Kathy Rising lowered her county record in the girls 100-yard backstroke, and Bel Air went on to win six of the eight girls events, as the expected three-way struggle among the Bobcats, John Carroll and Fallston never materialized in their half of the meet at Magnolia Middle School Thursday.
Bel Air, which also placed first in six of the boys events, won with an overall score of 249, followed by Fallston, 182, John Carroll, 169, and 5 for Harford Tech. Among the girls, Bel Air had 145 to 89 for John Carroll, and 74 for Fallston.
John Carroll was hampered by the loss of freshman Jodi Encapera, already a county record-holder in the 200 individual medley, who broke her foot 10 days ago. She had competed in the next meet, but when the pain continued, a re-examination discovered the break and she is now wearing a cast.
In other meets, C. Milton Wright totaled 256 to 207 for Havre de Grace, and 135 for North Harford at North Harford Middle School, and Aberdeen, with 201 1/2 , was followed by Joppatowne, 185 1/2 , and Edgewood, 168, at Edgewood Middle.
* At Magnolia, where the Bel Air boys and girls combined for 16 individual bests, Rising, dropped her backstroke standard from 1 minute, 8.36 seconds to 1:08.16. Teammates Lauren Hafer and Kelley Flynn were double-winners, as was Fallston's Katy Novotny.
Greg Hess had his best times in winning the 50 freestyle (25.00) and 100 freestyle (55.98), and Jeff DeHart his in winning the 100 butterfly (57.19) and 100 backstroke (58.79). Dan Machovec collected Bel Air's other two individual firsts in the 200 and 500 freestyle.
Jason Glass of John Carroll was first in the 200 individual medley, and Ben Newhart of Fallston first in the 100 breaststroke. Fallston freshmen Mike Taylor and Ian Cole had key performances, too.
Justin Barnhill collected Harford Tech's points with a fifth in the 100 freestyle and a fourth in the 500 freestyle. The two events were separated only by the girls 500, but it was enough recovery time for Barnhill to get his best time for the distance event, 6:33.72.
Fallston was healthier and had improved performances, and John Carroll was without Encapera, among others, as the Cougars reversed a loss to John Carroll of Jan. 12. Ten days ago, Fallston had been closer to Bel Air than it had been in years (245-217), but this time, John Carroll proved to be a stronger foe than North Harford had been as the previous third team.
* At North Harford, C. Milton Wright had six girls win individual races, and the boys, four. Havre de Grace's Jenny Lawson and North Harford's Heather Wilkerson picked off the other two girls events. For the boys, Wright's Steven Abeyta and Havre de Grace's Tom Davies were double-winners.
* At Edgewood Middle School, Aberdeen solidified its lead in the last three boys events, as Dan Moeller won the 100 backstroke, Jason Stinnett won the 100 breaststroke, and the 400 freestyle relay placed first.
Joppatowne overhauled Edgewood with a 92-67 splurge in the last four events. Kelly Knight and the 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle relay teams touched first in the girls races, and the boys earned four seconds.
Melinda Cattell and Luke Vesely were double-winners for Aberdeen, and Brad Wink won twice for Joppatowne. Edgewood might have been in position to thwart Joppatowne, but was without Sherwin Sapasap, who has the county's fastest times in the 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke.
The standings: Bel Air 13-0; C. Milton Wright 12-2, Aberdeen 10-4, John Carroll 9-4; Fallston 10-5; Havre de Grace 7-7; Joppatowne 5-10; North Harford 4-10; Edgewood 2-12, Harford Tech 0-18.
Thursday's schedule: Fallston, Aberdeen, Havre de Grace at North Harford Middle School; Edgewood, North Harford, Harford Tech, John Carroll at Magnolia Middle School; Bel Air, C. Milton Wright, Joppatowne at Edgewood Middle School.