Howard County Times
Howard County Sports

River Hill breaks through to win team title in return of Howard County Invitational Swim Meet

The timing and venue were different, but the annual Howard County Invitational Swim Meet made an exciting return on Saturday.

After being canceled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s meet saw some adjustments for its 43rd installment. Instead of being held indoors in April like in previous years, this year’s competition — open to all Howard County public high school students — was held a couple months later and outdoors at Stevens Forest Pool.


Somewhat fittingly, to go with the change of scenery, there was also a changing of the guard in the winner’s circle. River Hill scored 503 points to unseat five-time defending champion Mt. Hebron, which finished second with 239 points. Atholton rounded out the top three with 219 points.

Overall there were 111 swimmers in attendance representing 11 of the county’s 12 public high schools. The meet was sponsored by the Columbia Clippers swim team and hosted by the Columbia Association.


No relays were held this year.

Melissa Nwakalor, a sophomore at Atholton, was the top female finisher. River Hill juniors Joshua Hernandez and Simon Hu, meanwhile, tied for the most points among the male participants.

There were eight graduating seniors in attendance at the meet who have committed to continue swimming at a varsity level in college next year — Centennial’s Zack Cherry (University of Mary Washington), Mt. Hebron’s Lexi Cucchiaro (University of Rochester), Howard’s Maya Hunn (UMBC), Centennial’s Anna Kwon (University of Massachusetts - Amherst), Howard’s Jillian Lewis (Sweet Briar College), Howard’s Becca McArthur (RIT), Mt. Hebron’s Justin Reed (UMBC), and Oakland Mills’ Amanda Soustek (Frostburg State University).

Combined Team Scores

1. River Hill, 503 points; 2. Mt. Hebron, 239; 3. Atholton, 219; 4. Howard, 172; 5. Long Reach, 110; 6. Wilde Lake, 103; T7. Hammond, 101; T7. Centennial, 101; 9. Marriotts Ridge, 95; 10. Oakland Mills, 48; 11. Reservoir, 10.

Individual Winners

Men’s 200 IM: 1. Ben Spragg, RH, 2:01.53.

Women’s 200 IM: 1. Arielle Levine, WL, 2:31.13.

Men’s 50 Free: 1. Justin Reed, MH, 23.31.

Women’s 50 Free: 1. Melissa Nwakalor, A, 25.85.


Men’s 100 Butterfly: 1. Joshua Hernandez, RH, 57.24.

Women’s 100 Butterfly: 1. Gabrielle Freund, A, 1:04.03.

Men’s 50 Breaststroke: 1. Jack Wittholz, RH, 29.61.

Women’s 50 Breaststroke: 1. Naomi Chao, C, 36.69.

Men’s 100 Backstroke: 1. Stephen Britten, RH, 57.05.

Women’s 100 Backstroke: 1. Melissa Nwakalor, A, 1:07.13.


Men’s 50 Butterfly: 1. Joshua Hernandez, RH, 25.69.

Women’s 50 Butterfly: 1. Kendall Madison, LR, 27.22.

Men’s 100 Free: 1. Justin Reed, MH, 52.24.

Women’s 100 Free: 1. Melissa Nwakalor, A, 59.22.

Men’s 50 Backstroke: 1. Stephen Britten, RH, 26.41.

Women’s 50 Backstroke: 1. Kate Wittholz, RH, 32.19.

Howard County Times: Top stories

Howard County Times: Top stories


Daily highlights from Howard County's number one source for local news.

Men’s 100 Breaststroke: 1. Kevin Liu, RH, 1:03.41.

Women’s 100 Breaststroke: 1. Kendall Madison, LR, 1:11.57.

Men’s 200 Free: 1. Simon Hu, RH, 1:51.67.

Women’s 200 Free: 1. Lexi Cucchiaro, MH, 2:09.28.

Men’s 100 IM: 1. Simon Hu, RH, 58.07.

Women’s 100 IM: 1. Kendall Madison, LR, 1:04.59.


Special thanks to Lynn Lascola for compiling and submitting the results and photos from this year’s meet.