It was thought that the C. Milton Wright girls run of eight straight Harford County swimming titles might come to an end Wednesday night at Magnolia Middle School.
The Mustangs, however, had other ideas. With a win in the 400 free relay, the night's final event, the team won their ninth consecutive championship with 314 points. Bel Air, which was second in the final event, was runner-up with 306. Patterson Mill was third with 289, while Edgewood was fourth with 222 and North Harford closed out the top five with 211.
The Mustangs also won their ninth combined team title with 646 points. Patterson Mill was second with 582, and Bel Air third with 567.
The CMW foursome of Julia Walsh, Logan Kosar, Asha Minott and Lauren Rutherford swam 3:57.39 to seal the win.
Bel Air's foursome of Rebecca Entner, Ellie Harris, Maria Collins and Sydney Mika finished second in 3:58.25. Bel Air and CMW went to the final event with just two points between them. North Harford was third in 4:03.26.
Disqualification muddled the night's first event as Bel Air, the race winner, as well as Aberdeen and Harford Tech were all disqualified for early entry violations.
It obviously proved costly for Bel Air as the night wore on.
The loss was Patterson Mill's gain as Sarah Lingelbach, Jessica Bujak, Katerina Lomis and Lydia Elchik finished in 2:02.96 to beat CMW's foursome of Logan Kosar, Sarah Cowan, Julia Walsh and Lauren Rutherford. They finished in 2:03.11. Edgewood was third in 2:07.95.
Bel Air came back to win the next relay, the 200 free relay. Madison Clark, Mika, Entner and Madelynn Dougherty team to win in 1:50.09.
North Harford was a surprising second with Emily Catrambone, Hunter Meisz, Lizzie Catrambone and Lauren Seco swimming 1:50.40. Patterson Mill was third in 1:55.70.
CMW senior Rutherford, who anchored the final win, was fastest in the meet's shortest two freestyle races, the 50 and 100 free events. Rutherford swam 26.27, besting North Harford sophomore Emily Catrambone's time of 27.73 in the 50. Dougherty, a Bel Air senior, was third in 27.47. Rutherford also won the 50 free last year.
"I've been really sick these past couple weekends, and I just wanted to go out there and do what I could do," Rutherford said. "It's been really tight with Patterson Mill and Bel Air and I just wanted to do well for my team, so I just kind of pushed through the sickness, pushed through the pain and came out a winner."
Rutherford, despite the illness, came back a short time later to win the 100 free in 56.72. Mika of Bel Air was second (58.04), and Emily Catrambone of North Harford, third, in 59.79.
CMW pulled off a 1-2 finish in the 100 back race. Sophomore Walsh won in 1:05.87 and freshman Kosar was second in 1:08.17. North Harford's Seco swam third in 1:08.94.
Bel Air sophomore Mika pulled off the upset in the 200 free race, posting a time of 2:07.23. Top seed Lizzie Catrambone of North Harford was second in 2:08.33. Catrambone's seed time was nearly two seconds better than Mika's. Patterson Mill freshman Lingelbach was third in 2:08.67.
Bel Air also got a win from Eliza Cohen in the 100 breaststroke. Cohen was an easy winner in 1:11.04, well ahead of Aberdeen's Sophia Dow, who finished in 1:17.92. Elchik of Patterson Mill was third in 1:19.66.
Lomis, a Patterson Mill freshman, won the 200 IM and the 500 free. Lomis swam the four strokes in 2:19.48, to beat Edgewood freshman Priscilla Velez, who was second in 2:25.59. Bel Air junior Rebecca Entner was third in 2:28.71.
Lomis cruised to the 500 victory, winning in 5:34.50, well ahead of runner-up and teammate Lingelbach's time of 5:46.23. CMW freshman Asha Minott was third in 5:52.97.
"I kind of just go in, have some good turns, good streamlines, good finish and start and it's kind of death, but once you get over with it, you feel good," Lomis said.
Velez bounced back from the 200 IM runner-up spot to win the 100 butterfly. Velez swam 1:03.63 to beat CMW sophomore Julia Walsh (1:04.03). Aberdeen junior Kaeli MacDonald was third in 1:07.29.
"It feels really good, I love all the girls I'm racing against, because I know them very close an I'm really humbled to be here," Velez said. "I was really surprised because my competitor Julia Walsh is really, really good."