John Carroll finishes quartet of county titles

Frosh Betzing takes home four gold medals for Pats

Swimming

February 11, 2000|By Mark Hoeflich | Mark Hoeflich,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

The senior class at John Carroll put its stamp on an unprecedented run in girls swimming last night at Magnolia Middle School in Harford County:

Four straight unbeaten seasons. Four straight regular-season titles. And four consecutive Harford County championships.

The Patriots completed the sweep last night at the Harford County Championships, winning three of the first four events on the way to the team title with 316.50 points. C. Milton Wright placed second with 255.50 points and Bel Air third with 156, followed by Fallston (148), North Harford (137), Joppatowne (83), Aberdeen (70), Havre de Grace (50), Harford Tech (25) and Edgewood (24).

In all, it was John Carroll's fifth team championship in six seasons under co-coaches Ray Hruz and Debbie Cox-LaCates.

"We just have a hard-working group of kids," Hruz said. "They have great camaraderie, and we have a lot of girls who only swim in high school."

Although the Patriots won six of the 11 events, including all three relays (200 individual medley, 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle), the biggest results of the night didn't come from a senior.

Rather, freshman Lauren Betzing walked away with four gold medals. Betzing won the 100 and 200 freestyle events and did a leg on the winning 200 and 400 relay teams that sealed the Patriots' win.

"I wasn't expecting this, but I just gave it all I had to pull it out," said Betzing. "I didn't do very well in Tuesday's preliminaries, because my arms were tired. But I took [Wednesday] off from practice and told myself not to be nervous in the finals."

Betzing's sister, Catherine, a senior, earned her 15th career gold medal in 16 attempts by winning the 200 individual medley in 2: 13.54.

Other notable multiple medal winners were Bel Air's Betsy Balaguer, who earned four medals, including gold in both the 100 butterfly and 500 freestyle; Wright's Patty Rawlick, who earned a gold and three silver medals; and North Harford's Ashley Husich, who placed first in the 100 backstroke and second in the 100 butterfly.

"We were pumped up," said Jill Iacchei, the Patriots' senior captain. "It's a great feeling knowing we've done it for four straight years. We have a lot of memories."

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