McDonogh finished first in eight of yesterday's dozen events against Loyola in a struggle at Blakefield between rivals that were both 5-0 in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association.
Relentless Loyola, however, compiled enough team points to win the meet, 99-84.
Yesterday figured to be McDonogh's best shot in at least a generation to win a dual meet against the Dons, whose seniors still haven't lost a meet to anyone. The host Dons (6-1, 6-0) were viewed as young and, having sent at least three of six seniors from last winter's team to Division I college teams, vulnerable.
Loyola, of course, swept the diving events, because the Eagles have no divers. But even without those 13 team points, as Loyola coach Keith Schertle pointed out, the Dons still "won it in the pool, 86-84."
In fact, Loyola trailed early and took the lead only after the diving, but then never relinquished it through the final seven events.
As expected, McDonogh's national-level star, senior Mike Wheeler, easily took the 200-meter freestyle and 100 backstroke events. Swimming legs on the winning 200 medley relay squad and the third-place 400 medley relay unit, he contributed to 21 of the Eagles' points.
Loyola had no one like McDonogh juniors Jamie Todes and Scott Aszal, both water polo players, the former an All-American, either. Todes shared in 24 points with firsts in all four of his events, two relays, the 200 individual medley and 500 freestyle. Aszal also was first in two relays, won the 50 freestyle and had a second, good for a hand in 22 points.
McDonogh sophomore Andrew Shapiro, with three firsts, including the 100 butterfly, and a second in the 200 individual medley, shared in 22 Eagles points.
Loyola's top individual scorer was sophomore Patrick Brugh, who had a hand in 20 points on two firsts and two seconds, and senior co-captain Robert Bellamy had 19 off two firsts, a second and a third.
And then came the Dons' swimmers who kept on stroking to 28 second-, third-, fourth- and fifth-place finishes, more than double McDonogh's 13 in those positions. Loyola contributors included Murry Mercier (a share in 15 points), freshman Donald Anderson (14), Brendan Jones (13), Dylan Smith (11), coach's son Brad Schertle (10) and five more.
"Swimming is a team sport," said the elder Schertle. "We train right there, together, in a team atmosphere."
McDonogh coach Brent Miller said, shaking his head: "We swam well overall, but we still have some tinkering around to do, though. We'll be ready for [the MIAA] championships on Feb. 9."
Pub Date: 1/27/99