Swimming: Ratliff swims off into county meet sunset

South Carroll Swim Club’s Ryan Ratliff chats with us about competing in his final county meet.

WINFIELD — Ryan Ratliff said he never assumed a lot of success when he first started as a South Carroll Swim Club member 11 years ago.

Ratliff was a young boy back then. Now he’s an 18-year-old swimming specimen who stands 6 feet, 4 inches and weighs around 170 pounds. Ratliff, a recent Century High School graduate, is headed to Alabama to soon begin his college swimming career.


But he won’t soon forget his time competing at the annual Carroll County Invitational, which took place Wednesday at his home pool at South Carroll Swim Club.

“This is my last year on South Carroll, and South Carroll is what started my swimming,” Ratliff said. “I really try and just give back to the community and finish it strong with my team that I started with.”


Ratliff made a nice statement in his final county swim meet — the Serpents standout won gold medals in the 100-meter individual medley (1 minute, 2.46 seconds) and the 100 freestyle (54.0).

Ratliff received a special farewell just before the final event of the evening, the 50 breaststroke, with the meet’s public address announcer delivering a “Senior Night” style speech Ratliff had written.

Then he placed second in the event to cap his evening.

“When I first started swimming it was [about] getting down the pool,” he said. “I didn’t think I would ever swim. I was doing a lot of different sports. My older brothers [Chris and Brad], they were in swimming. So I sort of wanted to compete with them. They were what guided me … to be a swimmer.”


The county invitational, now in its 32nd year, featured more than 350 swimmers from eight Carroll clubs — Carroll Aquatics, Freedom, North Carroll, Nottingham, Ridge, South Carroll, Westminster Stingrays, and Westminster Riding Club.

Meet official Tom Straehle said this year’s county invite featured more than 1,000 entries, meaning more swimmers took part in multiple events.

For the second year in a row, swimmers’ times at the county meet were eligible for the upcoming Straehle Invitational. That event is slated for July 23 at Four Seasons Sports Complex in Hampstead.

South Carroll’s Christopher Tomsuden (13-14) led the way on the boys side with five gold medals. He placed first in the 100 IM, 100 free, 50 backstroke, 50 fly, and 50 breaststroke.

Luke Schoberg of the Westminster Riding Club (9-10) had four victories — the 100 IM, 50 free, 25 back, and 25 fly.

Westminster Riding Club's Luke Schoberg competes in the Boys 9-10 100 Meter Individual Medley during the 32nd Annual Carroll County Invitational swim meet at South Carroll Swim Club in Winfield Wednesday, July 18, 2018.
Westminster Riding Club's Luke Schoberg competes in the Boys 9-10 100 Meter Individual Medley during the 32nd Annual Carroll County Invitational swim meet at South Carroll Swim Club in Winfield Wednesday, July 18, 2018. (Dylan Slagle / Carroll County Times)

Westminster Stingrays’ Ryan Mahoney (8-under) won three events Wednesday and broke a 22-year-old record in the 25 butterfly. Mahoney took first in 18.26 seconds — the old mark was 18.56, set by South Carroll’s Jason Federline in 1996.

Two other county meet records went down, this time on the girls side.

South Carroll’s Allison Tomsuden won the 50 fly in 30.27, clipping the old mark of 30.35 held by Courtney Griffith (Westminster Stingrays, 2009). Tomsuden finished with three victories.

And SC’s Madi McDaniels won the 50 breast in 35.47, taking down the previous record of 36.81 by Carroll Aquatics’ Sarah Ritter in 2013.

Lauren Helminiak of South Carroll (13-14) joined Freedom’s Addison Powers (9-10) as four-time winners.

Helminak won the 100 IM, 100 free, 50 back, and 50 breast, while Powers swam first in the 100 IM, 50 free, 25 back, and 25 fly.

Westminster Swim Team’s Lillian Griffin (11-12) and SC’s Magdalena Mesceda (8-under) joined Tomsuden with three wins on the girls side.

Powers said her favorite strokes are the freestyle and butterfly, but she spends plenty of time during team practices working on all of her competitive events (she also swims for Merritt Clubs).

But Powers, like many of her fellow swimmers, said the county meet is more about seeing familiar faces and spending a little down time with teammates.

“It’s just really fun,” Powers said. “There are a lot of teams here, so it’s really fun to compete against a bunch of people [rather] than just dual meets.”


9-10 100 IM: Luke Schoberg (West. Riding Club), 1:34.51

11-12 100 IM: Stanley Mesceda (South Carroll), 1:19.9

13-14 100 IM: Christopher Tomsuden (South Carroll), 1:09.31

15-O 100 IM: Ryan Ratliff (South Carroll), 1:02.46

6-U 25 free: Declan McGonigal (Freedom), 27.5

8-U 25 free: Ryan Mahoney (West. Swim Team), 16.65

9-10 50 free: Luke Schoberg (West. Riding Club), 36.53

11-12 50 free: Brendan Moran (West. Swim Team), 31.21

13-14 100 free: Christopher Tomsuden (South Carroll), 1:00.76

15-O 100 free: Ryan Ratliff (South Carroll), 54.0

6-U 25 back: Declan McGonigal (Freedom), 34.58

8-U 25 back: Ryan Mahoney (West. Swim Team), 21.08

9-10 25 back: Luke Schoberg (West. Riding Club), 20.57

11-12 50 back: Hayden Speace (South Carroll), 35.47

13-14 50 back: Christopher Tomsuden (South Carroll), 29.84

15-O 50 back: Hunter Little (South Carroll), 29.15

8-U 25 fly: Ryan Mahoney (West. Swim Team), 18.56

9-10 25 fly: Luke Schoberg (West. Riding Club), 18.65

11-12 50 fly: Brendan Moran (West. Swim Team), 34.68

13-14 50 fly: Christopher Tomsuden (South Carroll), 28.42

15-O 50 fly: Hunter Little (South Carroll), 27.03

8-U 25 breast: Patrick Muse (West. Swim Team), 24.69

9-10 25 breast: James Fiori (South Carroll), 20.82

11-12 50 breast: Hayden Speace (South Carroll), 42.59

13-14 50 breast: Christopher Tomsuden (South Carroll), 37.32

15-O 50 breast: Luke Isayiw (South Carroll), 31.7


9-10 100 IM: Addison Powers (Freedom), 1:21.02

11-12 100 IM: Lillian Griffin (West. Swim Team), 1:14.83

13-14 100 IM: Lauren Helminiak (South Carroll), 1:14.78

15-O 100 IM: Mia Mesceda (South Carroll), 1:11.7

6-U 25 free: Delaney Hart (South Carroll), 25.51

8-U 25 free: Magdalena Mesceda (South Carroll), 18.63

9-10 50 free: Addison Powers (Freedom), 32.84

11-12 50 free: Lillian Griffin (West. Swim Team), 30.75

13-14 100 free: Lauren Helminak (South Carroll), 1:06.27

15-O 100 free: Allison Tomsuden (South Carroll), 1:00.31

6-U 25 back: Mia D’Onfrio (Nottingham), 31.44

8-U 25 back: Magdalena Mesceda (South Carroll), 22.13

9-10 25 back: Addison Powers (Freedom), 18.38

11-12 50 back: Sierra Snow (Nottingham), 35.0

13-14 50 back: Lauren Helminak (South Carroll), 34.34

15-O 50 back: Allison Tomsuden (South Carroll), 33.19

8-U 25 fly: Riley Niles (Nottingham), 21.7

9-10 25 fly: Addison Powers (Freedom), 15.94

11-12 50 fly: Lillian Griffin (West. Swim Team), 31.12

13-14 50 fly: Erin Budde (South Carroll), 31.88

15-O 50 fly: Allison Tomsuden (South Carroll), 30.27

8-U 25 breast: Magdalena Mesceda (South Carroll), 23.77

9-10 25 breast: Madison Smith (South Carroll), 20.13


11-12 50 breast: Jillian Hawkins (West. Swim Team), 40.14


13-14 50 breast: Lauren Helminak (South Carroll), 38.64

15-O 50 breast: Madi McDaniels (South Carroll), 35.47