Area Swimmers Head to States

The Mason High School swim team had its regional competition canceled because of inclement weather, but will still be sending competitors to the A/AA State Championships this weekend at Old Dominion University. The state preliminaries are Friday, with the finals taking place Saturday.

Because of the canceled regionals, only relay teams and individuals with previously existing state qualifying times are competing at states. “They couldn’t have a free-for-all,” said Mason head swim coach Jon-Michael Lemon. “It won’t be as many entrants, but it will be a competitive meet.”

Getting back in top shape is a big concern of Lemon, as practice time has been difficult due to snow. “Swimmers have to get into a routine. It’s hard to have a week and a half off before a championship meet,” said Lemon.

The Mustangs will send four individuals and four relay teams to the state meet. For the boys, Sam Butler will compete in the 50 and 100 freestyle events; Will Doty will swim in the 100 butterfly and 500 free; and the 200 medley relay and 200 freestyle relay teams will take the pool as well. “He’s a solid all-around swimmer,” Lemon said of Doty.

For the girls, Kelley Frank is set to compete in the 50 and 100 free, and Karen Hamill will swim in the 50 free. The girls are also sending swimmers in the 200 medley relay and 200 freestyle relay teams.

“I’m happy with the nice mix we have,” Lemon said.

The Marshall High School swim team was able to get in its regional competition, and will send three competitors to states. However, the truncated regional competition was not the best situation.

“It affected them quite a bit,” said Marshall head coach Dana Stramm. “I feel bad. It’s not ideal.”

At states, Cyrus Hashemi will participate in both the 200 and 100 freestyle, and should have a strong showing. George Hirka will compete in the 200 free and 100 butterfly, and Katherine Van Winkle in dive. It will be Van Winkle’s first trip to states.

At regionals, the boys 400 freestyle relay team broke a 21-year-old school record with a time of 3:20.87. Despite the record, the time was a half second off the state qualifying time.

Also at regionals, Falls Church’s Alex Howe set a school record in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:50.23; and the 200 freestyle relay team set a school record with a time of 2:26.32.