Churchill Boys Score Upset Win At Metros, Stone Ridge Girls Roll To Victory

by Matt Rees 5

February 21st, 2022 High School, News, Previews & Recaps

Among Winston Churchill’s countless talents – painter, author, and yes, wartime leader – one of the lesser-known was swimming: He competed on his high school team and in the 1930s he had a heated pool constructed at great expense in the backyard of his fabled country house, Chartwell (see him splashing in the pool here).

  • Final results here

Given this history, Sir Winston would no doubt welcome the outcome of Saturday’s “Metros” meet. The boys swim team at the Potomac, Maryland high school bearing his name scored a very narrow – and very surprising – victory over Gonzaga, a longstanding high school swimming juggernaut (see the victory plunge here).

Metros brings together a jumble of public and private schools from Maryland and Washington, DC and always features some of the nation’s fastest prep swimmers – if not the fastest ever: Katie Ledecky swam at the meet, as did one of her Olympic teammates last year (Phoebe Bacon) and in 2016 (Jack Conger). And all three of them set national high records at Metros meets. (Read about four of those records here.)

This year’s crop of swimmers included several Division 1 commits and one member of the USA Swimming Junior National Team. As expected, the swimmers blazed through the water – there were two dozen automatic All-American times and five new meet records. Also as expected, Stone Ridge won the girls portion of the meet (see the victory plunge here), just as they did in 2020. Churchill’s surprise came in the form of a team victory by a margin of just 2.5 points, after recording zero wins in individual or relay events.

The fireworks started with the first event, the boys 200 medley relay, where a Gonzaga quartet – J.T. Ewing, Collin McKenzie, Mac Marsh, and Aiden Bond – delivered a sizzling 1:30.28. They won by nearly two seconds (see the race here) and chipped nearly 1.5 seconds off the record that Georgetown Prep had set in 2020. The first three of those swimmers are seniors and have high-level swimming in their respective futures: Ewing and McKenzie are both headed to NC State while Marsh is bound for Cornell.

Next up were the girls, and Stone Ridge made an early statement, winning by more than two seconds, powered by Melina Anschutz, Cameron House, Eleanor Sun, and Erin Gemmell. Sun, a junior and already committed to Princeton, delivered the fastest fly split (24.88) and Gemmell, the SwimSwam #10 recruit in the class of 2023 and committed to Texas, delivered the fastest free split (22.32).

Gemmell would go on to win the 100 free (48.83) and the 200 free (1:44.37) (see the 100 here and the 200 here) and be named the meet’s outstanding performer. She was one of many double winners:

In the girls 200 IM, Sophie Duncan, the #17 recruit in the Class of 2022 and a Stanford commit, coasted to victory in 1:58.90 (see the race here). In her 100 fly race, she was up against Sun as well as Carly Sebring, an Auburn commit. The clash of the titans did not disappoint, with all three swimmers going under their prelims time. Duncan was in fourth at the 50 but came home with a speedy 28.37 back half and just managed to tie Sebring for first (see the race here).

When it came time for the 100 back, Sebring got her outright victory in 54.38 (see the race here) – capping a celebrated Metros history that has seen her racking up victories since her freshman year.

In the 200 free, Everett Oehler, an Ohio State commit, dropped more than four seconds from prelims to win in 1:37.62. He also won the 100 fly in meet record time, 48.13 (see here).

In the 200 IM, McKenzie, the NC State commit, destroyed a 14-year-old meet record, going 1:46.21 (see here). He also won the 100 breast with a 55.07 (see here).

In the 50 and 100 free, Marsh, the Cornell commit, won in 20.51 and 44.69, respectively – see the 50 here and the 100 here.

Other individual winners included the following: 

  • In the girls 50 free, Nina Allen of Bethesda-Chevy Chase won with a 23.10 (see the race here).
  • In the boys 100 back, J.T. Ewing dropped more than two seconds from his prelims time, winning with a 49.26 (see the race here).
  • In the girls 100 breast, Sienna Karp, a Penn State commit, prevailed with a 1:03.60, with her Walter Johnson teammate, Hanna Bingley, a Bucknell commit, finishing just behind her in 1:03.70.
  • In the 500 free, Madison Smith, a Michigan commit, won on the girls side in 4:49.51 (see the race here), while Sean Santos, a Georgia Tech commit, won the boys race in 4:31.80.
  • The meet’s most dramatic moment came in the boys 400 free relay. Churchill held a narrow lead in the total score over Gonzaga and was seeded first by nearly four seconds. Gonzaga, meanwhile, was sitting in the 10th and final spot in the A final.
  • Most eyes started on the middle of the pool, until Gonzaga’s Marsh uncorked a 45.05 lead-off, followed by Ewing’s 44.83. They gave Gonzaga a huge lead, which they would only keep building, thanks to Jack Moloney and McKenzie. They finished in 3:013.18 – an improvement of 13+ seconds on their prelims time (Moloney was the only member of the group to swim the prelims race). They established a new meet record and perhaps the first ever outside smoke in a Metros final.

But Churchill held on for second, allowing them to eke out the team title – an outcome their late namesake just might have labeled “their finest hour.”


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11 months ago

Not this meet, but SwimSwam should report the Virginia VHSL championship meet results – particularly Division 4 – a HS freshman (familiar name) went 46.8 in the 100 fly and 19.8 in the 50 free

11 months ago

Other Churchill alumni who were Metros stars (and Olympians): Dan Veatch and Mike Barrowman.

11 months ago

Metros has always been one of the fastest meets in the country. Glad I could swim there with Ledecky and Bacon

Joel Lin
11 months ago

Churchill swimming has one proud alum today: Mike Barrowman

Reply to  Joel Lin
11 months ago

And Dan Veatch