Loyola earns 17th straight A Conference crown

Porter leads the Dons

Gilman captures 'B' title

February 21, 2010|By Mike Frainie | Special to The Baltimore Sun

Loyola's Alex Porter knows what it feels like to win. It's the drive to keep doing it that makes him excel.

On Saturday at the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association swimming championships at Loyola, he accomplished his mission four times (in the 200 freestyle, the 100 freestyle and the first leg of Loyola's 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle relays) to lead his team to its 17th consecutive A Conference title (all 16 MIAA titles, plus one in the league's forerunner, the Maryland Scholastic Association).

The Dons won the A Conference title with 380 points, outdistancing McDonogh (289) and Calvert Hall (242). Gilman won the B Conference crown with 346 points, besting Archbishop Spalding (289) and St. Paul's (154).

"It feels great, but you can't ever let it feel too great," Porter said. "We always have to keep getting better. We don't want to let the alumni down."

Said Loyola coach Keith Schertle: "It's the dedication the team has. We've had two blizzards recently, and we've missed one day of practice. These kids just keep working tirelessly to get better and better. That tells you all you need to know right there."

The title is the second major championship for the Dons this season. In late January, they won their third consecutive National Catholic Swimming Championship in Philadelphia.

When asked which tournament win was more impressive, Schertle said that depends on whom you ask.

"We just try not to take [the wins] for granted," Schertle said. "I'm just the captain of our ship, but every guy on the team knows that every point he scores is important. We have 25 guys, and they will all score at least one point today."

Porter set a pool record in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1 minute, 42.05 seconds. McDonogh's Drew Cosgarea did the same in the 200 individual medley (1:53.09) and in the 500 freestyle (4:37.42).

The B Conference title for Gilman was the third straight for the Greyhounds. They were paced by Michael Morrow, who won the 200 individual medley (2:00.58) and 100 backstroke (55.46). John Gallagher, who won the 50 freestyle (23.04), Jack Pollack, who won the 500 freestyle (4:53.92), and Muhammad Huthut, who won the 100 breaststroke (1:04.66), also added victories for Gilman.

"We just went out and had fun," Morrow said. "I dropped my IM time by four seconds, and that kind of surprised me. We had a really good day."

Severn's John Bremer was the only other double winner, taking the 200 freestyle (1:46.61) and 100 butterfly (52.50).

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