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Positive strides highlight successful swim season for Laurel-area teams

West Laurel fell to 1-3 overall this season with a 306-260 loss to visiting Silver Spring on July 7, but Matt Harris is hardly discouraged by the performance of his Wahoos.

"Our kids are dropping times across the board," said Harris, who coaches with Dave Floyd. "It has been much of a rebuilding year. The pieces are coming together. The kids are showing improvement week after week."

Silver Spring, based in Laurel, improved to 4-0 with the Division C victory.

"They have an extremely good girls team," Harris said. "Their A and B relays are some of the fastest in the league. The strength of their girls between 9 and 14 is just incredible. It is nice to see us hang with them."

Harris, a former Montpelier Pool and Kenyon College standout, plans to be an assistant coach in the fall at Division III Washington College in Chestertown while pursuing a master's degree in English.

The two other losses this season for West Laurel were to unbeaten Russett (287-279, the team champion at the annual Laurel Invitational on July 8, and West Arundel (291.5-284.5), which is 3-1.

Montpelier, West Laurel, West Arundel and Laurel City followed Russett in the Laurel Invitational chase at Fairland Aquatic Center in West Laurel.

"That is one of the first times we got second in that meet," said Montpelier head coach Brian Abdo, whose squad had six of 10 high-point winners.

Russett and Montpelier joined Silver Spring at 4-0 with wins on July 7 in Prince-Mont Swim League events.

Laurel City and West Arundel are 3-1 and West Laurel is 1-3, which gives the six Laurel teams an overall record of 19-5 this year.

Russett (Division D) improved to 4-0 with a 320-251 win July 7 against Northridge in Bowie.

Triple winners for the Sharks were Madewa Adeyemo (U-10 boys fly, free, back), Tyler Reyda (boys 13-14 free, breast, IM), Dominic Kazzi (U-8 boys free, breast, back), Tomisin Sobande (U-8 girls free, breast, back), Simone DeSouza (girls 11-12 fly, free, back), Paris Hicks (girls 13-14 free, breast, back) and Taylor Hicks (girls 15-18 fly, free, breast).

Reyda will return to Meade High in the fall while Taylor Hicks will be a senior at Elizabeth Seton High in Bladensburg.

"We have a real depth in every girls age group," Russett head coach Vanessa Cox said July 9. "We lost some of the boys in the 9-10 and 11-12 age groups, but both groups have stepped up" with the swimmers that are still on the team.

The lone double-winner for Russett was Lauren Ritter in the girls 13-14 fly and IM.

Tavon Thompson broke the team record in the boys 11-12 breast and the U-8 freestyle relay team of Kylie Ritter, Miles Scott, Sobande and Kazzi also set a team mark.

Russett also rolled in the Laurel Invitational, capping off an excellent week.

"The depth of the 8-and-under swimmers was key," said Cox, who had three high-point winners in Kazzi, Sobande and Paris Hicks.

Montpelier improved to 4-0 with a 316-256 win at Temple Hills on July 7. The Marlins, in Division E, won July 2 against Severn Crossing, 310-249, in a meet that was postponed because of storms on June 29.

"With the Laurel Invitational, we had three meets in six days," Abdo said. "That was something. I am very proud of them. On Saturday, I don't know how the kids gave such a great effort with the weather (and 100-degree temperatures). It was so hot. I got a great performance from my girls and from a lot of our younger swimmers."

Montpelier had seven swimmers who were triple winners against Severn Crossing and then against Temple Hills at the Division E level: Trey Beam (U-8 boys free, breast, back against Temple Hills), Lucas Brown de Colstoun (boys 9-10 free, fly, back), Frankie Spitza (11-12 boys, fly, breast, IM), Suzannah Mills (girls 11-12 fly, back, IM), Carolyn Sutton (girls 13-14, fly, breast, IM), Thomas Brown de Colstoun (boys 13-14 fly, free, IM) and Dylan Buehler (boys 15-18 fly, free, IM).

Double winners for Montpelier against Temple Hills were Raven Rice (U-8 girls free, breast), Emma Grace Saarinen (13-14 girls free, back) and Raymond Rice (13-14 boys free, breast).

Montpelier will be at Smallwood Village in Waldorf on July 14. "It is going to be a very close meet," Abdo said.

Laurel City improved to 3-0 with a 327-123 win over Oxon Hill on July 4 in a meet that was delayed by the storms that hit the area June 29.

Laurel City's unbeaten streak ended in a 303-239 loss on July 7 to New Carrollton in a Division G event.

Laurel City's Eanna Hehir-Keys (girls 13-14 fly, breast, IM) was a triple winner. Double winners for Laurel City were Ally Wagner (girls 11-12 free, breast), Nixon Franco (boys 9-10 back, breast) and Matthew Whelan (boys 13-14 free, IM).

West Arundel beat Belair, 290.5-280.5, in Bowie on July 7 behind triple winners Michael Venit (U-8 free, breast, back), Andrea Sturgis (13-14 fly, free, IM), Jay Venit (13-14 breast, back, IM) and Ryan Webb (15-18 fly, free, IM).

The West Arundel Aqua-Ducks defeated Belair Swim and Raquet of Bowie in a close meet 290.5 - 280.5 on July 7 in Bowie.

This is the best summer for Laurel teams since at least 2008, when the six teams had a combined record of 15-13. The six teams were just 13-16 overall last year.

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