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Russett Sharks swimming skips a division, yet continues winning

By David Driver, davidsdriver@aol.com

10:23 AM EDT, July 2, 2013

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The Russett Sharks are coming off Division D titles the past two years in the Prince Mont-Swim League. After losing in the first meet, the Sharks bounced back to win the next two weeks to stay in title contention in a new division.

After a 17-point win in week two Russett (2-1) won at home on June 29 against Westlake, 291-284, in Division B.

"We are always going to be in contention," said Vanessa Cox, the veteran Russett coach, whose team skipped the C level while moving up to the B division.

Triple winners for the Sharks were Razelle Abogadie (U-10 girls) in the butterfly, freestyle and backstroke; Anthony Kazzi (11-12 boys) in the fly, breaststroke and individual medley; Dominic Kazzi (U-10 boys) in the fly, free and breast and Miles Scott (U-8 boys) in the free, breast and back.

"Our 11-12 boys have been strong, and also our U-8 boys," Cox said.

Double winners for Russett were Lauren Ritter (13-14 girls) in the fly and IM; Allison Ritter (11-12 girls) in the breast and IM; and Kylie Ritter (U-8 girls) in the free and breast.

Other standouts this season for Russett include Megan and Tyler Reyda, who have competed as swimmers at Meade High where Cox has coached for five seasons.

In other meets involving local teams Laurel City (2-1) posted a 268-238 win over New Carrollton in Division G; Montpelier (1-2) picked up its first win, 284-277 over Hawthorne, in Division D; West Laurel (1-2) lost to King's Landing, 306-278 in Division C and West Arundel (1-2) lost to Roger Carter, 304-271 in Division C.

Triple winners for Montpelier were Carolyn Sutton (13-14 girls) in the fly, back and IM; Thomas Brown de Colstoun (13-14 boys) in the fly, free and IM and Suzannah Mills (15-18 girls) in the fly, back and IM. Mills broke team records in the 13-14 fly and 15-18 back that had been on the books since the 1970s, according to a team spokesman.

Double winners for Montpelier were Samantha Hong (9-10 girls) in the fly and back; Trey Beam (9-10 boys) in the free and back and Dylan Buehler (15-18 boys) in the breast and IM.

"A lot of people stepped up really well," said Buehler, a rising junior at DeMatha Catholic in Hyattsville. "We just did really well. Across the board everyone swam their best."

"A huge credit goes to the 15-18 boys," said Brian Abdo, the Montpelier coach. "Dylan, we all know fast he is. I was only able to put him in two races. I had a bunch of one-twos with 15-18 boys. Mills swam up and got a triple win. That was very impressive."

Triple winners for West Arundel were Michael Venit (U-8 boys) in the free, breast and back and Kellianne Venit (15-18 girls) in the fly, back and IM.

Double winners for West Arundel were Olivia Clark (9-10 girls) in the fly and free; Cecilia Ramirez (11-12 girls) in the back and IM; Jay Venit (13-14 boys) in the free and back; Colette Pierce (13-14 girls) in the free and breast and Andrea Sturgis (15-18 girls) in the free and breast.

"That was the first time we have ever faced Roger Carter. They have a brand-new pool in Howard County," said John Venit, the veteran West Arundel coach. "They have a good team. They did a real good job in the 11-12 age group. That hurt us a little. Our kids are good (at 9-10 and 11-12) but they will just get better."

Triple winners for Laurel City were Ava Hehir-Keys (U-10 girls) in the fly, free and breast and Eanna Hehir-Keys (13-14 girls) in the fly, breast and IM.

Double winners were Neheimah Smith (U-10 girls) in the fly and breast; Michael Thomas (11-12 boys) in the breast and IM and Ivan Zapata (11-12 boys) in the fly and free.

Triple winners for West Laurel were Henry Buda (11-12 boys) in the fly, free and IM and Erin Kane (15-18 girls) in the fly, breast and IM.

Max Bagileo (9-10 boys) was a double winner in the free and breast and Katie Ruiz (15-18 girls) won the back and free.

The five Laurel-area teams are now 7-8 so far this season.

Meets slated for July 6, according to the Prince-Mont Swim League website, are Silver Spring at Takoma Park in northwest Washington; Russett at MVP Dolphins in northwest Washington; King's Landing at West Arundel; Fort Washington at West Laurel; Montpelier at Northridge in Bowie; and Laurel City at Oxon Hill.

Also, the annual Laurel Invitational will be held July 7 at the Fairland Aquatic Center in west Laurel at 5 p.m. and will include West Laurel, West Arundel, Russett, Montpelier and Laurel City.