The Mitchellville-based Kingfish Swim Club wasn't supposed to win a single dual meet this year, according to preseason seedings, coach Matthew Cribbs said.
At the end of each summer the 40 Prince-Mont Swim League teams' top times are run through a virtual meet electronically to help dictate the eight-division alignment.
After winning the 2011 Division C title, Kingfish moved up not just one, but two divisions to the league's top echelon, Division A.
But Cribbs' swimmers were not addled by the increased level of competition.
After a 3-2 dual meet season, Kingfish won Saturday's Division A Championship hosted by Belair Bath and Tennis in Bowie.
Kingfish avenged dual meet losses to 2010 division champion Takoma Park (D.C.) and defending champion Theresa Banks by beating both at Saturday's championship meet.
Kingfish finished with 294 points, ahead of Takoma Park (280 points) in second place. Theresa Banks (255), Belair Bath and Tennis (195) and Maximum Velocity Propulsion of D.C. (154) rounded out the five-team field.
“We were seeded dead last. I think we proved we belong in Division A,” Cribbs said. “I think we did a lot better than was anticipated. Our kids really stepped up and swam well when the pressure was on.”
Despite its third-place finish at Saturday's championship Theresa Banks still defended its overall division title.
Teams earn points for dual meet wins. Theresa Banks earned eight points for finishing the regular season 5-0, Kingfish only earned six points with Saturday's win. That plus the four points awarded for its dual meet wins weren't enough to surpass Theresa Banks' 11.
Saturday's meet format catered to KSC's strengths, Cribbs said.
“I think depth is more important in dual meets. In the division championship it's who has the better top swimmers,” Cribbs said. “Whoever can come away with those first- and second-place finishes does well.”
Kingfish won 14 of 49 events Saturday and had two top-six finishes in 25 events, including two in the top three of three races. The top six finishers in each event earn points in decreasing amounts.
Three of the team's first-place finishes came in relays, which are worth double the points.
Sydney Mathis and Alexis LeMone each won three individual events for Kingfish.
Jared Miller and Amina Wilson were three-race winners for Takoma Park.
“This was our first year in Division A. The competition was great and we swam up to the competition,” Cribbs said.