By JOEY LoMONACO THE FREE LANCE–STAR
Icy road conditions delayed the arrival of the King George swim team for Tuesday’s Battlefield District meet in Warrenton. Foxes senior Ciara Graves used the late start to preach against the dangers of leaving early.
Two years ago, King George’s six-game conference/district championship streak came to an end, largely due to a disqualification when a relay swimmer was deemed to have committed a false start.
“I didn’t want what happened last time to happen again,” Graves said. “I remember saying to my two stints, make sure you do everything right and by the book, but also quickly.”
This time around, the Foxes’ timing was flawless. Behind victories in the 200 and 400m freestyle relays, King George reclaimed the title he ceded to Courtland in January 2020. Due to COVID-19 constraints, no championships were held last winter.
“They swam like they had a job to do today,” King George coach Connor Muncie said. “They swam with a bit of anger.”
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The Courtland boys also posted average times, but their path to a title relied a bit more on depth. The Cougars swimmers won only two individual events, but they placed early and often enough throughout the championships to edge runner-up King George, 424–363.
“We wanted to do well as a team, not just individually,” said senior Tristan Loesche, who won the 50 freestyle with a time of 23.11. “When you place en masse…first and second won’t get as many points as 3-4-5.”
The Cougars also did well in the relays, winning the 200m medley and 400m freestyle and finishing a close second (0.6 seconds behind King George) in the 200m freestyle.
James Monroe’s rookie Sami Sowers won two individual titles in the women’s 100m freestyle and 100m backstroke. As a team, the Yellow Jackets finished third in boys and girls.
Chancellor’s Kyle Peck continued his second breakout campaign by placing first in the men’s 200 individual medley and 100 freestyle. His older brother Garrett won the 200 freestyle.
Swimmers who posted qualifying times qualify for the Region 4B Championships, which take place Friday at Swim RVA in Richmond. Monaco’s perennial state power figures to give foxes and cougars all they can handle.
“Monacan is a beast,” Muncie said, “but if we can sneak past them and upset them, it won’t hurt me.”
Joey LoMonaco: 540/368-5045