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McDonogh ends Notre Dame Preps two-year reign in A Conference swimming; St. Mary's takes B crown

Notre Dame Prep's Grace Potis competes in heat four of the 400 yard freestyle relay during the IAAM swimming championship at McDonogh School in Owings Mills on Sunday.
Notre Dame Prep's Grace Potis competes in heat four of the 400 yard freestyle relay during the IAAM swimming championship at McDonogh School in Owings Mills on Sunday. (photo by Matt Hazlett)

As has been the case every year since the inception of the the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland, either Notre Dame Prep or McDonogh have claimed A Conference swimming titles.

The 2016 championship meet was no exception Sunday as the host Eagles prevailed, 473-443, over the Blazers in Owings Mills, snapping their two-year reign in the process.

Archbishop Spalding (320 points), Mount de Sales (311), Severn (227) and John Carroll (115) followed.

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McDonogh now boasts 11 A Conference banners to Notre Dame Prep's six in the overall rivalry between the IAAM's premier programs since the 1999-2000 season. The Eagles also own a pair of Association of Independent Schools titles during coach Scott Ward's tenure that began in 1992.

St. Mary's captured its second straight B Conference crown, edging runner-up Roland Park, 439-404. St. Paul's (356), Institute of Notre Dame (279) and Bryn Mawr (252) finished behind the leaders.

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"Just losing last year (to Notre Dame Prep by three points) fired us up," said senior Brindi Griffin, one of four Eagles who are also members of the record-setting lacrosse team that is riding a 133-game winning streak. "It could have gone either way, but we pulled it out."

Despite not being a year-round swimmer, Griffin managed to turn in personal best times in the 100-meter butterfly (third, 1:01.72) and 100 breaststroke (seventh, 1:10.91).

"It's all about her heart," Ward said.

Still, it was Alayna Nielson and Erin Vance who set the pace for the Eagles. The sophomores joined seniors Isabella McElrath and Avery Hoelting to win the 200 medley relay (1:48.76) and Vance was the anchor on the clinching 400 freestyle relay (3:34.86).

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Nielson touched home first in two individual races as well, including the 50 free (personal-best 23..86) and 100 free (52.46). Vance won the 200 individual medley (2:06.85) and was second in the 100 breast (1:07. 40) after being edged out by Notre Dame Prep freshman Annabelle Lombardo (1:06.70).

The only other individual winner for the Eagles was McElrath in the 100 fly (57.01) while the Blazers countered with seniors Selah Peacock in the 200 free (1:53.17) and Abby Merriman in the 500 free (5:00.94).

"We were beaten fair and square," Notre Dame Prep coach Terri Byrd said. "We did our best times — Abby and Selah were faster by three or four seconds in their events — but McDonogh out-swam us. They deserved to win."

Senior Allison Voorhees broke the stranglehold on individual wins by the Blazers and Eagles when she defended her 2015 title in the 100 backstroke (1:00.33) for the Admirals.

Annie Hayburn, a Loyola University commit, posted the best overall times in the meet in the 100 fly (56.66) and 100 back (58.06) to lead the Saints.

"It wasn't easy," said Sat. Mary's coach Allison Reiter said about the Saints' repeat performance in the B Conference. "Every race was close.  But what can I say about Annie? What she did is unparalleled, incomparable. She just said, 'I can do this,' and she did."

Hayburn was also part of the 200 medley relay (1:53.37) and 400 free relay (3:44.61) winners. St. Mary's 200 free relay (1:53.37) finished first as well.

In addition, sophomores Kylie McMahon and Abigail Andrews captured individual titles for the Saints just as Roland Park juniors Julia Ball and Marsie Salvatori did for the Reds.

Freshman Elizabeth Fry was the lone individual winner for St. Paul's.

Nielson said that the win for the Eagles was forged as much outside the pool as it was in the water.

"Honestly, what I think came through the most is how close we are as a team," she said.

Team results:

A Conference:

  1. McD (473)
  2. NDP (443)
  3. AS (320)
  4. MdS (311)
  5. SV (227)
  6. JC (115)

B Conference:

  1. SM (439)
  2. RP (404)
  3. SP (356)
  4. IND (279)
  5. BM (252)

A Conference results:

200 medley relay-1. McD (Nielson, Vance, McElrath, Hoelting), 2. NDP (Merriman, Hudson, Lombardo, Potis) 3. MdS (Tis, Hall, Gwinn, Martin)

200 freestyle-1. Peacock (NDP), 2. Chabbott (McD), 3. Bloom (McD)

200 individual medley-1. Vance (McD),  2. McElrath (McD), 3. Merriman (NDP)

50 freestyle-1. Nielson (McD), 2. Prentice (AS), 3. Martin (MdS)

100 butterfly- 1. McElrath (McD), 2. E. Parsons (McD), 3. Griffin (McD)

100 freestyle-1. Nielson (McD), 2. Peacock (NDP), 3. Prentice (AS)

500 freestyle-1. Merriman (NDP), 2. Chabbott (McD), 3. Potis (NDP)

200 freestyle relay-1. NDP (Boecker, Lombardo, Peacock, McComast), 2. McD (Neilson, Wilhelm, Gillin, Hoelting), 3. AS (Holems, Marsden, Sturgis, Prentice)

100 backstroke-1. Voorhees (SV), 2. Bloom (McD), 3. McComas (NDP)

100 breaststroke-1. Lombardo (NDP), 2. Vance (McD), 3. Holmes (AS)

400 freestyle relay-1. McD (Chabbott, Vance, McElrath, Bloom), 2. NDP (Merriman, Boecker, Potis, Peacock) 3. AS (Marsden, Holmes, McKissick, Prentice)

B Conference results:

200 medley relay-1. SM (Hayburn, Andrews, DeWitt, McMahon), 2. RP (Zollicoffer, Salvatori, Friedman, Rapuano), 3 SP (Chmar, Fry, Wells, McDonnell)

200 free-1. Ball (RP), 2. McMahon (SM), 3. Hirsch (SP)

200 IM-1. Fry (SP),  2. Friedman (RP), 3. Kologie (BM)

50 free-1. Salvatori (RP), 2. DeWitt (SM), Hayes (SP)

100 fly- 1. Hayburn (SM), 2. Fry (SP), 3. Bowser (SM)

100 free-1. McMahon (SM), 2. Rapuano (RP), 3. Hayes (SP)

500 free-1. Ball (RP), 2. Hirsch (SP), 3. Andrews (SM)

200 free relay-1. SM (Forsyth, Bowser, Dolan, Nelius), 2. RP (Friedman, Thomas, Ball, Dyer), 3. BM (Zhang, Bogin, Johnson, Randrianarivelo)

100 back-1. Hayburn (SM), 2. DeWitt (SM), 3. Salvatori (RP)

100 breast-1. Andrews (SM), 2. Friedman (RP), 3. Zollicoffer (RP)

400 free relay-1. SM (DeWitt, Andrews, McMahon, Hayburn), 2. SP (Fry, Hayes, Hirsch, McDonnell),  3. RP (Rapuano, Ball, Zollicoffer, Salvatori)

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