It's a good thing Poolesville High School swimming and diving team representative Julie Miller put in a special order for Falcons coach Johnny Leong earlier this season. She ordered a pair of black, gold and white argyle pants from the United Kingdom and they arrived in time for last week's Class 3A/2A/1A West Region meet.
Otherwise, there's no telling what would have happened this championship season, he joked after the Falcons swept Saturday's 3A/2A/1A state championship meet held at the University of Maryland, College Park's Eppley Recreation Center.
It was the Poolesville boys' second straight state title; Poolesville's girls were upset by Harford County's C. Milton Wright in 2012.
Poolesville's boys dominated the field, finishing with 327 points. Second-place Damascus (160), Queen Anne's (139 points), C. Milton Wright (137) and Seneca Valley (129.5) rounded out the top five.
The Falcons girls won convincingly as well, with a 313.50-255 advantage over the defending champion Mustangs. Full results can be found online at http://www.mpssaa.org.
“It's the pants,” Leong said.
That and Poolesville's proficiency in all events across the board.
The Falcons won a combined nine of 22 events Saturday — the boys earned major points by sweeping all three relays, the girls won two — but more importantly, finished at least one swimmer in the top three of eight events on the boys side and 10 in the girls competition. In addition, Poolesville's boys had two athletes in the top three of seven races, and the girls did the same in five events.
“I think it's that we have all pretty good swimmers, not just a few top-notch swimmers. Our depth definitely helps us [in championship meets],” said Falcons junior Xavier Laracuente, who won all four events he contested.
Saturday's competition was also a good platform for the state's smaller schools to shine in a championship atmosphere. Poolesville senior Diana Hanson, who won the 200-yard individual medley, and first-year Damascus High coach Kevin Beabout agreed.
Fourteen different swimmers won at least one event Saturday. Laracuente (50- and 100-yard freestyle) and C. Milton Wright's Megan Cowan (200-yard freestyle, 100-yard butterfly) were the meet's only double individual race winners.
Other individual event winners from Montgomery County included: Griffin Alaniz (Rockville, 200-yard freestyle), Alex Lin (Poolesville, 200-yard individual medley), Hedda Boege (Damascus, 500-yard freestyle) and Dorit Song (Poolesville, 100-yard freestyle).
The Poolesville girls had been waiting for Saturday's meet since last year's championship, Hanson said. There were no surprises this time and the Falcons were ready. And now that they have completed the sweep, per a pre-championship dare, Leong will wear his argyle pants to school Monday, he said.
“What happened last year really motivated the girls. No one is going to roll over because we're from Montgomery County. We have to do what we can do to be the top and we did that [Saturday]. I'm proud of all the swimmers,” Leong said.