VHSL 6A Northern Region Championships
Yorktown senior Torri Huske clipped her own national public high school record, but the James Madison girls came out on top by 64.5 points Saturday at the Virginia 6A (largest schools) Northern Region Championships.
James Madison jumped out to an early lead, as Erica Rice (27.10), Reagan Hau (29.13), Darby Galbraith (25.82), and Morgan Howat (23.87) combined for a 1:45.92, beating Yorktown by 0.62s.
Yorktown quickly bounced back with two wins in a row. In the 200 free, Lauren Hartel came out on top with a narrow victory over James Madison freshman Charlotte Dixon, 1:53.41 to 1:53.53. The 200 IM was a very different story, as Huske threw down a 1:54.90, winning by nearly 11 seconds and breaking her own meet record of 1:58.13 from 2019.
James Madison senior Alexandra Dicks, who’s committed to Florida State, put an end to Yorktown’s win streak with a decisive victory in the 50 free, winning by nearly a second with a 22.83, less than a tenth away from her lifetime best.
Washington-Liberty’s Ellie Joyce won the 1m diving event with a 470.50, then it was right back to the Yorktown-James Madison duel in the pool. First, Huske won the 100 fly, clipping her own national public high school record with a 50.67, breaking her own meet record and and winning by over six seconds, then Dicks responded with a 50.20 win in the 100 free, actually threatening Huske’s meet record of 50.04 from 2019.
In the 500 free, Hartel swept the longer freestyles with a time of 5:02.11, as Yorktown took 1st, 4th, and 5th, but James Madison answered 2nd, 6th and 10th place finishes.
The tight battles between the top two teams continued in the 200 free relay, where Huske’s 22.20 leadoff leg propelled Yorktown to beat James Madison, 1:35.63 to 1:35.96, and in the 100 back, where James Madison senior Erica Rice won in 56.96, but Madison’s Darby Galbraith and Yorktown’s Caroline Burgeson tied for 2nd at 57.43.
McLean freshman Catherine Hughes finally ended the top two teams’ stranglehold on 1st place in the pool with a 1:02.77 in the 100 breast, before the meet ended with the 400 free relay.
James Madison had enough of a lead by this point that they could’ve drawn a DQ and still won the team battle, but as teams were also swimming for a top four finish to secure a spot at the state championship, it was still going to be quite the race. Huske led off in 48.61, and James Madison could not close the gap, as Yorktown won 3:28.31 to 3:29.73.
- James Madison – 420
- Yorktown – 355.5
- Langley – 249
- Oakton – 231
- Washington-Liberty – 226
- McLean – 210
- Centreville – 157
- Chantilly – 136
- Herndon – 100
- South Lakes – 60
- Westfield – 59
- Marshall – 45
- Wakefield – 32
While Oakton and Herndon each led the way with a total of three event wins, Langley had enough depth to top Oakton, and the overall standings, by 17 points, despite not winning a single event.
Individually, the big star was Oakton senior Anthony Grimm, the #2 recruit in the high school class of 2021. Grimm, who’s known primarily for his breakout 20.8 leadoff in the 200 medley relay at states two years ago, actually didn’t swim backstroke today. His day got going with a 24.77 breaststroke split on Oakton’s medley relay, which ultimately finished 4th. He then won the 50 free with a time of 20.14, almost a second and a half faster than anyone else in the field. He next gave Oakton a come from behind victory in the 200 free relay, when he jumped in on the anchor leg and split 19.68 to give Oakton a 1:26.29 victory there. He closed things out with a 54.81 win the 100 breast. All those times were pretty similar to his times at the Liberty District championship last weekend, and it’ll be interesting to see if he has anything else up his sleeve for states this week.
A pair of underclassmen were the other two double individual event winners. Herndon sophomore Noah Dyer took the 200 free in 1:39.95, then the 100 free in 45.84, setting new lifetime bests in both events He nearly replicated that time leading off Herndon 400 free relay with a 45.88, propelling Herndon to a 3:10.79 victory. Yorktown freshman Nolan Dunkel also netted a pair of individual wins, pairing a 49.23 in the 100 fly with a very similar 49.43 in the 100 back. Those were lifetime bests for him in both evens.
Westfield freshman Tyler Whitacre won the 500 free in 4:38.81. Chantilly got a pair of wins with a 1:57.74 in the 200 IM by Justin Lee and a 528.75 on the 1m diving board by Matthew Bray. Centreville won the opening event of the night, the 200 medley relay, with a 1:34.56.
Langley’s depth proved decisive, as they won on the strength of a pair of 2nd place finishes in the 200 medley and 400 free relays, a 2nd placed finish in the 50 free by Johnny Bradshaw (21.61), another 2nd place finish in the 100 back by Robert Luebke (50.52), and a slew of scorers further down the ranks.
- Langley – 287
- Oakton – 270
- Centreville – 258
- McLean – 215
- Chantilly – 208
- Yorktown – 177
- Herndon – 170
- James Madison – 159.5
- South Lakes – 147
- Wakefield – 132.5
- Westfield – 100
- Washington-Liberty – 91
- Marshall – 69