Thomasson's 4 wins carry Severna Park

Falcons capture team title as senior sets two records at the county's lone meet

High Schools

Anne Arundel County swimming championships

January 26, 2004|By Brendan Glaccum | Brendan Glaccum,SUN STAFF

Severna Park standout swimmer Eric Thomasson isn't used to competing for the Falcons. In fact, because of the absence of swimming programs in Anne Arundel County public schools, he does only once a year.

Yesterday, the University of Maryland-bound senior took that opportunity and led his school to the Anne Arundel County large-team championship by winning all four events he entered at the Arundel Olympic Swim Center in Annapolis.

Thomasson, who has never lost an event in four years at the county championships, set meet records in the 100-yard butterfly (53.36 seconds) and 100 freestyle (49.65) and swam the third leg of Severna Park's winning 200 medley relay team. He later capped his perfect record at the event by capturing the 100 backstroke in 55.21 seconds.

The number of participants varied greatly from team to team. In most cases, the teams with the higher representation finished higher in the standings. The Falcons, who have several club swimmers, finished with 857 points and won the large-team competition despite having less than half (22) the number of swimmers as second-place Severn (53), which finished with 716.5 points.

St. Mary's (21) rounded out the large-team field with 412. South River (16) won the small-team competition with 372.

Abi Iler, who swims for St. Mary's and the Naval Academy Aquatics Club and who recently signed a letter of intent to swim at Colorado State, won three events. Iler, a senior, set a meet record in the girls 100 fly (58.66) and participated on the winning 200 medley and 200 freestyle relay teams. She finished third in the 100 breaststroke in 1:10.69 behind Chesapeake's Sarah Merritt and Annapolis' Anne Dawson.

"I felt OK today, but I know I've done a lot better," Iler said. "It's not as intense. It's more about having fun. Club is more individual and you want to do well for yourself. High school is more as a team, having fun, cheering for each other."

Iler has a high school team to swim for in addition to her club team, but most other competitors at the meet do not.

Anne Arundel public school students who swim competitively do so for club teams, such as the Severna Park YMCA (SPY) or the Naval Academy Aquatics Club. Many others do not swim competitively at all.

The Anne Arundel County meet, which has been held for 12 years, is the only opportunity county public school students have each year to compete for their high schools or to compete against each other.

"There's a lot of motivation," said Severna Park's Meg Heil, who won the girls' 50 and 100 freestyle events. "We're all just excited to be together. It's your school and you want your school to do as good as it can."

While the club swimmers dominated yesterday's events, many others competed yesterday after signing up at their respective schools. Many were outmatched, but Thomasson said he was impressed with some of the swimmers he saw.

"The talent is great out there," Thomasson said. "It's just that if we had swim teams, coaches and practices, it could become a big competitive county."

Iler, who transferred from Arundel in part because St. Mary's had a team, said she would like to see swimming programs implemented in public high schools.

"I know it's hard to have facilities, but there's lots of private schools that don't have pools and they find ways to get practices in and everything," Iler said.

"Public schools should [have swimming programs]. There are so many good swimmers that don't get credit for it or swimmers that could be good, but just can't swim throughout the year. There are a lot of girls on [Severna Park] you can tell that if they swam more, they'd be really good."

Team results

Large team: 1. Severna Park (22 participants) 857; 2. Severn (53) 716.5; 3. St. Mary's (21) 412. Small team: 1. South River (16) 372; 2. Annapolis (13) 256; 3. Old Mill (10) 217; 4. Broadneck (8) 190.5; 5. Chesapeake (6) 155; 6. Archbishop Spalding (4) 80; 7. Key (1) 47; 8. Arundel (2) 26; 9. Glen Burnie (2) 5; 9. Meade (1) 5.

Individual results

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.