2019 Meet of the Week (Wk 4): McLean @ Wakefield Chapel Recap
McLean and Chapel had a very spirited and contentious meet this morning. The Marlins and Wahoos both knew that this meet should decide who will stay in D1 and who will likely go 0-5. In the NVSL every meet matters and both sides rose to the occasion to make for one of the better contests around the league.
McLean got out to a fast start–in our preview, we highlighted 21 races that could determine the meet and 8 of them were in freestyle. After Chapel took 8 points in 8-under girls free, McLean rattled off a bunch of big swims. First, Paxton Sand (ML) edged out Seamus McNamara for 2nd place in the 9-10 boys race. Then, the Marlins got key wins from Maya Sharma, Ryan Campbell, Victoria Valko, and Robert Luebke in the 11-12 girls, 13-14 boys and girls, and 15-18 boys 50m free. Madelyn Donohoe and Emilee Ferrari finished off free on a positive for the Wahoos by going 1-2, but Mclean went into back up 12 which was a +1 gain in the point margin for the Marlins.
Knowing things were going to tighten up later in the meet, McLean knew they needed to keep things going through back–their sidelined maintained the energy and momentum they built in the first event and kept it going, spacing their lead out to 24 points! The little Marlins started things off by sweeping the 8-u boys and getting a big 3rd place step up by Addie Dayoub. Chapel earned back a few points with 3 important points from Bennett Otto, but the Marlins began to pour it on by adding a point here and there in the 13-14 age group from Nils Golcyzk taking 3rd and Victoria Valko stealing first. By the end of back McLean had picked up 4 points on the meet +/-, meaning they would need 1 fewer relays to win.
Wakefield Chapel started to fight back in breast–Gareth McClellan dropped 4 seconds to take first in the 11-12 boys race and Kathleen Modder and Brigid Donohoe went 1-2 in the 13-14 girls event after a DQ took points away from McLean. The Marlins fought through it though ending Breast with Natalie Rongione stealing 1 point for 3rd place, ending the event +5 on the day.
By the time we got to butterfly, McLean could almost taste victory. They had made up room throughout the meet and had a number of key swimmers coming up–the Marlins ended up scoring 52 points out of 90 in the last individual event, heavily outpacing the Wahoos and putting them in position to only need 3 relays to win. That victory came with the 9-10 girls 100m medley taking the win–the Marlins went on to win 8 of 12 relays which was far better than we had predicted, winning the meet 237-183.
Wakefield Chapel definitely has built out a very strong team with a lot of tradition built into a winning culture. This meet was a lot of fun to cover because of the high level of competition in the water but also because of the fun atmosphere both teams created with their spirit and positive attitudes. We enjoyed the below coaches relay where we saw each team’s leaders display their own racing skills in ‘unique’ ways! Thank you for having us on deck last minute and good luck the rest of the way to all the Marlins and Wahoos!