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CMW girls take second, CMW boys take fourth at 1A/2A/3A swim championship

Harford athletes claim six Maryland titles at Saturday's state final showdown

BY DEWEY FOX, dfox@theaegis.com

5:31 PM EST, February 25, 2013

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The C. Milton Wright girls swimming squad's nearly two year unbeaten streak came to an end Saturday afternoon at the University of Maryland, College Park, where the Mustangs, defending class 1A/2A/3A champs, came up short at the 2013 state finals, finishing in second place behind new champion Poolesville.

The CMW girls squad finished the meet with 255 points, while first-place Poolesville earned 313.5 tallies and third-place Damascus registered 184 points.

The CMW side had the best team finish among Harford County boys squads, taking fourth with 137 points. Poolesville won the boys meet as well with 327 points, the Damascus boys squad took second with 160 points, and Queen Anne's finished third with 139 points.

Harford County swimmers captured five individual titles and one relay title at Saturday's championship meet.

Leading the way for the second-place Mustang girls was CMW freshman Megan Cowan, who raced to a pair of individual victories. Cowan struck first in the girls 200-yard freestyle, holding off a late charge from Poolesville's Dorit Song to win by 0.06 seconds. The 100-yard butterfly saw Cowan take a victory in somewhat easier fashion, topping the field with a time of 59.14, 4.23 seconds ahead of the nearest competitor.

In winning the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:55.08, Cowan set a new Harford County Record, topping the 11-year-old mark of 1:56.81set by John Carroll's Laura Betzing in January, 2002.

CMW nearly swept the 100-yard breaststroke, as sisters Lauren O'Mara and Julia O'Mara finished in first and third, respectively. Lauren O'Mara took the title with a winning time of 1:06.70, while Julia O'Mara finished in third at 1:09.02.

Lauren O'Mara's 100-yard breaststroke effort saw her break a Harford County record that she had set just one week earlier. At the 1A/2A/3A North regional finals on Saturday, Feb. 16, O'Mara won the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:07.18, breaking the 22-year-old record of 1:07.47, set in 1991 by Bel Air's Kathy Rising.

Cowan, Lauren O'Mara, Julia O'Mara and Erika Abshire got together for the 200-yard medley relay race, winning a state title in that event and setting a new Harford County record in the process. The CMW team finished with a time of 1:53.24, which was 1.58 seconds faster than the previous mark, set at last year's 1A/2A/3A state finals by the CMW squad of Taylor Nesbit, Lauren O'Mara, Danielle King and Gabby Jordan.

In the final event of Saturday's meet, the CMW girls 400-yard freestyle relay team of Erika Slotnick, Maggie Gallagher, Lauren O'Mara and Cowan notched a second-place finish.

Fallston was the lone Harford County squad to earn titles in both the girls and boys events. Earning an individual championship for the Cougar boys was Austin Appel, who won the 100-yard butterfly in a time of 53.45. Madison Brown was the Cougar girls big winner, taking a victory in the 100-yard backstroke, finishing in 1:01.99. Appel came through with another top-three finish earlier in the meet, taking third in the 50-yard freestyle.

North Harford's Gabe Lackey and Patterson Mill's Patrick Ward had similar experiences at Saturday's meet, each notching a pair of second-place finishes. Lackey took second in the boys 200-yard individual medley, and the 500-yard freestyle. Ward found success in the meet's two quickest events, finishing second in both the boys 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle races.

The CMW boys squad had two fourth-place relay finishes. The team of Bernie Chang, Andrew Youn, Colin Hildebeidel and Ryan Pellegrino took fourth in the 400-yard freestyle relay, while Chang, Hildebeidel, Pellegrino and Tyler Dellaratta raced to fourth in the 200-yard medley relay.

The rest of the girls field finished as follows: Oakdale, 180; Walkersville, 160; Frederick, 156.5; North Harford, 146; Easton, 132; Rockville, 118; Seneca Valley, 60; Stephen Decatur, 55; Middletown, 50; Havre de Grace, 42; Patterson Mill, 40.5; Kent Island, 39; Harford Tech, 38.5; Fallston, 35; Friendly, 30; Thomas Stone, 26; Tuscarora, 25.5; McDonogh, 24.5; Cambridge S.D., 23; Aberdeen. 11; Queen Anne's, 10; Northeast, 7; Brunswick, 6; Souther, 2.

The remaining boys teams finished in this order: Seneca Valley, 129.5; Fallston, 124; North Harford, 117; Stephen Decatur, 103.5; Cambridge S.D., 88; Oakdale, 85.5; Frederick, 80; Patterson Mill, 79; Harford Tech. 70; Walkersville, 65; Rockville, 63; Patuxent, 59; Middletown, 51; Kent Island, 42; Easton, 42; Tuscarora, 41; La Plata, 39; Northwood, 26; Calvert, 21; Joppatowne, 20; Edgewood, 19; Aberdeen, 15; Havre de Grace 15; Thomas Stone, 4; Largo, 3; Southern, 2.5; McDonogh, 2; Kent, 1.