The Fallston boys wrapped up a sweep of the Harford County swimming championships for the second straight year last night, but many at the Magnolia Middle School meet were instead talking about how two Cougars were disqualified - for shaving in the locker room.
Fallston had little trouble winning the boys title, earning 313 points. Bel Air took second with 220. Including the girls' competition, the Cougars finished with 586 points to take the top spot in the combined race. Bel Air also finished second in combined scores (442), one night after taking third in the girls' portion of the meet.
But the biggest buzz at the meet resulted from Fallston's Bradley Huppenthal and Paul Zoli being disqualified after a meet official discovered them shaving their bodies in the locker room early in the evening. The meet official had been simply walking through the room, saw them and was required to report it.
The National Federation of High Schools rule book states that swimmers cannot shave at the site of a meet. They can shave at home or anywhere else but not at the venue.
"They couldn't compete tonight at all," said meet director John Marx. "That's the rule."
Forest Wiest, the Harford County supervisor of physical education and athletics, said it's the first time anyone has been disqualified for shaving at a county meet. But there was no question about the ruling.
"It's in the rule book," Wiest said.
Fallston co-coach Sheri Huppenthal, Bradley's mother, said her swimmers simply weren't aware of the rule. And they will be able to compete in the regional tournament on Feb. 20 in College Park.
"It comes from the rules, but we didn't know," she said. "We know [now]."
The Cougars won the girls' portion despite not taking first place in any race on Wednesday. But the boys won it the opposite way, taking first in five of the 11 races.
Fallston captured the 200- and 400-yard freestyle relays. Nick Sakell won twice, taking the top spot in the 200 freestyle (1 minute, 48.72 seconds) and 500 freestyle (4:55.71). Teammate Nick Tomechko was the other winner, taking the 100 backstroke (59.67).
Bel Air's Jason Loiland and Zach Clemsen of Aberdeen were the other multiple winners. Loiland took the 100 freestyle (51.22) and 200 IM (2:06.06) while Clemsen won the 50 freestyle (23.41) and 100 breaststroke (1:05.42).
Aberdeen 71, Joppatowne 51 -- The Mariners' Jeff Pettiway (10 points) scored his 1,000th career point in the loss to the host Eagles (12-8). Aberdeen's Leandre Richardson had a game-high 15 points.
Lake Clifton 70, Reginald Lewis 66 -- Terrence Jones had six points in the second overtime period to push the Lakers (11-7) past the visiting Knights. Jones finished with 31 points and 12 rebounds.
No. 12 Atholton 76, Howard 42 -- Julie Taylor had 19 points, 10 assists and two steals as the Raiders (16-4) cruised past the visiting Lions. Cathy Clarke scored a game-high 21 points for Howard.