Betzing leaves with two records

Junior sets county marks

C.M. Wright wins crown

Girls swimming

High Schools

February 14, 2002|By Mike Frainie | Mike Frainie,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Laura Betzing knew this was her last chance.

The John Carroll junior knew that the Patriots were moving to the Catholic League next year, and this would be her last chance to own the records she so badly wanted.

Betzing responded by breaking the 200 freestyle record, and then the 100 butterfly mark in the Harford County Girls swimming championships at Magnolia Middle School.

C. Milton Wright decisively won its second consecutive girls title, scoring 383 points. John Carroll was second with 203.

The Mustangs capped their night by setting a county record in the last event, the 400-yard freestyle relay.

But for the Patriots' Betzing, last night was the one she had looked forward to for a long time.

"It was my goal to break both records," said Betzing. "We won't be here next year, so I knew it was my last chance."

In the second race of the night, Betzing took the lead right from the start and blew away the field by almost nine seconds, winning in 1:56.8. The previous record of 1:57.13 was shared by Jen McAnany of Edgewood (1988) and Jodi Encapera of John Carroll (1996).

"I tried to break it in the preliminaries, but I just missed it," said Betzing of the 200 record. "I pushed myself, and I went out hard after it. I knew I felt good, and I thought I had a chance if I kept it together."

Three races later, Betzing turned in another stellar performance in the 100 butterfly, breaking her record of last year by six one-hundredths of a second. Her time of 58.92 seconds was almost three full seconds ahead of the next finisher.

For the C.M. Wright girls, last night was special for another reason. Alison Smith, the Mustangs' popular captain, swam her last race for the school, and it was important to her teammates that they set the 400 relay record.

"We wanted it bad," said Mustangs junior Patty Rawlick. "We knew it was her last race, and we did it for Ally. It was the perfect ending."

The Mustangs pulled away in the last 100 yards, posting a time of 3:44.27. The previous record of 3:47.02 was set by Fallston in 1996.

Both Rawlick and Smith savored victories on a personal level, too. Rawlick won both the 50 freestyle (24.71) and the 100 breaststroke (1:09.98), while Smith won the 100 backstroke (1:04.27).

Maureen McLaughlin of C.M. Wright also won two races, the 200 individual medley (2:17.13) and the 100 freestyle (54.97).

Rawlick said this year's team is superior to last year's team.

"This team is so deep," said Rawlick. "We have some great freshmen on this team, and you can see them improve from race to race."

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