Collegiate Girls, Saint Christopher Boys Look Sharp as VISAA State-Title Defenses Await

Collegiate Girls, Saint Christopher Boys Look Sharp as State-Title Defenses Await

Often the results of the League of Independent Schools and Virginia Prep League swim and dive championships are a precursor to the VISAA championship a fortnight later. Saturday, in a boisterous competition held in Richmond at St. Catherine’s Kenny Center, the Collegiate girls and Saint Christopher boys, VISAA state champions the last two years, added third straight league titles to their storied resumes.

On the girls’ side, the hosts held a scant 207-205 lead over Collegiate’s Cougars at the first break, trailed by just 12 at the second pause (388-376) before Collegiate superiority in the backstroke, breaststroke and 400 free relay sealed the Cougar win, 540-487. Collegiate boys led St. Christopher’s Saints 150-146 through the 50 free before the red and gray surged to lead Trinity 309-275 at the second break, ultimately rolling to a 438-360 triumph over the Titans. Collegiate finished third with 339.

Emory DeGuenther, girls meet high point winner, led the way for the Cougars winning the 500 yard freestyle in meet record (4:57.39), the 100 butterfly (55.79) and was a part of two of Collegiate’s meet record relays. DeGuenther’s partners on the 200 medley relay (1:46.22) were Isabella Little, Savannah Harris and Maddie Jewett. 

Swimming with 400 free relay teammates Valentina Linkonis, Jasper Jones and Elizabeth Cribbs, sophomore DeGuenther clocked a 51.10 closing split, the fastest in the field by more than a second and a half, to finish in 3:32.41. Collegiate’s third record setting quartet came in the 200 free relay when Linkonis, Amelia Chen, Little and Jones closed the proceedings with a swift 1:36.93.

St. Christopher’s used its depth to spread-eagle the field winning two relays and two individual events while scoring heavily in others. Junior Alex Gertner took the 200 free title (1:42.36) and sophomore Ryan Smith the 100 fly (50.60) before pairing with Edward Johnson and Ben  Butterfield to take the 200 relay (1:25.89) and Ben Franks and Johnson to tie the meet record in the 400 free relay (3:10.60).

There was a three-way tie for boy high point awards. Winners were Patrick Puzon (Trinity) and Collegiate athletes Charlie Mayr and JD Chen. Puzon claimed the 50 and 100 yard freestyles winning in 20.80 and 46.16 and anchoring the Titans 200 free relay in jaw dropping 19.83.

Mayr won the 200 IM handily in 1:52.41 and just missed the VPL record in the 500 free clocking a 4:35.11 while swimming on two second place relays. Sophomore Chen won Friday’s 1-meter diving competition, the 100 breast (58.48) when STAB’s Max Moore was disqualified. Like Mayr he swam on two second place relays.

VISAA swim and dive championships are scheduled for Friday and Saturday, February 16 and 17, at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center in Christiansburg.

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