The 37th annual Howard County Invitational Swimming Championships were held April 6 at Howard Community College, with teams representing each of the county's public high schools participating.

The meet, sponsored by the Columbia Aquatics Association, saw over 200 students register this year. The participants were a mix of year-round swimmers and recreational swimmers, with no qualifying times needed in order to compete.

Centennial ended up with 683.5 combined points to edge out River Hill (611.5) and Marriotts Ridge (605).

Howard County does not feature swimming as a varsity sport, although the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association does sanction it. The opportunity to represent their respective schools in the pool, though, was a special moment for many even if it was just for a day.


Sign up to receive our free daily email newsletter: Columbia Today

"Being able to swim for my high school has been such a great experience," said Centennial's Meghan Lanehart, who is a competitive year-round swimmer out of the North Baltimore Aquatics Club. "I think it is a shame that we are unable to offer swimming to the high schools as an official sport … the attendance and the amount of interest in this meet is incredible."

Several swimmers in the meet will be going on to swim in college, including Wilde Lake's Bizu Baldinazzo (Salisbury University), Centennial's Alissa Ling (Washington University in St. Louis) and Centennial's Andrew Coe (The College of New Jersey).

Team scores: 1. Centennial, 683.5; 2. River Hill, 611.5; 3. Marriotts Ridge, 605; 4. Mt. Hebron, 550.5; 5. Howard, 471; 6. Wilde Lake, 378.5; 7. Atholton, 367.5; 8. Reservoir, 256; 9. Oakland Mills, 225; 10. Long Reach, 135.5; 11. Glenelg, 40; 12. Hammond, 23.

Top individuals: 1. Allison Hu, G, 40 points; 1. Ben Skopic, MR, 40; 1. Maddie Weinberger, MH, 40; 4. Kelly McGillicuddy, C, 38.5; 5. Alexander Giles, LR, 37; 5. Jake Lamarella, MH, 37; 5. Jessica Li, RH, 37; 5. Jeffrey Tse, C, 37; 5. Alex Ewart, C, 37; 5. Derek Nguyen, MR, 37; 5. Hope Kim, MH, 37; 5. Kevin Hu, C, 37.