Arts & Entertainment

After Divisional Bump, Area Pools Post Strong Showing at Season-Ending Meet

Following their respectively undefeated 2007 summer swim season, both Lee Graham Pool and High Point Pool in Falls Church moved up divisions in the Northern Virginia Swimming League (NVSL). With the move, both pool teams – each nicknamed the Dolphins – faced stiffer competition during the 2008 competition.

However, the swimmers in the Falls Church waters were able to turn around an early slide – each pool swam strong meets at the Divisional Races last Saturday, leaving hope for a strong showing in future seasons.

Lee Graham Pool

The Division One Dolphins finished sixth place for the season, in the NVSL’s toughest conference, undone by losses in all five of their dual meets. That said, Lee Graham finished strong, earning fourth place in both the All-Star Relay Carnivals, a meet for the best relay teams in the area, and the Divisional Relay Carnival meet.

The season highlight for Lee Graham was a record-breaking performance at the Relay Carnival, as the 15-18 girls 200m medley squad – Anna Macedonia, Maggie Macedonia, Natalie Leake, and Susha Stone – set the NVSL mark with a time of 2:03.97, edging out the seven-year-old record by 0.7 seconds. No strangers to winning at the Carnival, the Macedonia sisters were part of the record-setting 9-10 girls 100m medley team in 2000.

Hosting the Individual Divisional meet last Saturday, the Dolphins garnered a strong showing in their first season in the highest division, placing numerous swimmers in the top three throughout the morning.

Maggie Macedonia, building off her record-setting performance at the Relay Carnival, took first in the girls 100m individual medley for the 15-18 age group. Other winners included Ben Southern and Christie DeFlumeri in the 11-12 100m individual medley, Southern in the 50m butterfly and Miller Surette in the 9-10 50m breast.

It was a Macedonia sweep in the 15-18 50m backstroke, as Anna took first followed by Maggie, just .08 seconds behind. Leake, a member of the Macedonia sisters’ relay team, was a double winner in the morning – taking first in both the 50m freestyle and 50m breaststroke.
Building on the numerous first-place finishes, Surette (9-10 100m IM), Eliana Temeles (8&U 25m freestyle), Michael Southern (11-12 50m freestyle and IM), Lucas Cherry (11-12 50m backstroke), Elena Summers (8&U 25m breaststroke and butterfly), Maddie Cherry (9-10 25m butterfly) and Freddy Crawford (15-16 50m butterfly) all took second place in their respective events.

Overlee Pool, undefeated on the season, took first overall for Division One, followed by Chesterbrook, Vienna Aquatic, Hamlet and Little Rocky Run. Lee Graham, highlighting their impressive finishes on Saturday, looks to retool for the 2009 campaign with many of the same swimmers.

High Point Pool

Like Lee Graham, High Point was bumped up a division after their undefeated 2007 campaign, but struggled to find their groove in 2008 as competitors in Division Four. The Dolphins finished 2-3 in the regular season, but two of those losses came due to an absence of swimmers on vacation – just one relay event in each dual meet cost High Point a winning record.

“Overall, it was a great season and I’m very proud of our swimmers,” commented Katie Rock, a High Point alumna and current coach of the Dolphins. “We were in a very competitive division, much higher than we have been used to, but we definitely put up a good fight.”

Competing at the Divisional Meet at Waynewood Pool last Saturday, most swimmers for High Point either shaved seconds off their best time or were right around their season’s high marks.

Kelley Frank, an All-State swimmer for George Mason High School in the winter, broke an 11-year-old pool record in the 50m butterfly, posting a time of 30.90 at Saturday’s meet, followed closely behind by fellow Dolphin Laura Williams. Frank, a rising junior, also took second in the 50m freestyle.

Fiona Muir was a two-time winner at the Divisional Meet, finishing first in both the 50m backstroke and the 50m freestyle for her 9-10 age group. Her brother, Iain, took first in the 8&U 25m freestyle.

Keeping with the family theme, brothers Hunter and Cabell Perrot took first and second respectively, in the 15-18 50m freestyle. Hunter went on to win the 50m breaststroke for his age group, and Cabell finished third in the 50m butterfly. Sam Parker, a rising junior at George Mason, finished third in the same event.

Grant Gittin took second in the 50m freestyle and the 100m IM for the 11-12 age group. His brother Kyle Gittin took first in the 9-10 boys 100m IM as well. Other winners for High Point included Lachlan Flatin and Claire Fleury, each placing first in the 8&U 25m breaststroke, and Peter House in the 11-12 50m breaststroke.

High Point will send 10 swimmers to 13 events in the Individual All-Star on August 2, Rock said. In addition to Frank and her record-setting performance, Fleury, Flatin, Ben Sharrer, and Iain Muir – all members of the 8&under team at High Point – will be competing in the All-Star meet. Flatin, only seven-years-old and seeded fifth for the 25m breaststroke, is continuing the family tradition of excellence in swimming – his father competed for the College of William & Mary.

“In many ways I would call this season a success,” said Karen Hamill, a 10-year veteran of High Point. “We lost a bunch of seniors last year, so we were in a rebuilding state, but still pulled through in almost all age groups.”
“Next year, I think our team will be strong, if not stronger,” said Rock. “The kids responded well to moving up a division this year, and I’m especially looking forward to seeing our younger swimmers grow.”