Loyola laps rest of the field, wins ninth straight MIAA title

Smutz is golden 4 times as Dons capture 22 medals

Boys swimming

February 17, 2002|By Tommy Ventre | Tommy Ventre,SUN STAFF

The posters hanging above the Loyola bench at last night's Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association swimming and diving championships read: "Roll Dons Roll."

Led by Joseph Smutz's four gold medals, Loyola followed the suggestions to the letter, winning its ninth straight conference title in commanding fashion before an overflow crowd at Loyola's Aquatic Center at the Henry J. Knott Building in Towson.

The Dons won the title with 393 points, almost doubling McDonogh's second-place total of 208. Loyola took home 22 medals.

"We didn't expect these results from these kids at the beginning of the year," said ninth-year Loyola coach Keith Schertle. "They've overachieved all year, and I don't mean that in a bad way. I'm very pleased."

Smutz, a senior at the Towson private school, led the rout with first-place finishes in both the 50- and 100-yard freestyle while also anchoring wins in the 200 medley relay and the 400 freestyle relay.

"I just try to concentrate on what I have to do," said Smutz, a basketball and water polo player who joined Schertle's swim team to supplement his water polo training. "I just see where people are next to me and try to go faster than they do."

After the meet's first event, Calvert Hall looked to be the team that would present Loyola with its toughest competition. In the meet's best race, it took a strong anchor leg from Smutz to hold off a charge from Jarrod Thomas and the Cardinals in the 200 medley relay.

Calvert Hall, though, didn't medal again until the fourth event, leaving room for McDonogh to slip into contention. Tim Newton led the way for the Greyhounds, winning titles in the 200- and 500-yard freestyle and pacing second-place finishes in the 200- and 400-yard freestyle relays.

"I think we did very well, and we're taking a very solid step toward getting a chance to win it all next year," said Newton, a junior. "We were being realistic this year and were going to shoot for second. But realistically, next year we have a chance to win it all."

Calvert Hall slipped to third place (197 points) despite four medals from junior Tim Marshall.

Mount St. Joseph sophomore Tim Ward took home the diving title after a tight battle with Calvert Hall's Dave Roesner (second) and Gilman's Doug Scott (third).

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