Rock music blared from the speakers, multi-colored lights flashed at one end of the pool as the house lights dimmed and announcements of Calvert Hall's intentions were on the walls.
Signs said: "STUFF THE DONS," "LEVEL LOYOLA," "GO,
CARDS" and "DROWN THE DONS."
Clearly, Calvert Hall was primed for its rematch with Loyola.
The defending MSA champion Cardinals thrashed the Dons, 111-75, yesterday before a standing-room-only crowd of 300 at Hucht Pool, avenging an 11-point loss to Loyola 2 1/2 weeks ago.
The two MSA swimming powers will meet again Feb. 26 in the MSA Championships at Johns Hopkins. Each school has captured the Dutch Leidig Trophy, which goes to the MSA winner, 10 times. No other school has ever won it.
Calvert Hall was a different team this time. One Cardinal swimmer after another turned in a personal best time, including junior Brad Francis, who broke Mark Gabriele's pool record in the 100-yard butterfly by 9/100ths of a second with a time of 50.30 seconds.
"In the first meet at Loyola, the kids were overconfident," Calvert Hall coach Reds Hucht said. "They thought they were going to win all three relays, and they won only one."
Yesterday Calvert Hall did win all three, starting with the opening event, the 200 medley relay that featured Adam Blake, Jayson Cronin, Francis and Chris Betsher.
"They're our four best for that relay," Hucht said. "Winning it was the key because it set the tempo. When Brian Brandt won the next event, the 200 freestyle, that was a surprise and another highlight."
Calvert Hall went into the fifth event, one-meter diving, with a 22-point lead. In the first meet with Loyola last month, the Cards trailed by six going into the diving.
The lone double winner was Brandt, who won the 100 freestyle as well as the 200 free.
Loyola's Jason Roberts again captured the 100 breast stroke, despite undergoing shoulder surgery less than two weeks ago to relieve pain caused by a muscle pressing against a sheath.