Tony Barnett, Kade Snyder Set Records, Rockville Breaks Poolesville’s MPSSAA Win Streak

2023 MPSSAA Maryland High School Swimming and Diving State Championships (1A-2A-3A Boys and Girls)

  • February 25th, 2023
  • Eppley Recreation Center, University of Maryland
  • Short Course Yards (25 Yards), Time Finals
  • Full Meet Results (PDF)
  • Results on MeetMobile: “MPSSAA_321AStateSwimChamps2023”

Ending a decade of dominance for the boys of Poolesville High School at Maryland’s small schools state championships meet, Rockville High School claimed the state title for the boys’ meet, finishing just twelve points ahead of Poolesville. Poolesville had won every state championships meet dating back to 2012.

The girl’s meet was an even closer battle, with Poolesville once again coming up just short. Winning the state title by just one point, last year’s fourth-place finisher Easton High School claimed first this year.

The Poolesville girls have also been dominant in recent years, although their win streak was broken a year earlier than the boys. Last season they finished as runner-ups to Damascus, snapping a six-year winning streak.

Girls’ Meet Recap

Easton’s biggest contributor on the way to the program’s state meet title was senior Molly Kroeger, who claimed two individual state gold medals.

For the second straight year, Kroeger swept the middle-distance races for Easton, claiming gold in both the 200 and 500 freestyles. In the 200, she finished nearly two seconds faster than her time from a year ago, touching in 1:51.94 to win the event by nearly three seconds. She followed that performance with a second dominant win in the 500 free (5:02.64). She was followed in both of those races by Maggie Rose Rook, a senior at Poolesville.

Kroeger was also a member of Easton’s winning 200 free relay, anchoring in 23.95 as the team finished in 1:39.11.

Poolesville had its own multiple event-winning senior as well, with Anna Li doubling up in the 200 IM and 100 breast. Her title in the IM was her second straight, as she won last year in 2:06.84. In 2023, she blew that time out of the water, touching at 2:04.97 to claim gold by over five seconds.

After taking third in the 100 fly last season, Li opted to contest the 100 breast this year, picking up her second gold. Li again dominated the event, touching at 1:04.50. She was followed in both races by Easton freshman Maddy Finch, who picked up key points for her school with two silver medals.

While Kroeger added a gold medal in a relay to her haul, Li was a member of two winning relay teams. Poolesville opened the girls’ meet by claiming gold in the 200 medley relay. Li was joined by Sophie Huang, Avery Ye, and Lina Absakh as the school won in 1:50.50. Huang, Ye, Rook and Li later ended the meet by winning the 400 free relay in 3:38.70.

After finishing as the runner-up a year ago, Harford Tech’s Emerson Young claimed her first state title in the 50 free. Young edged out last year’s winner Jadyn Woolsey to claim gold with a time of 24.08. She also added a bronze in the 100 free (53.24).

The state title in the 100 free went to junior Addy Donnick, who claimed gold in the event last season as well. Donnick led the field this year by over two seconds, touching in 50.39 for gold. That time puts her just over three-tenths of a second off of the state record in the race, set by Morgan Hill at 50.02 in 2016.

Donnick repeated as the state champion in her second event as well, the 100 back. The only swimmer under 1:01.00 in the race, Donnick finished in a dominant time of 55.15. She set the state record in that event a year ago, winning in 53.68.

Donnick is committed to the University of North Carolina, Wilmington for the fall of 2024.

Damascus senior Sadie Hebert picked up gold in the 100 fly, touching at 59.12.

Team Scores

  1. Easton – 255
  2. Poolesville – 254
  3. La Plata – 219
  4. Damascus – 183
  5. Stephen Decatur – 135.5


Boys’ Meet Recap

The biggest impact on Rockville’s state title performance was senior Toby Barnett, who claimed two gold medals for the second straight year.

After setting the state record in the 200 IM last season, Barnett opted to contest the 500 free in 2023, setting the record in that event as well. Leading the field by nearly twenty seconds, Barnett broke Ben Lawless’ record of 4:26.17 by over two seconds, touching at 2:24.14. That swim also marks a two second lifetime best in the event.

Barnett followed that performance by picking up his second straight title in the 100 breast. After winning in 55.09 a year ago, he became the first 3A/2A/1A swimmer to ever dip below 55.0 this season, touching at 54.61. That time put him just two tenths off of the state record, set by Eli Fouts at 54.31 in 2018.

Toby wasn’t the only Barnett to claim gold at the meet as freshman Brig Barnett came away with the top time in the 200 free. The younger Barnett held off Damascus senior Brandon Hebert to claim first in 1:43.18.

With help from the Barnetts, Rockville came away from the meet with state titles in all three relays. To open the meet, both Barnetts were joined by Evan Pak and Linus Ament to claim first in the 200 medley relay. Brig then led off the school’s winning 200 free relay (1:29.75) while Toby took over leadoff duties to lead Rockville to gold in the 400 free relay (3:14.28).

After helping Rockville win the 200 medley relay, Ament picked up a gold medal of his own with a state title in the 200 IM. With Barnett opting for the 500 free this season, Ament was able to claim gold by nearly three seconds, touching at 1:56.90.

Barnett wasn’t the only swimmer to take down a state record at the meet, with Kade Snyder adding his name to the record books in the 100 back.

After becoming Patterson Mill’s third swimmer ever to claim a state title a year ago, he returned in his junior year to take down the 100 back record by over half of a second, touching in 48.84. That time also takes nearly half of a second off of his previous lifetime best from last December.

Snyder picked up a second individual title in the 100 fly, touching at 49.17. The state record in that event was set in 2019 by Alex Colson at 48.31.

Only a sophomore, La Plata’s Gavin Abelende nearly took down the state record in the 100 free, finishing just tenths off. Abelende won the event by nearly three seconds, touching at 45.74. He also picked up a second state title in the 50 free with a time of 21.19.

Abelende has seen rapid improvement in the pool over the last year. Just three months ago, his lifetime best in the 100 free stood at 46.84. In the 50 free, his first time touching under 22.0 came exactly a year prior, when he took third in the event at 21.60.

Team Scores

  1. Rockville – 318
  2. Poolesville – 306
  3. Damascus – 218
  4. La Plata – 166
  5. Patterson – 130

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