Wright's boys again take title in Harford

John Carroll's 2nd place assures combined crown


February 12, 2000|By Andrea Leand | Andrea Leand,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Depth, youth and a pair of relay victories in the 200 medley and 400 freestyle boosted C. Milton Wright over John Carroll, 287-249, last night at Magnolia Middle School for its second consecutive Harford County boys championship.

The Patriots, who earned the girls' swimming title on Thursday by a margin of 61 points, walked away as the winner of the combined girls' and boys' title for the fourth time.

Still, C. Milton Wright's triumph in the boys' competition avenged its only regular-season loss.

"That loss to John Carroll was the turning point of our season," said C. Milton Wright coach Bill Lang after his team improved its regular-season record to 14-1.

"We stepped up the pace and showed more gumption after that [loss]. And tonight, there were no surprises. We only have eight seniors on the team, but have a lot of depth, like John Carroll has with their girls."

In other highlights, Havre de Grace's photo-finish victory over C. Milton Wright in the 100 medley relay (1: 36.91) marked the first time that the Warriors have prevailed any relay race and that its swimmers -- David Crue, Matt Smyth, Curran Weber and Brad Shelly -- have earned gold.

Just after his team came within .01 seconds of breaking a record, Havre de Grace coach Aaron Thompson said he he had predicted the victory at the beginning of the season.

"After our first race and the first time these guys swam together, I wrote on my clipboard for them to see that they would be the county champion in the relay," Thompson said.

"It's amazing that none of these guys finished in the top six in the individual freestyle, but have something extra as a team. It's a David and Goliath thing."

Individual honors went to Harford Tech's Donald Baker, who completed his high school career undefeated in the 200 and 500 freestyles.

After finishing two laps ahead of the competition in the 500 free, the Cobras' senior credited his daily three- to four-hour workouts with his school and club, Edgewood Aquanauts, with preserving his edge and 95-0 high school record.

Fallston's Frank Trionfo produced the only record of the event, winning the 100 breaststroke in 1: 01.49.

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