Havre de Grace swim team is small but mighty

The Baltimore Sun

Havre de Grace has only 21 swimmers on its roster this season, but the Warriors are getting plenty of production from them en route to a 6-3 start.

Coach Aaron Thompson said that this is the school's smallest team in 15 years. That makes it tougher in meets because it means everyone must do more. But the Warriors keep winning.

"A number of factors outside our control have dealt us a [small team]," Thompson said. "Despite those obstacles, our skeleton crew has worked hard and fared well."

Havre de Grace turned in a strong performance at the Holiday Relay Carnival last month, finishing second to John Carroll in an eight-team field.

The boys have carried much of the load despite having the minimum 10 swimmers needed for competition. Senior Jeff Riley was undefeated last year and holds team records in a number of events.

Senior Tommy Phelan has won several events. Sophomore Thomas Riley has been solid in the 100 breaststroke and 500 freestyle. And Ryan Callaghan has done good work in the 100 butterfly and the 200 IM.

Brittany North has been the anchor on the girls' side. On of the county's top swimmers, she swims the 100 breaststroke and 200 IM.

The biggest question for Havre de Grace is how its small roster will affect the team during the bigger meets.

More swimming -- The county's annual swimming meet will have some changes this year. Formerly a four-day meet, this year's competition is set for Feb. 6 (girls) and Feb. 7 (boys) at Magnolia Middle School. The change came because county officials wanted their meet to be more like regional and state swimming competitions. The change involves cutting out preliminary level events. In addition, the state championship at the University of Maryland will now take place Feb. 25 and Feb. 26 at 5 p.m.

Bel Air boys basketball -- Donn Hill and Lionel Perkins have given Bel Air a strong 1-2 scoring punch this season, and Perkins came through in a big way in a 71-60 loss at Joppatowne on Jan. 4. With the Bobcats missing a starter, Perkins scored 22 of his game-high 29 points in the second half. He scored 14 consecutive Bel Air points in the fourth quarter, and hit five three-pointers in the game. Hill got off to a spectacular start, scoring eight points and getting five rebounds in the first four minutes, but Joppatowne began to double-team him. He finished with 15 points.

John Carroll boys basketball -- John Carroll has adjusted nicely to life in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference. The Patriots moved up this season and were 13-5 overall with a 7-2 conference record after last Wednesday's 54-51 victory at Calvert Hall. John Carroll has won seven of its past eight games and are in fourth place in the A Conference.

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