After facing only fellow county rivals for the past 10 weeks, swimmers from Prince George’s County finally had the chance to display their talents against non-county opponents Monday morning in the 4A/3A South Region swim meet at the Fairland Aquatic Center in Laurel. Overall, they did quite well.
The Eleanor Roosevelt High School boys and girls both finished second to Leonardtown, while Charles H. Flowers finished fourth among boys and girls. Bowie’s boys took third, while the Bulldogs’ girls settled for fifth, one spot ahead of Laurel. But individuals and relays from each of those squads earned automatic berths into Saturday’s Class 4A state championships at the University of Maryland, College Park.
In each of her three previous seasons with the Roosevelt squad, Raiders’ senior Jennifer Clune had not only won county and regional honors in the 100-yard breaststroke, she had finished in the top six at the state meet to earn a spot on the podium. On Monday, Clune notched her fourth straight region title in the 100-yard breaststroke (1 minute, 12.07 seconds), captured the 200 individual medley (2:21.36) and was part of two relays that also won.
“I was happy with my time in the 200 IM,” said Clune, a Bowie resident who is heading to Washington College this fall. “I didn’t go 2:19 like I did last year, but I felt pretty good with my breaststroke and butterfly. I didn’t go as fast as I would have liked in the 100 breast, but now my goal is to get back onto the podium at Maryland on Saturday. It’s definitely bittersweet knowing it’s my last high school meet.”
In her first event of the day, Clune joined freshman Alexis Yaculak and fellow seniors Eszther Hernhold and Elizabeth Bailey on the Raiders’ quartet that captured the 200 medley relay. In the finale, Clune anchored the Roosevelt 400 freestyle relay (4:05.95) that included Yaculak, Hernhold and Emma Donoghue.
While Clune represents the county’s most established swimmer heading into Saturday’s state meet, Bowie freshman DeAngela Fobbs and Laurel sophomore Carolyn Sutton loom as the county’s budding stars.
Fobbs won both the girls’ 50 free (26.21) and the 100 free (57.70), while Sutton captured the 100 fly (1:03.40) and the 100 backstroke (1:04.37). Fobbs established a new meet record in the 50 free, while Sutton posted new meet records with both of her victories.
“I’m really hoping to go 25 in the state meet,” Fobbs said. “I know it’s going to be a fast meet. I want to go 55 high in the 100 free. Right now I haven’t been able to practice much because of my shoulder, but it’s feeling stronger.”
Several other county female swimmers earned an automatic berth at states by finishing third or better in individual events. Bailey was third in the 50 free. Hernhold was third in the 100 fly and second in the 500 free and her freshman teammate, Catherine Peterson, was third in the 500 free. Flowers’ Ashley Braswell was second in the 100 back, while Alexis Braswell was third in both the 100 free and 200 free. The Jaguars’ 200 free relay of Daiysa Burrell, Mariah Osbourne and both Braswells took second.
Prince George’s County’s boys were equally as impressive at the regional meet. Flowers’ sophomore Don Brazelton won the 200 free and 100 back (56.41), while Jaguars’ junior teammate Sidney Horton captured the 200 IM (2:07.92) and the 100 free. Brazelton set a meet record in the 100 back, Horton established a new one in the 200 IM.
Bowie senior Saadiq Louisy won the 50 free and was second in the 100 free. Roosevelt junior Christian Dixon won the 100 fly (55.46) in meet record fashion and was third in the 200 free. Bowie freshman Jon Bendana was second in both the 200 IM and the 100 breast. Bowie’s Noah Louisy was third in the 500 free, while teammate Christian Blocker was third in the 100 back. Roosevelt’s Nathan Donoghue was second in the 500 free, while Suitland’s Bryce Carrington took third in the 100 breast.
Roosevelt’s 200 medley relay quartet of Michael Stevens, Andrew Skinner, MenSa Eggleston and Dixon finished second. Eggleston, Dixon, Donoghue and Michael Shimizu combined to place second in the 400 free relay, while Smimizu, Skinner, Stevens and Kameron Sheppard were third in the 200 free relay. Flowers’ Brazelton, Horton, Malcolm Mallard and Brendenn Davis took third in the 200 medley relay, and Brazelton, Mallard, Horton and Montana Wynn combined for third in the 200 free relay.