Not many Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association teams can show up with half a squad and still win convincingly. But Loyola Blakefield's swim team did that on Tuesday and prevailed because of its outstanding depth.
The Dons brought only 10 of 19 team members — all seniors — to Gilman for their A Conference opener and cruised to a 91-71 victory.
Loyola let the other nine miss the meet to concentrate on schoolwork because the swimmers missed up to two days of school because of highly competitive three- and four-day club meets in Virginia and Pennsylvania last weekend.
"This year, we when we played Gilman in football, we got trounced," said Loyola coach Keith Schertle, whose team has won 18 out of the last 19 league championships. "Gilman's football team probably has 80 guys.
"Is there a chance they could have brought 40 or 50 and still beaten us? Yes. That's what we did here in swimming."
Loyola finished first in all 11 events, which includes three relays.
Senior Matthew Tomsuden led the Dons, winning the 100-yard breaststroke (1:03.69) and 200 individual medley (201.25).
J.P. Clancy (50 free, 23:18), Jonathan Dorsch (500 free, 5:03.06), Kevin McCoy (200 freestyle, 1:51.84), Dan Moreno (100 butterfly, 56:30), Neil Perry (100 free, 51.21) and Colin Roddy (100 backstroke, 58:97) also won individual events for Loyola.
Junior Justin Mun (2nd, 50 free, 23:77; 3rd, 100 free, 52:53) and sophomore Andrew Blomquist (3rd, IM, 2:09.08) had the best performances for Gilman.
"It's a meet that I know from the beginning that we are really not going to beat them," said Gilman coach Ian Brooks, whose team is 1-2 in the league. "But it's a wonderful opportunity to swim fast because everybody he's got is fast. If our guys step up to the challenge and really do the best they can, we will get a lot of our best times. And we did."