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Laurel swimming competition heats up in cooler temperatures

Faith Saarinen, right, of Montpelier takes her final strokes ahead of West Laurel’s Payton Welsh in the girls 8-and-under 25-meter breaststroke competition during a swim meet won by West Laurel on June 27
Faith Saarinen, right, of Montpelier takes her final strokes ahead of West Laurel’s Payton Welsh in the girls 8-and-under 25-meter breaststroke competition during a swim meet won by West Laurel on June 27 (photo by Daniel Kucin Jr.)

Although the weather did not cooperate for week two of the Prince-Mont Swim League action as heavy rain and cooler-than-normal temperatures unceremoniously arrived in the area, most of the scheduled meets continued as planned.

For meets involving Laurel-area teams, the competition was more than fierce when West Laurel topped Montpelier, 289-269, and Russett edged Green View, 282-276, while West Arundel fell to Cheverly Swim and Racquet Club, 314–263.

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West Laurel boasted a slew of triple winners in its victory, including Erin Kane in the girls 15-18 50-yard butterfly, 50 breaststroke and 100 freestyle, Henry Buda in the boys 13-14 50 fly, 50 free and 100 individual medley, Lucy Buda in the girls 11-12 50 fly, 50 breast and 100 IM and Max Bagileo in the boys 11-12 50 fly, 50 breast and 100 IM.

That's the same foursome who produced triple wins in last week's key road win over Westlake of Waldorf, 285-270, in coach Ben Hilt's coaching debut in the Prince-Mont Swim League. Hilt also coaches at Oxon Hill High School during the prep season.

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Double winners also abounded for West Laurel with Aaron Wilson taking the boys U-10 25 fly and 25 breast, Grace Zack prevailing in the girls U-10 50 free and 25 back and Matthew Schmidt touching the wall first in the boys U-8 25 breast and 25 backstroke.

After West Laurel pulled out to a 40 point lead in the first half of the meet, the Marlins, under the leadership of coach Brian Abdo, pulled to within 10 points three fourths of the way through the meet.

In the end, though, with the aforementioned West Laurel swimmers on a roll, they were able to hold off the Marlins by a 20-point margin.
Even in defeat, Montpelier's Mary Saarinen had a banner day by pulling

off her first triple win ever after putting in a ton of hard work this summer.

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She finished first in the girls 13-14 50 breaststroke, 50 fly and 100 IM to finally break through.

Saarinen joined Frankie Spitza, who had wins in the boys 15-18 100 meter free, 50 breast and 100 IM.

Meanwhile, Suzanna Mills was a double winner for the Marlins with wins in the girls 15-18 50 back and 100 IM.

Russett had to rally to secure its triumph after trailing by three points going into the final three relays

Triple winners for the Sharks were Anthony Kazzi in the 13-14 boys 50 free, 50 breast and 100 IM, Dominic Kazzi in the 11-12 50 free, 50 breast and 50 fly and Miles Scott in the U-10 25 free, 25 back and 25 breast.

Annastasia Kazzi was a double winner in the girls U-8 25 back and 25 breast, as was Tavon Thompson in the boys 15-18 50 breast and 100 IM.

Green View, which had only 48 swimmers on hand, countered with triple winners Allie Ritter in the girls 13-14 50 fly, 50 breast and 100 IM and Morgan Oehler in the girls 15-18 100 free, 50 back and 100 IM.

Two-time winners for Green View were Kiayah Coney in the girls 11-12 50 fly and 50 free and Marin Oehler in the girls 50 breast and 11-12 100 IM.

Moreover, swimmers Christopher Miller and Adejuwon Gbadehan were excited to compete in the pee-wee meet for the first time.

Looking to go 2-0 this summer, West Arundel was instead stopped by Cheverly Swim and Racquet Club, 314–263.

Even so, it was still a special day for coach John Venit and veteran swimmer Patrick Nessler, who has been a part of the team since 2003.
Venit made a special presentation to the future West Point cadet, whose military obligations began June 29.

The Ducks attempted to send Patrick off with a victory behind triple winners Noah McMahon in the U-8 boys 25 free, 25 breaststroke and 25 back, Michael Venit U-10 boys 25 fly, 50 free, and 25 breast and Jay Venit in the 15-18 boys 100 free, 50 breast and 100 IM.

Double winners for West Arundel included Ryan Webb in the 15-18 boys 50 fly and 50 back and Andrea Sturgis in the 15-18 girls 100 free and 100 IM.

Individual winners for the Ducks were Jordan Hiers in U-8 girls 25 free, Olivia Clark in the 11-12 girls 50 breast, William Kendrick in the 11-12 boys 100 IM, Cecilia Ramirez in the 13-14 girls 100 IM and Colette Pierce in the 15-18 girls 50 breast.

Successful relays were the boys 200 medley (Douglas Nessler [back], Alex Ramirez [breast], Ryan Webb [fly], Patrick Nessler [free]); girls 200 medley (Alyssa Webb [back], Colette Pierce [breast], Becca McMahon [fly], Andrea Sturgis [free]) and the boys 9-18 year old graduated relay (Michael Venit [9-10], William Kendrick [11-12], Joseph Pacheco [13-14], and Jay Venit [5-18]).

The Ducks' next meet is against the Russett Sharks on Saturday, July 4, at West Arundel.

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