One swimmer Saturday afternoon didn't need two healthy shoulders to compete in a championship meet.
His name is Barry Mangold, a senior at Walter Johnson High School.
The talented sprint freestyler showed up to the University of Maryland, College Park's Eppley Recreation Center for the Class 4A/3A state championship swim meet with his right arm in a sling.
“I dislocated my shoulder [Friday]. I did go to the hospital and they told me they couldn't recommend that I swim [at states], but I told them I probably was going to and no one at the door was stopping me,” Mangold said.
Swim he did, and quite well.
Mangold removed his arm from the sling long enough to win two events, the 50- and 100-yard freestyle, breaking a 2009 meet record in the former, to lead Walter Johnson to its second straight state title.
“I'm thinking, it'd be boring to swim with two shoulders, right? The last 12 hours were complicated. Not being able to swim and help my team was the first thing I thought about. But I'm happy I was able to still swim great, I had a blast [with my team]. [My shoulder] felt sore this morning, so I was unsure. It was uncomfortable in warm-up. But once I got in the water to race, it felt painless,” Mangold said.
Walter Johnson finished with 274 points, ahead of Montgomery Blair (204 points). The Blazers finished one point ahead of the Wildcats at the Washington Metropolitan Interscholastic Swimming and Diving Championships earlier this month.
Richard Montgomery (179), Winston Churchill (174) and Thomas S. Wootton (168) finished third through fifth.
Full results can be found online at www.mpssaa.org.
The Wootton girls completed their remarkable sweep of championship season with Saturday's first state win. The Patriots finished with 329 points. Sherwood (255.5), Richard Montgomery (237.5), Walter Johnson (186) and Walt Whitman (169), last year's champion, rounded out the top five.
“Metros is the big meet. But this is what Howard [Blume] wanted. Metros is more prestigious but this has the name [recognition]. It was great to end our season this way. The last [swimming] championship won by the school was in the 1970s,” Patriots coach Jacqueline Emr said.
Montgomery County dominated the competition, winning 20 of 22 events and setting seven of the eight records broken on Saturday. But the county's depth of talent was also on display.
Swimmers or relay teams from six different schools won at least one event in both the boys and girls competition Saturday — there were 12 total events.
Montgomery Blair's Jack Foster, who set a meet record in the 200-yard individual medley and also won the 100-yard backstroke, Mangold, Sherwood's Anna Kolanowski (meet record in 200-yard freestyle, 100-yard freestyle) and Walt Whitman's Charlotte Meyer (200-yard individual medley, 500-yard freestyle) won two individual races apiece.
Albert Einstein sophomore Rory Lewis set a meet record in the 100-yard butterfly and Thomas S. Wootton senior Austin Dickey bested his own state record from 2012.
“I think that some people thought that because we're in Division II, they didn't expect us to be as successful, so it was nice to show people there are good teams there, too,” said Sherwood freshman Morgan Hill, who won the 100-yard butterfly.
Wootton's win in the meet opening 200-yard medley relay was its only event win Saturday. While the Patriots do boast some of the county's most talented swimmers, including Kristina Li, the reigning Metros record holder in the 100-yard backstroke and 100-yard butterfly, it's Wootton's depth that has propelled it this winter, Emr said.
“We don't need the first place finishes, though we definitely like to see them and they definitely do help us. But it's those second- through fourth-place finishers ... we are nothing without our depth,” Emr said.
Mangold said the same about the Wildcats. His two victories were Walter Johnson's only event wins.
The University of Virginia recruit's right shoulder was dislocated for precisely five minutes Friday, he said. But it was going to take a lot to prevent him from getting in the water Saturday.
“I was thinking, 'They had me winning two events, I can't not swim.' I'm happy I was able to win, I would've been happy getting third. We had a lot of people step up,” Mangold said. “My dad is big into opera and he's always telling me about singers being sick and still being able to sing how it's part of the training, so for me it was just making myself able to swim.”