As we head into week 3 and approach the midpoint in the summer season, it is remarkable to think about all the great swimming, spirit, and fun we have witnessed so far this season! This week, we wanted to take the opportunity to return to the middle divisions for two interesting matchups that feature not only the exciting competitive nature of the NVSL but also a sense of rivalry, due to the history these pools share being in overlapping communities where the athletes are very familiar with their competitors. Both meets should bring plenty to watch for so check out what we are looking forward to below!
Mansion House and Riverside Gardens is a natural rivalry, with both pools located a few short miles away from each other down in the Mt. Vernon area of Alexandria. Though currently at the bottom of Division 9, with the RG Tsunami sitting at 1-1 and MHC Piranhas entering Saturday 0-2, this is a meet we have had circled on our calendars since the beginning of the season. Both Mansion House and Riverside Gardens have their own special place in the NVSL history books–MHC is a legendary location, just a stone’s throw from the Potomac River. Riverside Gardens has had several top-notch swimmers over the years that has made the Tsunami a familiar name at league-wide events. This meet brings the best of what the NVSL has to offer in terms of the culture and history that two pools have created while sitting on opposite ends of George Washington’s old plantation.
There should be plenty of good swimming in this meet though Riverside Gardens is heavily favored to win handily. Below we have included our top races for the morning that should make the journey well worth its while!
- 9-10 Girls 50m Free: Delaney Scanlon (RG) and Molly Lussier (MHC) are separated by only a tenth of a second on seed times, and should be a great early joust between two athletes that might pick up best times against each other with a good competitive push.
- Boys 13-14 50m Free: The Tsunami’s Andrew Fazackerley will get a solid challenge from 13 y/o Jack Kay in the inside lanes for first, while Will McCarthy (MHC) will try to edge Sean Finn (RG) out for 3rd. In both of those match-ups, mere hundredths separate the swimmers.
- Boys 15-18 50m Free: Mansion House’s Andrew Revers should lead the pack to the wall, but his teammate Michael Hood in lane 2 and Riverside Garden’s AJ Terio will be in hot pursuit hoping to at least grab 2nd, if not even steal a win away from lane 4.
- 15-18 Girls 50m Free: Olivia Scheidt (RG) is less than a tenth faster than Margaret Virostek in lane 4, and less than a second faster than Katie Dennis in lane 2–the 18 y/o senior will try to hold off this close challenge from the Piranha senior ladies.
- 8-Under Girls 25m Back: Avery Vanlandingham (RG) and Summer Abrams (MHC) are right on top of each other in terms of time–the 6 y/o Summer will be exciting to watch because munchkins are unpredictable in knowing how much time they can drop, and each year under 8 makes it that much more exciting anticipating their development!
- 11-12 Girls 50m Back: The Tsunami record holder Anita Buchanan will be way out ahead of the pack, but in her wake, Evie Jewett and Katie DeWitte of Mansion House and Lily Malloy will all be coming to the wall together in hopes of getting the 3 points for second place–it should come down to the touch, so don’t take your eyes off the rest of the pool, especially at the turn!
- 15-18 Girls 50m Breast: Dulcie Davis is the top seed in lane 4 for the Piranhas, but only by .05 seconds over Kate Donnelly from Riverside Gardens. Expect the big girls to put on a show for everyone to enjoy in this clash!
- 8-Under Girls 25m Fly: Summer Abrams may steal the show Saturday, as she tries to hold off 7 y/o Clara Dibella in lane 3 who is only a tenth slower than her entering the meet. Little kids butterfly improves rapidly at this point in the season, so watch out for some great time drops.
- 15-18 Boys 50m Fly: Andrew Revers (MHC) is seeded less than a tenth faster than Javier Chiriboga from Riverside Gardens. This will be a great race to wrap up the individual events regardless of the team scores.
Riverside Gardens should take care of business without too much trouble, but if the rivalry meet lives up to the hype than it is anyone’s game Saturday morning. Maybe we are overpromoting this matchup, but clearly there is more to be excited about in this meet than there is to ignore, so we look forward to heading down to the Gardens for a great morning of swimming. Final prediction: Riverside Gardens pulls away in dramatic fashion during breaststroke, and nearly gets over the 210 mark in fly, setting up a 250-170 win for the Tsunami as they improve to 2-1. We wish both teams good luck and hope for lots of great racing, cheering, and sportsmanship!