WJ swim cheers on their swimmers as they compete in Metros on Feb. 10.  The Aquacats are known for their spirit as they don the famous WJ green.  I was definitely really nervous but the energy was so supportive from my team, junior Isla Bartholomew said.
WJ swim cheers on their swimmers as they compete in Metros on Feb. 10. The Aquacats are known for their spirit as they don the famous WJ green. “I was definitely really nervous but the energy was so supportive from my team,” junior Isla Bartholomew said.
Courtesy WJ Swim and Dive

WJ Swim breaks multiple records in postseason competition

Girls place second at Metros, Boys win Divisional title

On Feb. 3, girls’ swim continued their undefeated streak by winning the Divisional Championships and clinching the overall Division Title. However, on Feb. 10, the team lost their undefeated record at Metros, yet still performed well, placing second overall.

Contributing to the team’s win at Divisionals were outstanding performances by freshman Elanor Saybolt in the 200 and 500 Free, and sophomore Zoe McGee in the 200 IM. Relays by junior Addie Pollitt, junior Isla Bartholomew, McGee and senior Emma Burlina in the Girls’ Medley, senior Healey Morgan, Burlina, Saybolt and junior Madeleine Simmons in the 200 Free Relay and Saybolt, Bartholomew, Morgan, and Simmons in the 400 Free Relay also came in clutch for the girls’ success.

Next at Metros, there were many exceptional performances, including Bartholomew’s first-place title in the 100 Breast, Simmon’s 2nd place ranking in the 100 IM, Morgan’s second place in the 50 Free and third place in the 100 Free, Morgan, Simmons, Saybolt and Burlina’s third place in the Girls 200 Free Relay.

“We’ve been working really hard at making sure we were ready for this meet. The practices definitely paid off, and I’m really happy with how we did,” Bartholomew said.

I absolutely went as fast as I could, but it was hard not to be discouraged because there was really nothing else I could do to beat them. It was still a really fast relay though, and I know that we all had our hearts in it

— Madeleine Simmons, 11

The last event for the girls at Metros was the 400 Free Relay, which would’ve secured the win. Morgan, Bartholomew, Saybolt and Simmons were head-to-head with the Richard Montgomery relay team. Despite their efforts, they ended up finishing second, differing from the Rockets by 2.22 seconds. Their time of 3:29.16 is still very impressive as it landed them the second-fastest WJ time in this event.

“I knew I wouldn’t be able to catch up to RM on the last relay because we were going in from behind and the girl they had going last was faster than me. I absolutely went as fast as I could, but it was hard not to be discouraged because there was really nothing else I could do to beat them. It was still a really fast relay though, and I know that we all had our hearts in it,” Simmons said.

However, the team still performed well at Metros, as Simmons became the second fastest in WJ swim history in the 200 IM and the seventh fastest in the 100 Free, while Morgan tied for the second fastest time in the 50 Free, McGee has the fourth fastest time in the 100 Fly and Bartholomew has the ninth fastest time in the 100 Free.

“Our 400 Free Relay time was our best this season, and it felt good to be relatively close to the time we had a few years ago with different people. It was definitely exciting because I know we can go faster in States,” Simmons said.

With such stressful races, it is easy for the pressure to get to the swimmers before their event.

“To remain calm, I would say that we put trust into the work we’ve done so far this season and the success that we’ve had in the regular season,” Simmons said.

Boys Swim wins Divisionals, places fourth at Metros

Junior JD Peppelman swims in the 100 Fly. Peppelman swam a 54.95 second 100 Fly and a 2:02.83 200 IM. (Courtesy WJ Swim and Dive)

On Feb. 3, boys’ swim placed second in the Divisionals, but won the Divisional Title. There were many notable events, including the 200 IM by freshman Luc Dionne and the 100 Fly by junior Noah Potter. On Feb. 10, the boys placed fourth overall in Metros. There were impressive performances all around. The Boys Medley, swam by Potter, Dionne, senior Joe Flynn, and sophomore Max Bagshaw placed eighth in the meet but was the second top-time for WJ’s Boys Medley at 1:36.23, putting them 1.16 seconds behind WJ’s all-time top time for this race.

“It feels great to have the second fastest time in school history. Obviously, we would want to be the first, but we can always get there with enough drive,” Flynn said.

Metros is a high-stakes meet as public and private schools from all over the DMV participate. At practice, many swimmers focus on their technique to prepare for such a stressful event. With Regionals and States right around the corner, swimmers are continuing to work hard to get ready.

“I’ve been working on finishing my races well and it’s definitely paid off because the back halves of my races have been good. I’m going to work on faster turns to prepare for States,” Potter said.

At Metros, Potter has the second fastest time in the 100 Fly and 100 Back and the fourth fastest time for the 100 Free, sophomore Dain Phillips has the tenth fastest time in the 500 Free, Dionne has the sixth fastest time in the 100 Breast, and Bagshaw has the eighth fastest time in the 100 Breast.

“Doing well in my events was great, and doing it at Metros made it better because our team got 4, which was way better than I expected,” Potter said.

With Metros and Divisonals complete, WJ swim will finish their season with Regionals and States. Regionals were Thursday, Feb. 15, for Dive, while Swim will compete in regionals on Monday, Feb. 20. States is Feb. 24 at the University of Maryland, where the girls aim to defend their 4A-3A title while the boys seek their first state title since 2015.

“You automatically qualify for states by being in the top three at the meet, and the next 12 fastest times from all the combined regional meets. Diving is the top four from the region meets,” head coach Jamie Grimes said.

Story continues below advertisement
5
0
Leave a Comment
Donate to The Pitch
$775
$1000
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Walter Johnson High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Mackenzie Norris, Print Sports Editor
Senior Mackenzie Norris is excited to particpate in her first year with the Pitch as Print Sports Editor and Business Manager. In addition to writing for the Pitch, Mackenzie enjoys representing WJ on the softball field with some of her best friends and teammates.
Donate to The Pitch
$775
$1000
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Pitch Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *