Bel Air swimmers end suspense early in county meet Bobcats land 60.5-point victory

February 21, 1993|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,Staff Writer

No shroud of secrecy surrounded the identity of this year's Harford County swimming champ.

Last year's title meet was so close, tournament officials wouldn't disclose the winner until the last minute. Then, only 14 points separated champion Bel Air from the third-place John Carroll.

This year, the winner was never in doubt.

Bel Air rolled to its third straight title, clobbering second-place C. Milton Wright by 60.5 points at Thursday's 14th annual Harford County Swimming and Diving Championships at Magnolia Middle School. Trailing the Bobcats' 539.5 points were C. Milton Wright, 479, and John Carroll, 445.5.

"We were pretty confident coming in," said Rob Flynn, who won three silver medals for the Bobcats. "We didn't graduate anybody and we only lost two swimmers while a lot of other teams lost some of their good swimmers from last year."

The Bobcats won nine of the 24 events and their exceptional depth gave them at least one finalist in each of 23 events. A disqualification in the boys 400 freestyle relay kept the Bobcats out of the 24th event.

For the third time this season, Kevin Murach, Chris Holloway, Jeff Meyer and Erik Jankowiak set a Harford County record in the 200 medley relay. Three seniors and junior Jankowiak lowered their mark of 1 minute, 46.76 seconds set in the county preliminaries to 1:46.32 in the final.

No other county records fell, but John Carroll diver Heather Martin won her fourth straight champion

ship. Martin, who hasn't lost a meet in more than two years, easily outdistanced runner-up Jenn Seidl of Bel Air, 83.79-72.25, in the final.

"It was really tense, and the delays didn't help," Martin said of the twice-postponed championships. Originally scheduled for Feb. 12, the championship was moved back twice because of inclement weather.

"I do feel relieved [now]," said Martin, who plans to dive at Frostburg State next year. "I'm really ecstatic."

In the biggest upset of the meet, C. Milton Wright edged Bel Air in the boys 200 free relay. Josh Peters, Justin Lassahn, Matt Chairs and Jake Lewis trailed Bel Air's Doug Coyner, Jankowiak, Flynn and Murach by more than two seconds in the preliminaries, but the Mustangs won the final in 1:36.09.

Only two swimmers went home with four gold medals, Bel Air's Kathy Rising and C. Milton Wright's Chairs. Rising, a sophomore, won the 100 butterfly and the 100 breaststroke while helping the Bobcats to victory in the 200 medley relay and the 400 freestyle relay. Chairs, a junior, won gold medals in the 100 fly, the 200 IM and the 400 free as well as the 200 free relay.

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