The Falls Church High School Jaguars swim and dive team traveled to Alexandria on Friday, Jan. 9, to face the Mount Vernon Majors in the fourth meet of the regular season and their first meet in the new year.
The final scores were: boys 162-153 and girls 134-181.
This was a critical meet after their long winter break without steady practices. The boys team rallied to take first and second place in the 400-yard Free Relay and won the meet, after having been behind following the previous event. The boys team remains undefeated in the district and has high hopes of securing the National District Title, which they last held in 2003. “This is the year,” said senior captain Alek Anderson. “We have a good chance this year, we have to take it.” Coaches Christina Kwon and Mike Southee were very pleased with the outcome, especially the boys’ somewhat unexpected victory.
The girls were not so fortunate, however, and despite a strong showing were handed their first loss in the National District.
First-place finishes were secured by Scott Silvester (200 Free), Alek Anderson (200 Individual Medley, 100 Back), David Blincoe (50 FR), Austin Morgan (Dive), Alex Howe (500 FR), and 400 FR Relay (Scott Silvester, Alex Howe, Andrew Frank, Alek Anderson) for the boys; and for the girls by Maggie Cullather (Dive), and the 400 FR Relay (Clara Dombroski, Shelley Kendall, Jenny Moore, Maggie Cullather).
Second-place winners were the boys 200 Medley Relay (Andrew Frank, Paul Cossack, Alek Anderson, David Blincoe), Scott Silvester (100 FR), boys 200 FR Relay (David Blincoe, Michael Clingamann, Nick Engquist, Scott Silvester), Daniel Healy (100 BK), Alex Howe (100 Breast) and boys 400 FR Relay (Pieter van Wijngaarden, Mike Fernandez, Will Rogers, Nick Engquist). For the girls team, second-place finishes were Clara Dombroski (200 FR, 100 BK), Emily Sturges (Dive, 100 Fly), Maggie Cullather (100 FR) and Kristina Clingamann (500 FR).
Third-place winners for the boys were the 200 Medley Relay (Daniel Healy, Alex Howe, Andy Fernandez, Michael Clingamann), Nick Engquist (200 FR), Andrew Frank (200 IM, 100 FL) and Will Rogers (500 FR). Girls third-place winners were Chnar Sindi (200 FR), Kara Sims (500 FR), 200 FR Relay (Sarah Kane, Shelley Kendall, Emily Sturges, Maggie Cullather), Jenny Moore (100 BR) and 400 FR Relay (Kristina Clingamann, Kara Sims, Chnar Sindi, Sarah Kane).
Immediately following Friday night’s meet, Falls Church swimmers who had qualified packed up and departed for the Kecoughtan Invitational in Newport News, Va. Arriving late and rising early, the Jaguars once again donned their suits and warmed up for the meet beginning at 8:30 a.m.
The Falls Church swimmers who qualified were Alek Anderson (50 Free, 100 Back), David Blincoe (50 FR, 100 FR), Michael Clingamann (200 Individual Medley, 100 Breast), Paul Cossack (200 IM, 100 BR), Nick Engquist (200 FR, 50 FR), Andrew Frank (50 FR, 100 FR), Alex Howe (200 FR, 500 FR), Scott Silvester (200 FR, 100 FR), Maggie Cullather (200 FR, 200 IM), Clara Dombroski (50 FR, 100 BK), Jenny Moore (200 IM) and Emily Sturges (100 Fly).
This showing represented great improvement over the previous year’s number of qualifiers, but even more impressive is the number of swimmers who advanced to the final rounds (top 16). A total of 13 swimmers competed in the consolation heat, seeds 16-9, in seven individual events and two relays.
The Falls Church Kecoughtan finalists were Alek Anderson (placing ninth in the 50 FR and 12th in the 100 BK), David Blincoe (placing 14th in the 50 FR), Alex Howe (placing 16th in the 200 FR and ninth in the 500 FR), Scott Silvester (placing 13th in the 200 FR), Clara Dombroski (placing 10th in the 100 BK), boys 200 FR Relay consisting of David Blincoe, Scott Silvester, Alex Howe and Alek Anderson (placing 12th) and boys 400 FR Relay consisting of Scott Silvester, Alex Howe, Andrew Frank and Alek Anderson (placing ninth).
The boys 400 FR Relay broke the school record at Kecoughtan – a record they have had their sights on since early last season.
The Jaguars returned to Northern Virginia with new personal bests and winning attitudes in preparation for their upcoming and likely toughest meet against Yorktown High School on Friday, Jan. 16.