When you are the back-to-back league champions, it is hard to not cover you on opening day. Despite the league scheduling format that pits the 4th place team against the 1st place team in week 1 of the season, Highlands presents a great challenge for the Tiger Sharks. Chesterbrook starts the season with 13 preseason All-Swim Ninja selections, and Highlands has 4–however, both these teams are full of solid, competitive swimmers down to their 3rd athlete in each event and age group. Though recent history may suggest this meet will almost certainly go to Chesterbrook, there are enough close races in this meet to make things interesting–don’t sleep on the Whomping Turtles this season!
Let’s break down this meet down by top races:
*Predictions are based on seed times/available data*
11-12 Girls Backstroke
Preseason Second Team selection Patricia Leonard headlines this race that could see 3 girls come to the wall at the same time. You can’t sleep on 11 y/os in D1–this heat features two 12-year-old girls in outside lanes.
Highlands and Chesterbrook each have 2 Preseason All-Swim Ninja selections–the Whomping Turtles bring Anne O’Shaughnessy and Gigi Dent to square off with the Tiger Sharks’ McKenzie Cory and Annabelle Francis. Early season bragging rights are on the line in these individual events, but almost more importantly this will certainly be the first feature in a series of three showdowns between the top two 8-under girls relay teams in the league.
8-Under Boys Backstroke
Chesterbrook’s William Yoon is one of the most exciting young backstrokers in the league after making our Preseason All-Swim Ninja selection and we are very interested in seeing this young athlete burst on the scene this season!
13-14 Girls Backstroke
If you are interested in knowing who some of the top backstrokers in the league are going to be for the next two years, this heat has your answers–a rare race with 6 13 y/os.
Some of the fastest boys in the league and DC area will square off all season long in the division, and this meet will feature a number of great races. All-Swim Ninja swimmers Ryan Soh, Thomas Outlaw, Grant Dewitt are joined by teammates Nick Spicer, Ollie Bernasek, and Andrew Bernstein to form arguably the deepest senior age group the league has ever seen–the senior Tiger Sharks will square off against Ben Charles and Diego Cruzado throughout the morning and will be must-watch swimming–tune back in to find them!
This meet is less about predicting a score and more about the benefits of the NVSL at its highest level of competition. While there are many names we already know, Chesterbrook and Highlands have great coaches and strong swimming traditions that turn out new swimmers every year that become mainstays among the league leaders. We will have much more to report on after this meet but are very excited about the potential for regular excitement throughout the morning.