Boys’ Swimmer of the Year: Sean Murray, DeMatha
One of four swimmers from DeMatha to make the first team, Stags’ senior Sean Murray ascended to the head of the class with his efforts throughout the season and into the postseason. Making his second appearance on the Star/Gazette All-County First Team, Murray finished third in both the 200-yard individual medley (1:57.72) and the 100 backstroke (53.71) at the Private Schools Meet on Feb. 7. He then followed that by placing third in the 200 IM (1:56.67) and fourth in the 100 back (53.55) at the Washington Metropolitan Scholastic Swim Championships on Feb. 28. He swam the third leg of the 400 free relay (3:13.59) that prevailed at Metros, the Stags’ first victory in a relay at that meet.
Girls’ Swimmer of the Year: Laura McCray, Laurel
The only senior on the Star/Gazette All-County First Team to have appeared on the squad all four years, Laurel High’s Laura McCray capped a stellar senior year with her first county championship and two more victories at the Maryland Invitational. McCray, who enjoyed her third consecutive undefeated season in county dual meets, captured the 200-yard freestyle (2:04.28) by more than five seconds at the county championships and finished second in the 100 free (57.73). She then concluded her season by taking both the 200 free (2:04) and the 500 free (5:30.22) where she still holds one meet record and notched six victories. McCray swam on both the 200 medley and 400 free relay teams for the Spartans and bypassed chances to compete at Metros to remain with her teammates at the Maryland Invitational all four years.
Coach of the Year
Jodi Ruback, Central — During her four seasons at Central High, Ruback has molded the Falcons from a fledgling expansion squad her first season into county 3A/2A dual meet champions this year. Ruback, who teaches six Japanese classes and two yearbook courses at the school, often spends the early part of the season simply teaching Central swimmers how to swim. With only a handful of mainstays, Ruback guided the Falcons’ girls to the dual meet title and then watched both her boys’ and girls’ teams place second at the county championships.
Girls First Team
Ketrin Nielsen, High Point, junior — Six months after having back surgery, Nielsen made the leap to first team with her efforts at the county championships and Metros. Nielsen took third in the 200 individual medley (2:24.72) and second in the 100 breast (1:14.44) at the county championships then recorded clockings of 2:26.60 in the 200 IM and 1:14.97 in the 100 breast at Metros.
Hannah Varner, Roosevelt, junior — Making her third appearance on the first team, Varner was again one of the most accomplished swimmers in the county. She captured both the 200 IM (2:20.33) and the 100 breast (1:11.19) at the county championships then placed fifth in the 100 breast (1:08.90) and 11th in the 200 IM (2:15.53) at metros. Varner also swam on the 200 medley and 400 free relay teams that prevailed at the county championships.
Amber Luedtke, DuVal, junior — For the second straight year Luedtke rose to the head of the class among 3A/2A swimmers with her efforts at the county championship and Maryland Invitational. Luedtke finished third in both the 100 fly (1:06.80) and 500 free (5:48.12) at the county meet, then took second in the 100 fly (1:05.53) and third in the 500 free (5:48.24) at the Maryland Invitational. She was the only 3A/2A swimmer to finish in the top five in any event at either meet.
Maresa Like-Mathews, Roosevelt, sophomore — Like-Mathews glides through the water much like a hummingbird flies through the air. She won both the 500 free (5:19.55) and the 100 back (1:02.54) at the county championships, then followed those efforts by placing fifth in the 500 free (5:08.90) and 11th in the 200 free (1:58.28) at Metros. Like-Mathews also swam on both the 200 medley and 400 free relay teams for the Raiders.
Yolanda Baylor, Flowers, junior — One of the best freestyle sprinters in the county, Baylor captured the 50-yard freestyle (27.02) and finished third in the 100 free (59.35) at the county championships. She then finished second in the 50 free (26.97) and third in the 100 free (59.83) at the Maryland Invitational. She also swam the anchor leg of the 200 free and 400 free relay events for the Jaguars.
Janna Green, Bowie, senior — Making her third appearance on the first team, Green concluded her high school career in sharp fashion. She captured two events at the Maryland Invitational and set a new meet record in the 100 back (1:03.38). Green had finished second in both the 100 fly and 100 back one week earlier at the county championships.
Sara Riley, Roosevelt, freshman — The only freshman to make the first team this year, Riley earned a spot by taking both the 100 fly (1:02.02) and the 100 free (57.47) at the county championships. Riley went to Metros and finished 19th in the 100 fly (1:03.22) and tied for 39th in the 50 free (26.89) in those events. Riley was also part of the 200 free and 400 free relay teams that took first at the county meet and took best times at Metros.
Boys First Team
Daniel Calderon, Roosevelt, junior — Making his third appearance on the first team, Calderon ascended to the head of the class among male public school swimmers. He captured the 500-yard freestyle (4:46.87) at the county championships in meet-record time. He also won the 200 IM (2:10.81) and swam the anchor leg of the 400 free relay team that edged Bowie for the county title. Calderon finished third in the 500 free (4:44.86) after posting a 4:43.99 in the morning preliminaries at metros.
Erik Mitchell, Bowie, senior — Also making his third appearance on the first team, Mitchell concluded his senior season in style. He took both the 200 free (1:57.12) and the 100 free (51.21) at the county championships, then he captured the same two events at the Maryland Invitational. Mitchell, who also swam the anchor for both the 200 free and 400 free relay teams at Bowie, still holds two meet records at the Maryland Invitational.
Matthew Hoffman, Roosevelt, senior — After two seasons on the second team, Hoffman ascended to the first team with a solid senior campaign. He captured the 100 backstroke (1:01.94) and finished second in the 100 fly (1:00.28) at the county championships, then placed 28th overall in the 100 back (1:00.86) and 36th overall in the 100 fly (1:00.69) at metros. Hoffman also competed on the Raiders’ 200 medley and 400 free relay teams that succeeded at the county meet.
Matt Harris, DeMatha, junior — Perhaps the best pure sprinter in the county, Harris excelled at the 50 free all season. He took third in that event in the Private Schools Championships then later claimed sixth in the 50 free (22.26) at metros. Harris was also the county’s top performer in the 100 fly (53.17), taking third in that event at the private meet then sixth at metros. He also swam the opening leg of the 400 free relay event that succeeded at metros.
Jack Curran, DeMatha, junior One of the top freestyle distance swimmers in the area, Curran made the leap to first team this season. He finished second in the 200 free (1:44.63) and third in the 500 free (4:44.16) at the Private Schools Championships in early February, then ended the month by placing fourth in the 200 free (1:44.77) and seventh in the 500 free (4:43.94) at metros. He swam the anchor leg of the victorious 400 free relay event at metros, where the Stags finished second overall.
Chris Reed, Bowie, senior — After just missing a spot on the first team last year, Reed made the leap to the group this year thanks to a stellar postseason. Reed captured both the 100 fly (59.87) and the 100 breast (1:09.03) at the county championships, then he concluded his career by taking both the 100 fly (57.67) and the 100 breast (1:03.95) in meet record time at the Maryland Invitational. He also swam on the 200 medley and 200 free relay teams.
Alex Chen, DeMatha, sophomore — One of only four underclassmen to make the boys’ first team, Chen peaked at the perfect time this winter. He finished fifth in both the 200 free (1:46.12) and the 500 free (4:49.98) at the Private Schools Championships on Feb. 7, then returned three weeks later to finish sixth in the 200 free (1:46.18) and eighth in the 500 free (4:48.72) at metros. Chen also swam the second leg of the Stags’ triumphant 400 free relay team at metros.
Girls: Liz Husson and Victoria Crawford, McNamara; Shara Jones and Danielle Bethea, Flowers; Nikki Lilly, Joy Peterson and Corri Deegan, Bowie; Jill Lau and Christine Danielson, Roosevelt; Kaitlin Taylor and Marissa Nielsen, Laurel; Susan Yohe, Seton; Alicia Cohn, Central; Katie McNamara and Jenny McDaniel, Douglass; Jamie Rowton, Parkdale; Ashley Bottorf, Oxon Hill; Stacey Russell, Largo; Melissa Kennedy, High Point.
Boys: Peter Humphries, Joe Osborn, Chris Blau and Steven Davis, DeMatha; Joe Lau, Nathaniel Snyder and Nick Wallas, Roosevelt; Eric Silas, Surrattsville; Daniel Leighton and Michael Yacob, Oxon Hill; Alex Meissel, Brandon Greenfield, Lewis Swartz and Josh Grotte, Bowie; Joe Montibeller, Douglass; Shawn Wiffler, Central; Paulo Bautista and Amr Moubarak, Laurel; SeanDouville, Pallotti.