The Princess Anne Cavaliers parlayed a single event victory into a state title last week at the Virginia 5A championship meet, winning by a relatively narrow 24 point margin. over Briar Woods High School, 236 to 212. The Cavaliers dedicated their victory to longtime beloved coach Paul Brown, who passed away suddenly in late 2015.
The Cavaliers kicked off the meet with their only event victory, as their 200 medley relay team of Sam Westmont, Eric Fuhs, Josh Jung, and Tyler Hill combined for a 1:35.55.
Individually, two swimmers pulled off doubles. Thomas Jefferson junior Jonathan Pollock took the 200 free (1:38.90) and the 100 free in 45.21, the latter a new meet record. Miles Godwin senior David Dixon, meanwhile, doubled up in the 200 IM (1:49.61) and the 100 fly (48.86).
Other individual event winners included North Stafford junior Brandon Hamblin in the 50 free (20.73), Albemarle junior Caleb Smith in the 500 free (4:33.95), Patrick Henry sophomore Noah Bowers in the 100 back (49.73) and Briar Woods junior Thomas Moore in the 100 breast (56.84).
The Menchville relay team of Miles McAllister, Brandon Brnich, Kade Younger, and Alex Moore took the 200 free relay in 1:27.06. Jack Moore, Jackson Lucas, Stuart Pliuskaitis, Thomas Moore rounded out the meet with a 3:10.55 victory for Briar Woods in the 400 free relay.
The Patrick Henry girls led from wire-to-wire in a meet that saw all except two of the existing meet records go down.
The meet started off in dramatic fashion, as Cabell Whitlow, Ella Higgins, Whittney Hamilton, and Shelby Stanley won the 200 medley relay in 1:43.62, a new meet record, and the first of three relay victories for Patrick Henry. Later in the meet, Caroline Kulp, Whitlow, Taylor Summerlin, and Brooke Knisely would combine for a 1:36.31 victory in the 200 free relay. Kulp, Stanley, Knisely, and Whittney Hamilton wrapped up the meet with a 3:25.98 victory in the 400 free relay. All three relays set new meet records.
Individually, Patrick Henry was led by two swimmers who each took two victories. Sophomore Caroline Kulp swept the distance freestyles with times of 1:49.81 (200 free) and 4:52.64 (500 free). Those were the only two events of the evening that didn’t end in new meet records, but Kulp already has both of those records anyway, from competing last year as a freshman.
Another Patrick Henry sophomore, Whittney Hamilton, doubled up in the 50 free (23.08) and the 100 fly (53.51).
Briar Woods freshman Abby Carter won her first individual event this meet, courtesy of a 2:00.26 in the 200 IM. Her teammate Camryna Barry took the 100 free in 50.79. Potomac Falls sophomore Charlotte Fieeiki swam to a 55.48 victory in the 100 back, while Falls Church junior Anna Landon wrapped up the individual events with a 1:03.35 in the 100 breast.
Note: the Virginia High School League (VHSL), which consists almost entirely of public schools, runs five different state meets, for divisions 2A (smaller schools) to 6A (largest schools). Additionally, most of the state’s private schools compete as part of the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association (VISAA), which runs its own meet. We’ll be recapping all six of those meets here.