McDonogh coasts to title

The Baltimore Sun

The lineage of dominant swimmers runs deep at McDonogh, and each class sets a goal to establish a new standard of excellence.

In yesterday's Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland swimming championships at UMBC, Rachael Schaffer and Rebecca Flora became the latest McDonogh swimmers to become part of an elite group as each set a meet record in an individual event and was part of two relay teams that broke meet marks.

Overall, McDonogh won its seventh consecutive A Conference title with 467 points, well ahead of second-place Notre Dame Prep (349) and third-place Mount de Sales (327).

"We had really good balance this year," McDonogh coach Scott Ward said. "There were a couple of events that weren't as strong as in other years, but we have three really strong girls who gave us some depth. They all buy into the team concept and really support each other."

Severn won the B Conference meet with 378 points, with John Carroll (359) finishing second and Seton Keough (275) third.

Schaffer broke the meet record in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2 minutes, 5.60 seconds , shattering the previous mark of 2:07.05 set in 2004 by Kelly Peloquin, also of McDonogh. Schaffer also won the 100 freestyle.

"The tradition here is being really supportive," Schaffer said. "We just do the best we can."

Flora set a record in the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:58.84, breaking the previous mark of 4:59.57 set by Claire Hutchinson of McDonogh in 2004.

Schaffer and Flora were also part of the 200 freestyle relay team with Anna Schuster and Brileigh Pinkney that finished in 1:39.23, breaking the record of 1:40.26 set by McDonogh in 2006.

The team of Schaffer, Flora, Schuster and Joanna Baird set another mark in the 400 relay with a time 3:37.31, breaking the Eagles' record of 3:39.67 set in 2007.

"Our plan was to go as fast as possible, and the records were just a bonus to that," Flora said. "The difference is our fans. All of the swimmers come out and cheer, and it helps us go faster."

In the B Conference, Kendall Surhoff of St. Paul's School for Girls won the 200 IM and the 500 freestyle. Severn's Caroline Burns also had a strong day, winning the 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke.

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