Loyola edges McDonogh to win 14th straight title


February 11, 2007|By Todd Karpovich | Todd Karpovich,Special to The Sun

Loyola swimming coach Keith Schertle wasn't around to see his Dons capture their 14th straight Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association championship in one of the most dramatic finishes in the history of the event.

Schertle had to leave the meet early so he could watch his daughter compete in her final meet as a senior on Loyola College's swim team. In his absence, the Dons trailed McDonogh going into the day's final event, but rallied in the 400-yard freestyle relay to overtake the Eagles, 320-313, and win the title.

"I just told the guys before the last race that you have to keep the dynasty alive, and they responded," said Brad Schertle, son of the head coach, who took over the reins in his father's absence. "It's 14 in a row."

McDonogh started strong, winning the 200-yard medley relay with a record time of 1:36.76, just ahead of Loyola (1:36.98). The Eagles broke the record of 1:38.37 set by the Dons in 2005.

The Eagles later won the 200 freestyle relay, finishing in 1:26.96, ahead of the Dons (1:27.95) and Mount St. Joseph (1:30.53). McDonogh broke the record it set last year with a time of 1:28.44.

Mount St. Joseph's Ryan Shea did not disappoint as the favorite in the 200 freestyle and 100 freestyle, breaking conference records in both events with times of 1:41.12 and 46.66, respectively.

St. Paul's Austin Surhoff, son of former Oriole B.J. Surhoff, broke the conference record in the 200 individual medley with a time of 1:51.82.

In the 100 backstroke, Mike Polino of McDonogh broke a record he set earlier in the day with a 57:03 finish.

McDonogh's Nathan Mormann won the 50 freestyle with a time of 21.45.

Gilman's Connor Wills took the 100 butterfly in 51.52 and the 100 backstroke with a time of 51.55.

McDonogh began to build its lead a little more than midway through the event after Dave Newton won the 500 freestyle at 4:43.02, ahead of Hugh Davison (4:45.92) and Andrew Balhoff (4:46.37), both of Loyola. The Dons, however, saved their best for last.

"We knew coming in that it was going to be really tough because we have a smaller team," McDonogh coach Scott Ward said. "I am really proud of the guys. We had a heck of a year."

In the A Conference, Mount St. Joseph finished third with 173 points, followed by St. Paul's (148), Calvert Hall (130) and Gilman (86).

In the B Conference, St. Mary's won nine of the 11 events for 328 points and the championship. Severn (229) finished second, ahead of Spalding (202), John Carroll (199), Curley (109) and Pallotti (103).

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