Organizers want to build on success of regional meet for public schools

Swimming notebook

High Schools

February 23, 2005|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The first regional swimming meet for public schools went off without a hitch last weekend at the University of Maryland, and it was so successful that organizers want to do it again next year and possibly start a state competition in 2007.

North Harford's Jason Mills served as the meet's director and said about 350 swimmers from around the state took part in the two competitions. Schools from Southern Maryland and Prince George's County took part in the South Region meets, while Harford and Frederick County schools joined others from the Eastern Shore and Baltimore City in the East Region.

"I think it went just great," Mills said. "We've got to demonstrate this is something that's sustainable, but this one was an overwhelming success."

Ned Sparks, Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association executive director, said earlier this month that he was happy to see swimming growing and that this could lead to a state swimming championship.

Frederick County schools won 13 of the 22 events in the East Region meet, but Harford County schools fared well. No team scores were kept as schools from all four classes competed, and Mills said they'll look at splitting the field into smaller divisions, likely by class and region, and possibly begin recording team scores next year.

If team scores were kept, Class 1A Havre de Grace, one of the state's smallest schools, would have won the boys title in its region. The girls were the top Class 1A team, and the Warriors would have been third overall, with only Class 4A Thomas Johnson and Harford County champion Fallston (Class 3A) beating them.

For the boys, North Harford's Rory Scott won twice, taking the 100-yard freestyle (48.45 seconds) and the 100 backstroke (55.12). Kyle North of Havre de Grace captured the 50 freestyle in 22.42. Fallston's Wesley Huppenthal won the 100 butterfly in 58.55. Jason Loiland won the 500 freestyle for Bel Air in 5:14.77, and Fallston took the 400 relay in 3:32.97.

Harford Tech got a first-place finish from Danielle Kelly, who took the 100 backstroke in 1:02.35. Edgewood's Elisha Peregino won the 100 freestyle in 57.91. Katie Kopajtic was the other winner for the Harford girls, capturing the 50 freestyle in 25.95.

Philadelphia story

Loyola and Mount St. Joseph have done battle all season, finishing the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association season as the conference's top two teams, and now both schools will go at it again this weekend at the nation's biggest swimming meet.

Both are going to the 105th Eastern Interscholastic Swimming and Diving Championships on Friday and Saturday at La Salle.

Loyola coach Keith Schertle said about 60 schools from around the country will be there.

"The meet has suggested qualifying times, and I use them as [definite] qualifying times," Schertle said of how he decides who goes.

Loyola won its 11th straight MIAA meet earlier this month, with the Gaels taking second place. Before that, Loyola won the National Catholic Swimming Championships at Villanova.

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