Western Albemarle High won just three total events between the boys and girls meets, but used an outstanding team effort to win boys and girls titles on depth at the Virginia Class 3A State Championships.
Western Albemarle senior Aaron James won all three of the school’s state titles to lead the boys to a team trophy. James broke a Class 3A state record in the 50 free, going 20.85, and also won the 100 free in 46.81, just a half second off the state mark.
He also provided a key anchor split of 20.80 as the Western Albemarle boys won the 200 free relay in 1:27.32. That team was made up of AJ Donovan, August Lamb and Jason Heilman, and broke the 3A record.
Cave Springs junior Angelo Russo was one of the individual stars of the meet, breaking Class 3A records in both his individual races. Russo won the 100 fly in 49.97, taking the record below 50 seconds for the first time. He also went 49.48 to break the 50-second barrier and lower the record in the 100 backstroke.
Hidden Valley had a pair of double-individual winners in junior Greg Reed and sophomore Keith Myburgh.
Reed broke a pair of state 3A records, going 1:42.09 in the 200 free and 4:32.49 in the 500. Myburgh, meanwhile, won the 200 IM in 1:51.69 and broke the state 3A record in winning the 100 breaststroke with a 56.51.
Other event winners:
- Reed and Myburgh teamed up to win the 400 free relay for Hidden Valley. Reed led off in 47.87 and Myburgh anchored with a 47.09, joining Jackson Gray and Jason Hamilton to go 3:11.69 for a new 3A state record.
- Tabb High won the 200 medley relay, with the team of CJ Omweg, Chris Verastek, Nick Talati and Sean Du going 1:37.78.
- Hidden Valley freshman Jacob Smidt won the 1-meter diving title with 318.00 points.
Top 5 Teams:
- Western Albemarle – 351
- Hidden Valley – 276
- Tabb – 216
- Brenstivlle – 196
- Monticello – 164
Western Albemarle didn’t win a single event on the girls side, but still won the meet by 47 points over Blacksburg.
They did get a trio of runner-up finishes along the way, courtesy of senior Brazil Rule (100 fly), the 200 free relay of Morgan James, Caroline Riordan, Claudia James and Rule and senior Colleen Higgins (100 breaststroke).
It was Cave Springs sophomore Emma Muzzy who was the individual standout, winning titles in all four of her events and breaking two Class 3A records. Muzzy pulled off the unique 50 free/500 free combo, breaking state marks in both. Her 50 free was 23.42 and her 500 4:52.36.
Muzzy also anchored the winning 200 medley relay in 23.46, joining Paige Assaid, Tessa Muzzy and Allie Lawson to go 1:49.19. Then in the 400 free relay, the same foursome went 3:36.50, getting a 51.74 anchor split from Emma Muzzy for the state title.
Assaid would also win the 100 backstroke individually, going 55.97.
York High’s Danika Katzer won three state championships in her four events. Katzer broke the 3A state record with a 2:02.65 in the 200 IM, and also won the 100 breaststroke individually in 1:05.58. She joined Alex Slayton, Elena Evans and Makenzie Katzer to go 1:41.17 and beat Western Albemarle for that 200 free relay title as well.
Other event winners:
- Riverside freshman Claire Nguyen took the 200 free title in 1:51.33.
- Hidden Valley went 1-2 in diving behind junior Celia Harding‘s 361.30 points.
- Warhill sophomore Morgan Whaley took home the 100 fly title in 55.86.
- New Kent’s junior Julianna Jones won the 100 free in 52.35.
Top 5 Teams:
- Western Albemarle – 278
- Blacksbrug – 231
- Cave Spring – 184
- Hidden Valley – 181
- York – 170