Nathan Szobota Leads Freeman to VHSL Class 5 Title as 200 MR Record From 2015 Falls

VHSL Class 5 State Championships

  • Feb. 15-17, 2024
  • Hampton Virginia Aquaplex
  • SCY (25 yards)
  • PDF results

Boys Team Scores

  1. Freeman – 295
  2. First Colonial – 245
  3. Albemarle – 235
  4. Godwin – 200
  5. Independence – 180

Freeman junior Nathan Szobota swept the distance freestyle events and led off the Mavericks’ record-breaking 200 medley relay to lift his team to the VHSL Class 5 state title last month.

The Notre Dame commit claimed individual crowns in the 200 free (1:38.93) and 500 free (4:25.83) while also clocking a personal-best 22.88 50 backstroke as the 200 medley relay leadoff, lowering his lifetime best by almost half a second. One of the fastest milers ever in his 15-16 age group, Szobota has been as fast as 1:37.31 in the 200 free and 4:18.38 in the 500 free, both from last March.

Szobota was joined on Freeman’s winning 200 medley relay (1:32.64) by junior Nicholas Kuriger (26.45 breast), senior Alex Ayers (22.54 fly), and junior Henry Brooks (20.77 free), who combined to take down the previous VHSL Class 5 record of 1:33.00 set by Andrew Seliskar’s Thomas Jefferson S&T squad back in 2015.

Ayers, a Virginia commit, triumphed in the 100 fly (50.21), within a second of his personal-best 49.56 from December. His Mavericks totaled 295 points in the team standings, 50 points ahead of First Colonial (245), Albemarle (235), and defending champion Godwin (200).

Runner-up First Colonial got a huge performance out of sophomore Austin Temple, who capped an incredible year of improvement with wins in the 50 free (20.47) and 100 free (44.99). He dropped .14 seconds in the 50 free and .79 seconds in the 100 free. More remarkably, over the past year, Temple shaved almost a second and a half off his best time in the 50 free (21.84 from 8th-place finish as a freshman) and more than three seconds off his best time in the 100 free (48.37 from 12th-place showing as a freshman).

Godwin senior Pablo Silva was the other double winner among Class 5 boys, bringing home individual victories in the 100 breast (55.13) and 200 IM (1:48.72). The Virginia Tech commit dropped four tenths in the 100 breast and less than a tenth in the 200 IM off his previous bests from Winter Juniors in December.

Cox High School senior Alex Lineberry dipped under 50 seconds in the 100 back for the first time (49.63) to tally another 1st-place finish for Godwin. A couple weeks later, Lineberry lowered his lifetime best by another half a second to 49.11 at the VSI Senior Champs earlier this month.

Girls Recap

Team Scores

  1. Albemarle – 333
  2. Freeman – 314
  3. First Colonial – 263
  4. Godwin – 201
  5. Briar Woods – 155

The girls of Albermarle High School ended the First Colonial four-year title streak on Saturday, winning with 333 on the strength of 6 event wins.

Albemarle senior Grey Davis defended her individual titles in the 100 back (54.28 in prelims, 55.03 in final) and 100 fly (54.66 in prelims, 54.84 in final) to help her team snap Freeman girls’ four-year winning streak at the VHSL Class 5 State Championships.

The Northwestern commit fueled Albemarle’s hot start with a 25.32 leadoff on the squad’s 200 triumphant 200 medley relay (1:44.28) along with sophomore Sara Czirjak (28.85 breast), sophomore Sara Wells (26.68 fly), and senior Cameron Smith (23.43 free). In her individual events, Davis was slightly slower than her winning times from last year in the 100 back (54.11) and 100 fly (54.46).

Czirjak went on to capture the 100 breast crown (1:02.82) for Albemarle, within half a second of her personal-best 1:02.44 from last April. She also placed 2nd in the 200 IM (2:04.36), knocking almost a second off her previous best (2:05.04) from last April.

Freeman saw highlight swims from senior Claire Stuhlmacher and junior Allison Bischoff in the distance freestyle events. Stuhlmacher, an Indiana commit, won the 500 free with a personal-best 4:54.17 while adding a runner-up finish in the 200 free (1:51.50) behind Bischoff (1:49.50).

Bischoff, a Virginia commit, repeated in the 200 free after winning last year in 1:49.21. She has been as fast as 1:48.82 in 2022. Bischoff also placed 2nd in the 100 free (50.95) — not far off her personal-best 50.77 from December — just a blink behind another Virginia commit, First Colonial senior Kayleigh Duffy (50.91).

Duffy repeated as the 5A champion in both the 100 free and 50 free (23.45 in prelims, 23.48 in final). She was slightly faster in both events than her winning times from last year (23.68/51.27). A couple weeks later, Duffy lowered her lifetime bests to 23.30 and 50.67 at the VSI Senior Champs earlier this month.

Godwin junior Kate Hotem claimed the other individual crown on the girls’ side, touching first in the 200 IM with a time of 2:03.02. The Notre Dame commit has been as fast as 2:02.28 last February. Hotem also had a runner-up effort in the 100 back (56.19), about half a second off her personal-best 55.65 from last March.

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Boat fan
3 months ago

All those nova swimmers swam so fast 😍

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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