Virginia High School League Class 5 Championships
- Saturday, February 16th, 2019
- George Mason University Aquatic Center, Fairfax, VA
- Full Results
Note: In Virginia, public schools and independent schools compete separately, with the Virginia High School League governing public schools, and the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association governing independent schools. VHSL is organized into six classes, with Class 6(A) being the largest, and hosts five separate state championship meets. VISAA runs its own state championship meet.
The boys from Douglas Freeman picked up their first 5A state championship while getting victories from two of their relays and a pair of sophomore boys.
They got rolling with a win in the 200 medley relay, where Mark Graff (24.71), Aidan Duffy (26.42), Colin Whiting (22.95), and Erik Kratzer (21.60) combined for a 1:35.68, winning by over a second over Thomas Jefferson (1:36.92). Of that bunch, Graff and Whiting are seniors, but Duffy and Krattzer are sophomores. Duffy also picked up an individual victory, narrowly taking the 100 breast 58.25 to 58.39 over Rock Ridge freshman Bailey De Luise.
Douglas Freeman’s other individual victory came from sophomore Hunter Lochter, who jumped out to a quick lead, and held off his teammate Duffy to win 1:52.69 to 1:52.89.
In the 200 free relay, Nicholas Viers (21.62), Reid Hutchinson (22.15), Whiting (21.17), and Dain Ripol (21.09) combined for a 1:26.03, giving Douglas Freeman the win by over a second.
Individually, the standout star of the meet was Patrick Henry’ senior Noah Bowers, who’s committed to swim at NC State. Bowers was the only swimmers to win two individual events, taking the 100 fly in 47.66 and the 100 back in 48.12. He also led off the 200 free relay with a swift 20.06, which would’ve easily won the individual 50 free.
Instead, the 50 free went to Rock Ridge junior Trace Wall, who won in 20.88, barely a tenth of a second ahead of Princess Anne’s Tyler Hill (21.01). Wall would also be involved in another close race in the 100 free, but just getting touched out by Deep Run’s Nikolas Lee-Bishop, 45.79 to 45.82.
There weren’t as many class or overall state meet records in this meet as we saw in the Class 6 meet, but John Champe junior Sam Oliver had a 4:23.92, 12-second victory in the 500 free to take down Lane Stone’s overall VA state champs record of 4:24.52.
JR Tucker won the 400 free relay in 3:10.55. Patrick Madden led off in 48.12, Daniel Chance opened up a big lead with a 47.70, then Dominic Mistretta (48.97) and Christopher Dalla Valle (45.76) held off a spirited attack from Rock Ridge back half.
Top Five Teams
1. Douglas S Freeman High School 292
2. Rock Ridge High School 212
3. Thomas Jefferson 210.5
4. JR Tucker High School 149
5. Briar Woods High School 138
Patrick Henry got their 4th-straight title, but they had to work for it, as Briar Woods kept it close right until the end of the night.
Briar Woods got things rolling with a 1:42.81 victory in the medley relay that took down the 5A and all-time VA records. Mackenzie McConagha and Abby Harter put up the fastest back and breast splits in the field (25.40 and 28.13 respectively), then Katie Winklosky and Jordan Wenner brought things home in 25.94 and 23.34 to secure the victory. Patrick Henry settled for 2nd place with a 1:45.18.
Caroline Kulp quickly got Patrick Henry into the win column, putting up a 1:49.00 in the 200 free to defend her title. Kulp and Harter will both be teammates at UVA, with Kulp starting this fall and Harter in 2020. Kulp would later get the distance double, taking the 500 free in 4:55. 75.
Harter was the defending champion in the 200 IM, and had the lead for most of the event this year, but Broad Run’s Kayla Graham, a Pitt commit, dropped a 27.66 freestyle leg to pip Harter 2:00.13 to 2:00.16.
Kecoughtan junior pulled off the sprint free double, first taking the 50 free in 23.38 and then the 100 free in 50.96. In between those two events, McConagha got another win for Briar Woods with a 53.50 in the 100 fly that set a new 5A record.
Briar Woods would get another relay victory in the 200 free, getting a 23.97 leadoff by Wenner, a 23.55 by McConagha, and a 24.05 by freshman Mackenzie Cuannane before Harter sealed the 1:34.33 victory with a 22.76 anchor. The relay’s time set a new 5A record, and would’ve set a new overall record had the First Colonial girls not gone 1:34.17 the day before.
Shortly after the relay win, McConagha jumped back into the pool to win the 100 back in 53.73, defending her title there and setting a new 5A record.
Harter finally her win with a 1:02.49 effort in the 100 breast, also breaking her own 5A record from last season.
Patrick Henry only had a 4.5 point lead heading into the 400 free relay, meaning that if Briar Woods won the event, they would pass Patrick Henry for the team lead. But they already had the fastest time in prelims and dropped almost another six seconds in finals, winning in 3:28.36 with their team of Kulp (51.62), Shelby Stanley (51.85), Brooke Knisely (52.95), and Whittney Hamilton (51.94).
Top Five Teams
1. Patrick Henry High School 293
2. Briar Woods High School 278.5
3. Broad Run 162
4. Douglas S Freeman High School 151
5. Menchville High School 146