Upstart South Carroll came within five points of springing one of the biggest upsets in the Central Maryland Swim League's 23-year history.
In the opening week of the season, South Carroll, promoted over the winter from Division II to I, lost to five-time defending champion Padonia, 244-239. Padonia went on to win the rest of its meets and finished the season with a 30-meet winning streak, a league record.
"Considering there are 488 points in a meet, a five-point difference is very close," said Padonia's Chuck LaBerge, who this year succeeded Andover's David Rave as CMSL president. "Of the 105 meets throughout the league this year, we had a dozen decided by under five points."
South Carroll is an example of a team with a few outstanding swimmers in each age group, but limited depth. Teams like Padonia and Division I runner-up Shipley's Choice win with depth as well as quality.
Padonia hasn't lost a dual meet since the next-to-last week of the 1989 season when it was stunned by Crofton Aquatics. Padonia has captured six straight Division I titles and 12 in the past 15 years.
In its 23rd season, the CMSL had its customary 42 teams and 4,400 swimmers. Eighty-five percent of the coaches once swam in the league.
Division I -- Padonia 5-0, Shipley's Choice 4-1, Hammond Park 2-3, South Carroll 2-3, Five Oaks 1-4, Springdale 1-4.
Division II -- West Howard 4-1, Wynnewood 4-1, Worthington Valley 2-3, Forest Hill 2-3, Glen Burnie Park 2-3, Crofton Aquatics 1-4.
Division III -- Roland Run 4-1, Meadowbrook 4-1, Westminster Riding Club 3-2, Rollingwood 3-2, Woodbridge Valley 1-4, Severn River 0-5.
Division IV -- North St. John's 4-1, Lochearn 4-1, St. Andrew's 3-2, Waugh Chapel 3-2, Dulaney 1-4, Springlake 0-5.
Division V -- Freedom 4-1, Watermont 4-1, Hunting Hills 3-2, Andover 2-3, Navy Juniors 2-3, Westview 0-5.
Division VI -- Olde Mill 5-0, Westminster Swim Team 4-1, Chartridge 3-2, Atholton 2-3, Southdown 0-5.
Division VII -- Chartwell 5-0, Crofton CC 4-1, Country Club Estates of Glen Burnie 3-2, Northeastern YMCA 2-3, Crofton Village 1-4, Taneytown 0-5.
At the Straehle Invitational CMSL Individual Championships at Padonia yesterday, Meadowbrook's Michael Phelps set league records in the 9-10 boys 50-meter freestyle (30.07 seconds) and 100 individual medley (1:16.38). South Carroll's Will Kistler also was under the old 50 free mark with a 30.48.
West Howard's Mike Wheeler broke one of the CMSL's oldest records with a 56.04 in the 13-14 100 freestyle, wiping out the 56.31 by Suburban's Dave DeGruchey in 1977.
Meadowbrook's 11-12 girls lowered the record in the 200 freestyle relay to 2:02.24 and South Carroll had a 1:59.02 in the 11-12 boys 200 relay to shatter Waugh Chapel's 14-year-old record by almost four seconds.
Individual medley -- 9-10, Bridget Kimmel, Roland Run, Michael Phelps, Meadowbrook; 11-12, Amy Hancock, Freedom, Benjamin Becker, South Carroll; 13-14, Elizabeth Lavell, Navy Juniors, Mike Wheeler, West Howard; 15-18, Lisa Webb, Five Oaks, Rob Kinnear, Watermont.
Freestyle -- 8-and-under, Katie Auerbach, Springdale, Andrew Watkins, Roland Run; 9-10, Kimmel, Phelps; 11-12, Mary Easterday, South Carroll, Dan Soukup, South Carroll; 13-14, Lavell, Wheeler; 15-18, Webb, Brian Crawford, Hammond Park.
Backstroke -- 8-and-under, Meghan Sackett, Padonia, Kyle Lagratta, Hunting Hills; 9-10 - Betsy Seeger, Navy Juniors, Joey Benedetti, Hammond Park; 11-12, Anna Kavetsky, Waugh Chapel, Becker; 13-14, Kristin Trinkaus, Hammond Park, Mark Zonarich, Forest Hill; 15-18, Nikki Sansbury, Wynnewood, Kinnear.
Butterfly -- 8-and-under, Sackett, David Faulkner, Chartwell; 9-10, Kimmel, Phelps; 11-12, Hancock, Adam Wistoff, Rollingwood; 13-14, Lisa Stasiulewicz, Forest Hill, Zonarich; 15-18, Meghan White, Springdale, Crawford.
Breaststroke -- 8-and-under, Gretchen Peltzer, Glen Burnie Park, Eric Cullen, Glen Burnie Park; 9-10, Sarah Schaffer, Severn River, Nicholas Finlayson, Shipley's Choice; 11-12, Hancock, Becker; 13-14, Sara Keeton, West Howard, Brian Lanasa, Wynnewood; 15-18, Caitlin O'Brien, Navy Juniors, Paul Rave, Andover.