Girls’ Swimmer of the Year: Courtney Dantone
Earning her third consecutive spot on the Star/Gazette first team, Eleanor Roosevelt’s Courtney Dantone ascended to the head of the class this winter among female swimmers, earning Female Swimmer of the Year honors.
Dantone captured two events at the county championships for a third straight year, taking the 200-yard IM (2:18.48) by nearly 24 seconds and the 500 free (5:19.98) by more than eight seconds. Dantone, who is leaning toward attending either Drexel or Connecticut this fall, also competed in the same two events at Metros where she placed eighth in the 500 free. The Bowie resident also swam the second leg of both the 200 medley relay and the 400 free relay which took first at the county championships and enabled the Roosevelt girls to depart with a narrow victory.
During her senior season, Dantone was part of Roosevelt’s dynamic duo along with classmate Ashley Gunzelman. Neither swimmer ever tasted defeat in a county dual meet and Dantone earned Metro cuts in five different events this year. She became the second Raider to notch Star/Gazette Female Swimmer of the Year honors, following former teammate Kathryn Gold (Syracuse) who garnered the title three straight years before heading to college. Dantone’s performance of 5:10.83 in the 500 free at the 2002 Metros was the second-fastest in school history.
Boys’ Swimmer of the Year: Kevin Mukri
Selected to the Star/Gazette first team for the second straight year, Kevin Mukri ofDeMatha earned the Male Swimmer of the Year title as he capped a stellar high school career by winning the 100 back (52.51) at the Washington Metropolitan Interscholastic Swim Championships. He had also captured the same event at the Prep School championships at Villanova University two weeks earlier. Mukri finished fourth in the 200 free (1:45.69) and he won the 500 free (4:40.82) at the Prep School meet. Mukri was also swam the backstroke leg of Stags’ 200 medley relay (1:40.25) which set a school record while finishing second at Metros. Mukri has been accepted to three service academies and Notre Dame, but he is heading to the Air Force.
During his four years as a member of the varsity squad, Mukri established two school records in the 100 back. As a junior he established the all-age record of 52.41 for that event when he finished second at Metros.
One year earlier he lowered the school’s record for that event to 54.76. Mukri becomes the fourth consecutive Stags’ swimmer to garner swimmer of the year honors, following in the footsteps of DeMatha graduates Nnamnse Ammons (Florida State),Matt Benedick (Maryland), and RobPersico (Syracuse) who went on to swim for Division I colleges.
Coach of the Year
Paul Sweet, Fairmont Heights — In his seventh season at the helm of the Hornets, Sweet guided the 2A school to its best finish. The Hornets’ boys completed the league season 10-0 and 12-2 overall and they finished fifth at the county championships with 140 points, one spot ahead of Douglass. The Fairmont Heights’ girls went 5-5 this season in league action. Head of the school’s ROTC program, Sweet commanded the Hornets’ small swim team with poise and precision this winter.
Girls’ First Team
Ashley Gunzelman, Roosevelt — A first team selection for the third straight year, Gunzelman captured both the 50 free (26.11) and the 100 free (57.38) at the Prince George’s County Championships for the second straight year. This Roosevelt senior helped the Raiders enjoy a perfect 14-0 league season and she helped them capture the county championship as well.
Hannah Varner, Roosevelt — Despite passing on the county championships to compete in a short course meet that same day, Varner earned her second straight spot on the first team. This Raiders’ sophomore was the defending champion in the 100 breast and she posted the fastest time of the year in that event among county swimmers. Varner fared well in two events at Metros, placing ninth in both the 200 IM (2:16.01) and the 100 back (1:02.71).
Laura McCray, Laurel — Earning her third consecutive spot on the Star/Gazette first team, McCray went undefeated during the county dual meet schedule in five events, then capped the season by winning two events at the Maryland Invitational and by finishing second in two more at the county championships. McCray set a meet record of 58.26 in the 100 free at the Maryland Invitational and clocked a personal best of 2:21.12 in the 200 IM. She finished second in both the 200 free (2:05.36) and the 500 free (5:28.53) at the county championships.
Janna Green, Bowie — Another repeat member of the first team, Green helped propel the Bulldogs to a 14-1 league record, a second-place finish in the county championships and first place in the Maryland Invitational. Green won the 100 fly (1:05.46) at the county championships and finished second in the 100 back (1:04.24). One week earlier she finished second in both events at the Maryland Invitational. She also swam the lead leg of the 200 medley and 400 free relays for Bowie, which finished second at counties.
Maresa Like-Matthews, Roosevelt — The only freshman to make the first team, Like-Matthews won both the 200 free (2:03.49) and the 100 back (1:03.99) at the county championships one week after finishing 10th in the 100 free at Metros and 12th in the 200 IM. She also swam the lead leg of the both the 200 medley and 400 free relays.
Liz Husson, McNamara — This Mustangs’ junior became the first member of her school to earn a spot on the Star/Gazette first team. Husson earned a berth in two events at Metros after posting season-best times for the 200 IM (2:26.24) and the 100 breast (1:14.01). A second-team choice last year, Husson earned Metro cuts in the 200 IM and the 100 breast for a second straight season.
Amber Luedtke, DuVal — Throughout the league schedule this DuVal sophomore ascended to the head of the 1A/2A/3A league. Luedtke finished second in the 100 fly (1:06.24) and third in the 500 free (5:53.67) at the county championships, and both were personal best times. One week earlier she had finished third in the 100 fly (1:07.20) and third in the 500 free (5:57.82) at the Maryland Invitational, which had been personal bests.
Girls’ Second Team
Stacey Tuel, Laurel; Vercera Harvey-White, Laurel; Katie Bouwkamp, High Point; Beth Gingold, Roosevelt; Erin Wenger, Douglass; Joy Peterson, Bowie; Nikki Lilly, Bowie; Jordan Pesses, Bowie; Ketrin Nielsen, High Point; Jesse Rowton, Roosevelt; Mary Stokes, Seton; Melanie Chambers, McNamara; Yolanda Baylor, Flowers; Shara Jones, Flowers; Hannah Nielsen, High Point; Christine Koons, Pallotti.
Boys’ First Team
Gary DeShayes, DeMatha — The Stags’ senior finished seventh in the 100 free (50.34) at Metros, where he also swam the anchor leg of the 200 medley relay (1:40.25) team which established a school record and finished second. He also swam the opening leg of the 400 free relay that finished fourth. At the Prep School Championships in Villanova, Pa., DeShayes finished eighth in both the 200 IM and 200 free.
Sean Murray, DeMatha — Murray finished fourth in the 200 IM (1:59.66) and finished eighth in the 100 fly (55.36) at Metros. He was also part of the 200 medley relay (1:40.25) which finished second in school record time. At the Prep School Championships two weeks earlier, Murray finished second in the 100 fly (55.12) and took fourth in the 200 IM.
Daniel Calderon, Roosevelt — Another two-time member of the Star/Gazette first team, Calderon won two events at the county championships and fared moderately well in two events at Metros. Calderon repeated as the county champion in both the 200 IM (2:04.31) and the 500 free (4:49.93). The Roosevelt sophomore finished 13th overall in the 200 IM (2:04.53) and 13th in the 500 free (4:58.82), which matched his prelim time.
Erik Mitchell, Bowie — Making his first appearance on the first team, Mitchell won two events at the Maryland Invitational and set meet records that night in both the 100 free (51.21) and the 200 free (1:53.55). The Bulldogs’ junior followed that performance by taking the same two events at the county championships. He also swam the anchor leg of Bowie’s 200 free and 400 free relays.
Ryan Hardy, DeMatha — Hardy concluded his high school career by finishing fourth in the 500 free (4:51.45) at Metros after posting a personal best of 4:45.67 in the preliminary round. He also finished 10th overall in the 200 free (1:47.10) at Metros but lowered his personal best for that event by more than a full second.
Roderick Barnett, Flowers — The first member of his school to make the Star/Gazette first team, Barnett scored a narrow victory in the 50 free (23.61) at the county championships, edging Largo senior Ralph Parker by one one-hundredth of a second. Barnett also finished second to Mitchell in the 100 free (52.75) at counties and he competed in the 50 free and the 100 fly at Metros.
Bryson Stewart, Oxon Hill — A two-time first-team selection, Stewart won both the 100 fly (57.72) and the 100 back (59.47) at the county championships and took personal bests in both events. His effort in the back eclipsed the school record previously held by swim coach Chris Bley.
Boys’ Second Team
Chris Chambers, McNamara; Alex Federle, DeMatha; Chris Blau, DeMatha; Joe Osborn, DeMatha; Peter Humphries, DeMatha; Brandon Greenfield, Bowie; Chris Reed, Bowie; Ralph Parker, Largo; Matthew Hoffman, Roosevelt; Matthew Aberg, Roosevelt; Phil Gilbert, Oxon Hill; Brian Collins, High Point; John Humphreys, Laurel; Paulo Bautista, Laurel; Lewis Swartz, Bowie; John Witter, Roosevelt; Michael Yacob, Oxon Hill.