Fallston holds off C.M. Wright to win Harford championships

Cougars boys capture first crown since 1998

Boys swimming

High Schools

February 15, 2002|By Mike Frainie | Mike Frainie,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Forgive Fallston coach Courtney Holmstrom if she doesn't have any fingernails left.

Holmstrom and the Cougars' boys swim team had to fight off a late charge by defending champion C.M. Wright to win the Harford County boys swimming championships at Magnolia Middle School last night.

Fallston captured the meet with 247 points, followed by the Mustangs with 229 and John Carroll with 190.

The victory is Fallston's first boys swimming title since 1998.

Fallston built an early lead, only to see the Mustangs charge back into contention. Slowly but surely, though, the Cougars widened their lead in the later events.

"We knew entering the final relay that all we had to do was stay legal and finish third to win," Fallston captain Pat Jones said. "That's what we did."

The Cougars finished third in the 400-yard freestyle relay, 55 hundredths of a second behind C.M. Wright to take the team title. Havre de Grace won the relay with a time of 3:35.01.

"This is a great bunch of boys," Holmstrom said. "I've been coaching three years, so the five seniors who are leaving are very special to me. They deserve this."

The Cougars only won two individual events at the meet, but their depth proved too much for other teams to overcome. Fallston placed top-three finishers in eight of the 11 events, including two of three relays.

Fallston got its first win when Kevin Killeen finished 20 seconds ahead of the next finisher to take the 500-yard freestyle. Matt Colly recorded the other win in the 100-yard backstroke, where his time of 58.92 was almost three seconds ahead of the next finisher.

"I think we swam our hearts out tonight," said Larry Ashman, head coach of the runner-up Mustangs. "We knew the meet would be close, but you have to take your hat off to Fallston. They have so much depth."

The Mustangs did walk away with one title last night. C.M. Wright won the combined team championship (boys and girls) with a score of 612 points. Fallston was second with 428.

Kurt LaPaglia of C.M. Wright and Tim Falkner of North Harford were the only multiple winners. LaPaglia won the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:55.52 and the 100-yard butterfly in 57.26. Falkner got his victories in the 200-yard individual medley (2:09.02) and the 100-yard breaststroke (1:05.41).

C.M. Wright's Billy Glodek won the 50-yard freestyle in 23.11.

Matt Smyth of Havre de Grace won the 100-yard freestyle, finishing 2 1/2 seconds ahead of Fallston's Raul Braun.

"We worked hard for this," said Holmstrom. "We have a good group coming back next year, and we'll see if we can do it again."

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