The most interesting aspect about the annual county high school swimming and diving championships this week will likely be who is going to swim what events.
With coach Jeff DeMott's unbeaten Bel Air squad a prohibitive favorite to win a fourth consecutive team title, the other coaches are scrambling to out-guess each other and put swimmers in events where they have the best chances of placing.
C. Milton Wright and Fallston are expected to battle for second place; Aberdeen, Havre de Grace, and John Carroll for fourth, fifth and sixth, and Edgewood, Joppatowne and North Harford for the next three places, ahead of Harford Tech.
The leading girls include Fallston's Katy Novotny, the fastest time in five events, and Paige McCarthy; Bel Air's Kathy Rising, Jenn Murach, Jamee Eben and Kate Eyler, and Havre de Grace diver Lindsay Shellenberger. Leading boys include Dan Machovec, Erik Jankowiak and Jeff DeHart of Bel Air and Brad Snyder of Fallston.
The schedule calls for preliminaries Tuesday (girls) and Wednesday (boys), and finals Thursday (girls) and Friday (boys). All sessions will begin at 5:45 p.m. at Magnolia Middle School. This marks the first time the finals for girls and boys have been held on separate nights.
Swimmers got a double dose last week, with a makeup program Monday and the regularly scheduled meets Thursday. Bel Air polished off its two foes each night to complete an undefeated regular season.
In Thursday's final program before the championships:
* At North Harford Middle School, C. Milton Wright and John Carroll were tied going to the final event, the boys 400 freestyle relay, and Wright won the meet by placing first and third (22 points) against John Carroll's second and fifth (14 points). The Mustangs totaled 233, followed by John Carroll at 225, and North Harford at 105.
The top two teams split the six relay events. In the individuals, double-winners for Wright were Laura Hershner (200 individual medley and 100 back), Jake Lewis (100 and 200 freestyles) and Matt Chairs (50 freestyle and 100 butterfly). Double-winners for the Patriots were Kim Stackhouse (50 and 100 freestyles) and Liam Smith (500 freestyle and 100 breaststroke).
* At Magnolia Middle School, Fallston won with 222 points, beating Havre de Grace (191), Joppatowne (173) and Harford Tech (5). Joppatowne, led by double-winners Erin Lieb (200 individual medley and 100 backstroke) and Kristen Jortland (50 and 100 freestyles) outdistanced its two foes in the girls events, but five boys (a best of five seconds) were no match for the other teams' depth.
Havre de Grace's Tom Davies was the only double-winner (200 individual medley and 500 freestyle). Joppatowne had 20 personal bests.
* At Edgewood Middle School, Bel Air won with 261 points, ahead of Aberdeen (179) and Edgewood (100). The winners placed first in all 11 boys events and seven girls events. Dan Machovec (200 and 500 freestyles) and Erik Jankowiak (50 and 100 freestyles) were double-winners.
Aberdeen won one relay and received firsts from Melinda Cattell (500 freestyle) and Michelle Talley (100 breaststroke). Michelle Marsillo of Edgewood won the 50 freestyle.
The final regular-season standings: Bel Air 13-0, C. Milton Wright Fallston 12-2, Aberdeen 10-5, Havre de Grace 9-5, John Carroll 8-7, Joppatowne 4-12, Edgewood 3-10, North Harford 2-12 and Harford Tech 0-18.
Bel Air notes
Bryan Grimm, a 6-foot-3 junior and the leading rebounder for the boys basketball team (8.0), was the high scorer (14 points) in a 56-35 loss to Joppatowne. Sophomore Jackie Hinson had 28 points and 16 rebounds against Aberdeen in a girls junior-varsity game.
Wright needs football coaches
The school is seeking qualified applicants for the following football positions: varsity assistant, JV head and assistant coaches and scouts. Resumes should be sent to C. Milton Wright High School, care of Stephen Harward, 1301 Fountain Green Road, Bel Air, 21014.
The county high school wrestling tournament will be Friday and Saturday at Havre de Grace High. Friday's program begins with quarterfinals at 6 p.m., and Saturday's with semifinals at 2 p.m., followed by consolation and championship rounds. One admission ($3 adults, $2 students) will be charged each day.
Around the colleges
The Stanford swimming team defeated Southern Cal and UCLA in Los Angeles last weekend to run its dual-meet record to 4-0. Junior Julie Kole (Fallston) had her best times of the season in placing in three events, 200 butterfly, 2:00.7; 200 freestyle, 1:52.2, and 500 freestyle, 4:57.1.