Swim preview: Big 3 are Bel Air, C. Milton Wright and John Carroll

December 13, 1992|By Katherine Dunn Bel Air

Aberdeen

If Aberdeen coach Pam Meuse could get all her swimmers in the pool at one time, she might know what to expect this season.

But with returning senior Dan Taylor out with an injured right hand, senior newcomer Charles Hoffman out with an ankle injury and five others missing practices due to illness, Meuse is hard-pressed to make any predictions.

Instead, she is focusing on long-range goals.

"I'd like to do better than our seventh-place finish in the county championships last year," said Meuse. "We're going to have a lot of depth and versatility. Hopefully, we can go strong into January."

This year, many freshmen and sophomores came out for the team, and Meuse expects to see improvement over the next few years.

Returners include junior diver John Loucks and versatile swimmer junior Matt Gerring, seniors B. J. Hubbard, Simon Keller and Kathy Stahl, and sophomores Joanna Hubbard and Melinda Cattell.

Loucks placed third in the county diving championships last year, and Cattell won the bronze in the 500-yard freestyle.

Last year, Bel Air won one of the closest Harford County swimming championships in recent years. Only 14 points separated the top three teams, with C. Milton Wright second and John Carroll third. This year, the race could be just as close.

The Bobcats return five individual county champs from a team that won 15 of 24 events at the title meet. But the Bobcats will need good performances by their newcomers if they plan to fight off the Mustangs and the Patriots again. Bel Air probably has the strongest boys team, bringing back four gold medalists from last year's county meet.

Senior Chris Holloway picked up three golds and a silver last season, winning the 200-meter individual medley and the 100 butterfly as well as helping the Bobcats' 400 freestyle relay team to victory in school-record time.

Also back are defending county champs Kevin Murach (50 freestyle, 100 backstroke), Erik Jankowiak (100 freestyle) and Rob Flynn (200 freestyle, 500 freestyle). Murach also holds the county record in the 100 breaststroke.

Versatile senior Jeff Meyer (backstroke, butterfly) also returns, and newcomers Dan Machovec, (freestyle, backstroke), Doug Coyner (freestyle, butterfly), Fred Branger (freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke) and Chris Callahan (diving) add depth.

On the girls side, sophomore Kathy Rising set a county record in the 100 breaststroke and went on to win the county title. She finished second in the 100 butterfly.

Anna DeMott (sprint freestyle, breaststroke), Betsy Steinen (breaststroke, butterfly, freestyle) and Jen Seidel (diving) are back, too. Versatile freshmen Kate Eyler, Jenny Meyer and Jen Locke have come on.

The Bobcats lost a couple of defending county champs, including Jenn Murach, who won two individual and two relay golds.

"Some of the girls we lost will be hard to replace," said Ray Hruz, head coach along with Jeff DeMott. "But this year, we should have more depth. We're not going to have as many first places as the girls did last year, but we should pick up more points with our B relays and our B-level swimmers."

Katherine Dunn

C. Milton Wright

This year, more than 60 swimmers tried out for the team, so second-year coach Annie Lee was forced to make cuts down to the 40-member roster limit. She will carry 12 boys and 28 girls.

Eleven seniors graduated last year, five from the 11-member boys team, so there were plenty of spots to be filled.

But that means the Mustangs will be a little less experienced.

"My team is really young, so we spend a lot of time on fundamentals and stroking techniques . . . how to do a slant or a turn," said Lee, a competitive swimmer throughout high school and college.

Returning to the Mustangs are senior diver Josh Peters and long-distance swimmer junior Jen Shaw. Senior Justin Lassahn is a sprinter who also returns to lead the team.

Lee also hopes to establish some depth with the newcomers, including freshmen Laura Hershner and David Rueckert.

Some of the team's divers will be needed for certain swim events, and other swimmers will have to adjust to new events to balance out the team during competition, said Lee.

Mike Jefferson

Edgewood

In last year's Harford County swimming championships, Edgewood's Sherwin Sapasap came within .43 seconds of breaking the 100-yard breaststroke record of 1:03.45.

This year, says Edgewood coach Ken Oldendick, look for the sophomore to change that.

Sapasap's best event is the breaststroke, but, Oldendick said, "I could probably enter him in any event and he would win or be very strong."

Sapasap and Ray Hieronimus (bronze, 500 freestyle), are two medal winners returning. Other returners are senior diver Jenni Blubaugh, juniors Denise Sines, Carrie Baker and Jason Zlotkowski.

Two newcomers are freshmen Michelle Marsillo and Kim Stackhouse.

Oldendick says his team is young and developing but figures to compete strongly. He says the team can better its fifth place in the county championships last year.

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