After all these years, the Calvert Hall-Loyola rivalry in MSA swimming is, fittingly, tied in a dandy knot.
Calvert Hall's victory last night at Johns Hopkins marked the 10th time the Cardinals have captured the Dutch Leidig Memorial Trophy that goes to the winner of the MSA Championships. All that did was put the Cardinals in a 10-10 tie with Loyola, which had won the previous three years.
Twenty years ought to be long enough to settle any dispute. But not this one.
For team captain Mark Gabriele and the rest of Calvert Hall's seniors, it was a long wait for the satisfaction of upending the Dons.
After beating Loyola in dual meets for the first time since 1983, and doing it convincingly by 40 and 28 points, Calvert Hall piled up 382.5 points last night to 309.0 for Loyola.
The Dons edged Gilman (307.5) for second place by the slimmest of margins. It boiled down to the last event, the 400-yard freestyle relay, won easily by Calvert Hall by a full six seconds. Then came Loyola, only 27/100ths of a second ahead of Gilman.
"We wanted to show we were worthy by winning both dual meets and the MSAs," Gabriele said. "There was a revenge factor here. After sweeping us last year, some Loyola people said there was no competition left for them in the MSA.
"We proved them wrong. This time we swept them. And it wasn't that close. Calvert Hall is here to stay."
Gabriele, who is bound for James Madison, Lafayette or Richmond on at least a partial scholarship, last night won the 200 individual medley and 100 butterfly and swam on a couple of relays, just as he had in both dual meets against Loyola.
In the butterfly, Gabriele missed breaking Pat Kennedy's meet record of 50.51 seconds by two-tenths of a second. Kennedy went on from Loyola to compete in the 1984 Olympics.
"Kennedy's record was in the back of my head, but it wasn't something I wanted to concentrate on," Gabriele said.
Gabriele has dipped under Kennedy's time, but only in dual meets. He will shoot for the MSA record of 49.87, held by former Hall star Mark Michael, at the Eastern Championships tomorrow and Saturday at La Salle. Gabriele is seeded No. 1 in the event.
Calvert Hall won the National Catholic Championships last weekend at Villanova, but the Easterns are a different matter.
"We have no illusions," said Hall coach Reds Hucht. "We'll simply go in with the idea of doing the best we can."
Next year, the Calvert Hall-Loyola rivalry will flare up anew. Gabriele will be gone, which Hucht considers "a big loss," but he is comforted by the fact his next best swimmer, Brad Francis, is a sophomore.
"We've got our talent pretty well spread throughout the classes," Hucht said.
One of last night's highlights was the diving. Gilman's Jamie Edwards, after finishing second three straight years to Mike Tamberino in the MSAs, decisioned the Loyola star, 489.50-482.79. Edwards is headed for Princeton or Stanford.