Loyola Blakefield coach Keith Schertle was certain his Dons were going to lose to McDonogh on Friday afternoon.
That may sound strange, given the fact that Loyola has captured 18 straight Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championships and enjoyed a five-year winning streak over the Eagles.
But swimming is all about times, and McDonogh proved it has the faster swimmers by winning easily, 105-65, in the showdown for dual-meet supremacy in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference.
"Our team that swam today would have won the last 18 (championships)," Schertle said. "They (the Eagles) happen to be extremely good. It's probably one of the best team's the league has ever seen."
McDonogh swept the three relays and had several standout individual performances.
Austin Butt, John Sanabia, Ian Silverman and Henry Simmons formed the 400-yard freestyle relay (3:13.39), Butt, Collin Turner, Henry Stephens and Andrew Sovero comprised the 200 free relay (1:28.25) and John Sanabia, Turner, Alex Cosgarea and Sovero made up the 200 medley relay (135.66).
McDonogh's best individual performances came from two seniors. Sovero won both the 100 breaststroke (58.05) and the 100 butterfly (51:23) while Stephens prevailed in the 100 free (47.25) and 50 free (21.63).
"Our senior class is the strongest we have ever had, and our sophomores have really stepped up from last year," McDonogh coach Scott Ward said. "We told our guys to enjoy this tonight, but get to back to work tomorrow.
"We have been in this position before, where we won (in the regular season) and got nipped in the championship," he added.
Senior Kendrick McDonald (1st, 200 IM, 1:56.67, 2nd 100 breast, 59.34) and juniors Kevin Blum (2nd, 200 IM, 156:90, 3rd, 100 breast, 100.62) and Thomas Brennan (3rd, 100 fly, 52:28, 4th 100 back, 55:33) led Loyola.
"We had a whole bunch of best times, best in-season times," Schertle said. "I can't be disappointed with our guys. They met my expectations. McDonogh is just that good."