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CMW swimmers win region crowns, as Hildebeidel and Lauren O'Mara each take four firsts

The C. Milton Wright swim team rolled to the Class 1A-2A-3A North region championship Saturday at Magnolia Middle School. The Mustangs boys and girls claimed the combined title with 690 points, well ahead of runner-up Patterson Mill's total of 561.

"The Mustang swimmers practiced hard this entire year.We fine-tuned our strokes this past week concentrating on fast starts, turns and finishes," CMW coach Debbie King said. "We had lots of fun at the meet today and many of our swimmers swam personal best times today. We are proud and excited to be regional champions again this year and are looking forward to more exciting swims at the state meet."

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The top three finishers in each event qualified for next week's state meet, while those who were fourth and fifth will have to wait to see if their times are good enough for one of the final 12 spaces.

A handful of region records were also broken in the meet.

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The Mustangs were led by two four-event winners: senior Lauren O'Mara for the girls and senior Colin Hildebeidel for the boys.

CMW's day got off to a fast start, as both boys and girls claimed wins in the 200 medley relay event, the first of the meet.

Matt Treusdell, Hildebeidel, Ryan Baldino and Nate Ehrhardt teamed for the boys win in 1:47.80, nipping Harford Tech's time of 1:48.72. North Harford was third in 1:55.56. Havre de Grace swam to third, but was disqualified.

The CMW boys team suffered a DQ in the county meet last week, but Saturday they were clean.

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"It definitely felt better, I really kind of focused on my start," Hildebeidel said. "I probably could have done a faster relay start, but I wanted to make sure it was a safe start, so our team ended up winning, so that's good."

CMW's girls team was made up of Erika Abshire, Julia O'Mara, Erika Slotnick and O'Mara. Their time of 1:59.83 was ahead of Patterson Mill's finish of 2:03.35. Harford Tech swam third in 2:07.65.

Hildebeidel's individual day started with a record-setting performance in the 200 free race. Hildebeidel finished in 1:52.68, breaking his own region record of 1:53.52 set last year.

CMW teammate Bernie Chang was second in 1:58.48 and Patterson Mill's Luke Holloway was third in 1:59.73.

Hildebeidel came back a while later and easily won the 500 free. The senior's time of 5:12.55 was well ahead of teammate Tyler Kosar's runner-up time of 5:26.08. North Harford sophomore Kyle Russell was third in 5:31.90.

"Usually up until states, I try to push myself to swim my best possible time, but because there's nobody close to me, especially in the second half, I may not realize it, but I may be slowing down a little bit, because there's nobody next to me, pushing me to go faster and be ahead of him because everybody's back behind me," Hildebeidel said. "I'm looking forward to states because everyone's closer in time, so the entire race I'm going to have somebody slightly next to me or just barely ahead of me, so I'm going to be pushing the entire time and that's where I get my best times."

Hildebeidel's day concluded with another record-setting effort. Ehrhardt, Treusdell, Baldino and anchor Hildebeidel swam the 200 free relay in 1:34.71, breaking the region record and the CMW school record.

Patterson Mill was second in 1:37.63 and Tech third in 1:39.95.

The CMW boys also had wins from Bernie Chang and Baldino. Chang captured the top spot in the 100 back, touching in 59.78. Tucker Young of Tech was second in 1:00.67. Fallston's Samuel Lopez was third in 1:01.32.

Baldino won his third title overall in the 100 butterfly. His time of 58.18 was four seconds better than Havre de Grace's Ryan Burkhardt (1:02.20). Chase Reeves of North Harford was third in 1:02.29.

Lauren O'Mara leads girls

In addition to her role as the anchor on the winning 200 medley relay team, Lauren O'Mara anchored the winning 200 free relay team. Joining her were twin sister Julia O'Mara, Abshire and Slotnick.

Individually, Lauren O'Mara won the 100 free and 100 breaststroke races. In the 100 free, she won in 56.94, beating Patterson Mill's Annie Tompkins (58.58). Allissa Lyons of Havre de Grace was third in 1:00.07.

In the breaststroke win, Lauren bested sister Julia. Lauren won in 1:08.90, with Julia close behind in second in 1:10.15. Megan Culbertson of Tech was third in 1:19.00.

Julia O'Mara won the other Mustangs girls top medal, racing to the 50 free win in 26.28, just ahead of Tompkins of Patterson Mill, who touched in 26.66. Julia Rose of Fallston was third in 27.22.

Young a triple winner

North Harford junior Hillary Young posted a pair of individual wins for the Hawks and added a relay win as well. Young started her day with a record-setting swim in the 200 IM. Young's winning time of 2:16.96 broke the mark of 2:17.88 set by Lauren O'Mara of CMW last year.

Young then swam 1:03.73 to win the 100 back race.

"It's been a really great day," Young said, minutes after the 100 back win. "I got the regional record in the 200 IM and I placed first in that, so I'm really excited to go to states with that. I just missed the record with the 100 back (1:03.51), but I'm close enough that I think I can get some really great times at states."

Young's day wasn't over. She anchored the Hawks winning 400 free relay team. The team of Sarah Fannin, Erin Drumm, Becky Jump and Young won in 4:06.27. Aberdeen (4:08.79) and Tech (4:16.34) were second and third, respectively.

Carestia doubles up

Tech senior Justin Carestia won two events. Carestia won the 200 IM in 2:05.16, ahead of a pair of CMW swimmers. Baldino was second in 2:08.19 and Treusdell, third, in 2:09.88.

Carestia's other win came in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:03.73. CMW's Treusdell was second in 1:06.22 and Kosar was third in 1:06.56.

Marx sets record

Joppatowne senior Dale Marx was a record-setting winner in the 50 free. Marx cruised through the water in 22.99, beating the old time of 23.12 set in 2013. Gracen Clem of Tech was second in 24.14 and Ehrhardt of CMW was third in 24.22.

It appeared Marx might also win the 100 free, but a bad final turn allowed Fallston's Dylan Heil to sneak out the win. Heil, a junior, made up enough time on the last 25 yards to win in 51.62. Marx touched in 51.66. Tech's Tucker Young was third in 52.58.

Hoyt wins girls 200 free

Fallston junior Emily Hoyt won the 200 free by the tightest of margins of any girls race. Hoyt touched first in 2:13.12, while Becky Jump of North Harford was next in 2:13.24. Culbertson of Tech was third in 2:15.97.

"I didn't really notice, until like the last 50 to which I really knew that I needed to get first, since I was already placed it (seeded). That's what was going through my head, but it was really close," Hoyt said.

Drumm wins girls 500 free

Aberdeen senior Lauren Drumm added to her county win in the 500 free, swimming to first in 5:42.28. Taylor Casalena of Tech was second (6:00.19) and Hoyt of Fallston third (6:02.39).

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Huskies win relay

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Patterson Mill won the boys 400 free relay in 3:38.83. Teammates were Noah Holloway, Chad Shane, Luke Holloway and Brendan Mahoney. CMW (3:43.51) was second and Fallston (3:50.28) was third.

Final team scores

CMW, 690; Patterson Mill, 561; North Harford, 480; Tech, 438; Fallston, 434; Havre de Grace, 412; Aberdeen, 345; Edgewood, 289; Joppatowne, 175; City College, 67; Carver Vo Tech, 50; and Douglass, 21.

Girls team scores

CMW, 319; Patterson Mill, 272; North Harford, 259; Fallston, 233; Havre de Grace, 224; Aberdeen, 201; Tech, 201; Edgewood, 124; Joppatowne, 85; City College, 63; Douglass, 1.

Boys team scores

CMW, 371; Patterson Mill, 289; Tech, 237; North Harford, 221; Fallston, 201; Havre de Grace, 188; Edgewood, 165; Aberdeen, 144; Joppatowne, 90; Carver-Vo-Tech, 50; Douglass, 20, City College, 4.

Bel Air swimmers struggle

Competing in the 3A-4A East meet at Arundel Swim Center Saturday, Bel Air was unable to guarantee a swimmer in Saturday's state meet by placing third or better.

The Bobcats will have to hope one of three relays will qualify on time. The best shot may come with the girls 200 free relay. Ellie Harris, Rebecca Entner, Madelynn Dougherty and Tabitha Cousler were fourth in 1:49.15.

Both Bobcat 400 free relay teams were fifth. The boys team of Drew Gagnon, Matthew Siebold, Xavier Kane and Kyle Fallace swam 3:43.91 and the girls team of Yvonne Armstrong, Dougherty, Harris and Entner swam 4:08.87.

In team standings, Bel Air girls (176) were sixth with Broadneck winning with 349. Bel Air boys (139) were seventh with South River winning with 349.

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