Fallston boys take last event, Harford title


High Schools

February 10, 2005|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The Harford County boys swimming meet quickly turned into a duel between defending champion Fallston and Havre de Grace, a battle that wasn't settled until the final race at Magnolia Middle School.

Fallston, clinging to a one-point lead heading into that last race, the 400-yard freestyle relay, locked up the championship in style by winning the race in 3 minutes, 32.51 seconds -- just .05 away from the county mark Havre de Grace set two years ago.

That victory let Fallston finish with 281 team points, good for its second straight boys title and third in four years. Havre de Grace, second in the race and overall, had 274 points.

Senior Wesley Huppenthal has been around for all three of the championships and said the Cougars felt confident heading into the final race, which they won by 8.14 seconds.

"We just had to beat them," Huppenthal said, "and we knew we could do it. We knew from Day One that it was going to be close."

Huppenthal also won the 100 butterfly in 58.86 seconds and took second in the 200 individual medley and swam on the second-place 200 medley relay.

Nick Tomechko was the only other Fallston swimmer to win a race (200 freestyle, 1:58.28). Tomechko also took second in the 500 freestyle. Matthew Colly also helped with a second-place finish in the 100 backstroke and third in the 500 freestyle. The Cougars also finished second in the 200 medley relay plus third in the 200 freestyle relay.

"All season long, we knew it was going to be close," said Jeff DeHart, who coaches Fallston with Sheri Huppenthal.

Kyle North helped keep Havre de Grace fighting for first throughout the night. North set or helped set three school records while winning the 50 freestyle (22.68) and helping on the victorious 200 medley relay (1:46.69) and taking second in the 100 freestyle.

North also swam on the 200 freestyle relay team that finished second. Bel Air's Jason Loiland and Rory Scott of North Harford each won twice. Loiand won the 200 IM (2:06.28) and the 500 freestyle (5:10.81). Scott took the 100 freestyle (48.31) and the 100 backstroke (54.55).

The meet concludes at 5:45 p.m. today at Magnolia Middle with the girls' county meet -- and a combined team championship also is awarded.

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