s final individual race of his illustrious high school career, and he had made a mistake in his breathing that may have cost him a national high school record. It didn’t matter.
He had scored maximum points for his team, winning a pair of individual events and leading the Colonials to victory in two record-setting relays to boot.
“We’ve been thinking about this meet all season,” Seliskar said. “It’s the last big high school meet for us. . . . It couldn’t have ended better.”
Jefferson finished with 331 points to defeat defending champion Princess Anne (248), winning its first state title since 2002. Potomac Falls was third with 220.
In the butterfly, Seliskar touched in an all-time Virginia-best 46.13 seconds to become the event’s third-fastest performer in high school history. It was the second record-breaking performance of the night for the California-bound senior, who also posted high school’s second-fastest time ever in the 200 individual medley earlier in the evening with a 1:43.01.
“Obviously I wanted to get the records because that would have been a cool accomplishment,” Seliskar said. You “can’t be unhappy with best times. . . . There is still a lot of room to improve.”
In the girls’ meet, Albemarle won a second straight title with 251 points, ahead of Atlee (229), Menchville (195) and Jefferson (189).
Little could overshadow what Seliskar did in the pool, however.
Seliskar swam a lightning 20.24-second butterfly split during the Colonials’ winning 200 medley relay, which touched in an all-time state-record time of 1:33.00. He was joined by seniors Luke Thorsell, Joseph Doran and Quintin Frerichs. Seliskar also anchored the winning 400 freestyle relay in 43.53 seconds, helped by Thorsell, Emilio Sison and freshman Jonathan Pollock in breaking another all-time Virginia record (3:04.34).
Thorsell, a Columbia-bound senior, placed second in the 100 backstroke (50.33) and third in the 100 freestyle (46.53).
Sison, swimming with a fever, finished third in the 100 breaststroke, and the junior further provided a huge anchor leg on the Seliskar-less 200 freestyle relay, which touched fourth.
“Andrew has carried this team for four years. I knew I had to do something special tonight for him and the seniors," Sison said.
Entering Saturday’s finals, Seliskar was already Virginia’s all-time leader in the 100 breaststroke, 100 butterfly, 200 individual medley and the 100, 200 and 500 freestyle events. He never contested the 50 freestyle in a state meet and, in four years, never swam the 100 backstroke in a high school meet.
“I should have done the 100 back,” Seliskar joked afterward. “I’ve been asking all season because my brother’s name is still up on the record board.”
It will stay there for at least another 10 months before the start of next season.
In other local results, Potomac Falls senior William Lin won the boys’ 500 freestyle in 4:38.17; Stone Bridge’s Andi Mack won the girls’ 200 freestyle (1:52.15); and Jefferson’s Carrie Heilbrun won the girls’ 100 backstroke (56.71) and placed second in the 100 butterfly (55.03).