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High School sports

Anne Arundel 2022-23 high school swimming preview: Youthful swimmers filling county pools

Broadneck's Dean Doubek swims the butterfly stroke leg of the boys 200-yard medley relay for Broadneck, who won the event at last year's Anne Arundel County swimming championships.

Broadneck made history last winter when both its boys and girls captured county championship crowns.

Given that “continuity” is something coach Colleen Parr Winans believes to be a strength in both sides of the “Water” Bruins in 2022-23, that may happen again.

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Broadneck benefits from teeming turnout, leading to immense depth for both the boys and girls. But its not alone.

“There are a lot of teams with a few strong swimmers so it should be an interesting mix this season,” Parr Winans said. “More teams are attracting talent from summer and club programs.”

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Severna Park and South River are both anticipated to pose strong threats, as they often do. The Falcons boys claimed third at counties last year and the girls second; the Seahawks boys took second, the girls fourth.

“Depth will be the key to their strength,” Annapolis coach Al Gruber said of the Falcons and Seahawks.

And while that may be true for South River, the reality is that many of the Seahawk swimmers are new to the sport. Turnout has also shrunk this year, an effect felt by most South River sports after Crofton’s opening.

“I believe there will be a lot of fun, close meets,” coach Laura Falsone said. “We hope to be in contention in all our meets.”

Youth is king in the county this winter.

The Panthers girls claimed bronze at the county championships in 2022 and Gruber intends for them not only to climb higher, but to snap several records as well after setting one in the 200-yard freestyle relay last year. The girls will struggle with depth, the boys, youth. While Annapolis experienced excellent turnout, 60% of the squad is comprised of newcomers.

“All teams have less pool time this year,” Old Mill coach Ellen Hays said. “This will be a bit of a disadvantage to some of the teams, smaller and young teams especially.”

Old Mill is similarly young across the board on both sides, but Hays forecasts her senior girls will create a positive, enthusiastic and encouraging environment for both teams. Hays reckons last year’s girls squad had the best season in ages and this year’s team is even stronger.

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Chesapeake experienced plenty of turnover, including a new coach, Jen Thatcher. She sees potential in her green Cougars to gain strength as they progress through the season.

Meade is also somewhat of a new squad this year, but coach Carra Blair is excited. The Mustangs added 10 new swimmers that Blair hopes will represent Meade well, while continuing to achieve in the classroom as well as the pool.

Crofton’s Grant Murphy won the boys 200-yard individual medley at last season's Anne Arundel County swimming championships.

Crofton impressed in its first varsity season in the pool. The Cardinals didn’t graduate anyone, so thereby return the swimmers who brought home gold at county championships: Luke Corey, who took two titles; Grant Murphy, who also took two; and Emily Krucoff, who claimed one.

“This is the first year we have all four classes represented,” coach Chrissie Bickel said. “We are still a young team, so it will be a challenge to compete against some of the teams that have more upperclassmen.”

Glen Burnie coach Jenn Bistrack is in her third year. Last year the coach witnessed her team step up to a more challenging and rigorous style of practice. The Gophers are mostly young with only three year-round swimmers, but the coaching staff anticipates the potential.

“I think we’re building a strong swimming culture for Glen Burnie High School,” Bistrack said.

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Severn girls captured their first IAAM title since 2014 last winter without any expectation of doing so. This year, coach Erin Domenech sees a squad loaded with seasoned senior talent as well as skilled incoming freshmen and sees no reason they can’t be just as competitive this time. The boys, she sees just as much possibility of success, though they’ll have to contend with perennial power St. Mary’s.

Though it may be difficult to believe, the apple of St. Mary’s eye — Joe Hayburn — is only just now entering his senior year after becoming the 2021-22 Swimmer of the Year, a two-time 2021-22 MIAA champion, an All-American, MIAA record holder, a McDonogh pool record-holder, Olympic Trial qualifier — and so much more.

He’ll be the centerpiece of a deep Saints pool that expects to compete in the MIAA B Conference this winter, as well as the girls, who also intend to make a splash in the IAAM B.

St. Mary's Joe Hayburn returns after being named the 2022 Capital Gazette Swimmer of the Year.

Like many public school teams, youth will be the obstacle for the Archbishop Spalding boys to overcome. Coach Chip Helferstay surmises swimming against older competition now will improve his Cavaliers for the future — especially as the Cavs were able to begin a junior varsity squad finally with enough turnout. Helferstay forecasts many best times and a possibility of a top-four MIAA finish.

The Spalding girls, which finished third overall in the National Catholic Championships but did not win a meet in 2021-22, looks to strength in the backstroke and butterfly returners, but needs to fill holes in the freestyle and backstroke events.

The Key girls graduated 2019-20 Swimmer of the Year Fiona Schere, who went on to UCLA. This year, those Obezags compete in the C Conference, where they hope their smaller team size will match up well. The boys carry a touch more experience than last winter and look to be at their best in the B Conference finals when it comes.

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Annapolis

Last season: sixth at counties (boys); third at counties (girls)

Coach: Al Gruber, fifth season

Top swimmers: Seniors Emma Baca, Nora Lenham and Alejandro Tilley; juniors Lily Baxter, Lauren Goulet and Nathan Pierce; sophomores Jacob Pagent and Aleks Wright; freshmen Molly Ralph, Robert Donnelly, Julian Hernandez and Morgan Hurlburt

Archbishop Spalding

Last season: 1-3, MIAA A Conference fifth place (boys); 0-3, IAAM A Conference fourth place (girls)

Coach: Chip Helferstay, third season (boys); Ashley Blaszczyk, fifth Season (girls)

Top swimmers: Boys: Seniors Drew Brown, Ethan Castillo and Jack McKernan; juniors Graham Tower and Luke Bulger; sophomores Lawson Cate, Billy Connor and Josh Mundy; freshman Bennett Reed, Will Rosenthal, Tim Williams, Cody Winn and Carter Williams. Girls: Seniors Macy Carpenter (Free, Fly), Nina Devins (Free, IM), Ella Heine (Back, Breast) and Olivia Polucha (Free, Fly); juniors Skye Andros (Free, Fly), Maerin Body (Breast, Free), Taylor Emrich (Free, IM), Katelyn Hiller (Breast) and Ella Molinari (Free); sophomores Ashley Connor (Free, Back), Kaitlin Elias (Free) and Natalie Lomonosov (Free, Back); freshman Maggie Jaeger (Breast, Back)

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Broadneck

Last season: 2021-22 county and region champs (boys); 2021-22 county champs, region runner-up (girls)

Coach: Colleen Parr Winans, 16th season

Top swimmers: Boys: seniors Julian Ainsworth (back), Jack Barrett (back), Jack Harada (IM), Dean Doubek (free) and Matt Tilghman (fly); juniors Nate Decker (back) and Jack Clark (breast); sophomores Owen Mahoney (free), Marcus Cembrano (breast) and Nik Klee (fly); freshman Kohl Hanes (Back). Girls: Senior Rita Miller (fly); juniors Ella Deitch (breast), Chloe Lan (IM), Evie Hopkins (back) and Sara Dreibelbis (fly); freshmen: Elizabeth Stevens (IM) and Maisie Rider (free)

Chesapeake

Last season: N/A

Coach: Jen Thatcher, first season

Top swimmers: Senior Gabbie Collins; sophomores Rian Healy, Liz Forman and Hayden Kunes

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Crofton

Last season: 6-2 (boys); 5-3 (girls)

Coaches: Chrissie Bickel, third season; Kate Ganley, second season

Top swimmers: Seniors April Collins and Kyle Green; juniors Emily Krucoff and Luke Corey; sophomores Brook Berned and Grant Murphy; freshmen Mabel Zegowitz and Jordan Smith

Key

Last season: 3-6 (boys); 1-5 (girls)

Coach: John Villareal, sixth season

Top swimmers: Boys: Seniors Jack Weinstein (distance free/breast) and Andrew Nolan (sprint free); junior Evan Graham (distance/free/200IM); freshman Ethan Baum (sprint free). Girls: freshmen Maebelle Stern (distance free/fly) and Annabelle Ulak (breast)

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Meade

Last season: 10th place (boys); 13th place (girls)

Coach: Carra Blair, second season

Top swimmers: Jasmin Godinez, Juliana Rios, Mya Chism, Xochilt Guadalupe-Saavedra, Carter Page-Wells, Grayson Page-Wells and Brianna Knight

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Old Mill

Last season: N/A

Coach: Ellen Hays, 16th season

Top swimmers: Boys: Seniors Jack Hampson (free) and Jacob Adcock (free); juniors Landon Trimper (free); sophomore Noah Samuel (free/back); freshmen Julian Rager (fly/free), Will Turner (IM/free) and Lucas Barnett (breast/IM). Girls: Seniors Maddie Hoffmann (free), Annalysa Dumlao (back/fly), Reagan Crawford (back/free), Anna Nevy (500 free/back) and Sarah Turner (fly/free); juniors Jesse Slingluff (fly/IM), Alyssa Capps (breast/IM), Kate Hunt (back/free) and Audrey Collier (breast); sophomores Jordan Weimer (IM/breast), Jessie Reider (IM/free) and Alaina Simonson (back/free)

Severn

Last season: 5-2 (boys); 9-0 (girls)

Coach: Erin Domenech, ninth season

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Top swimmers: Boys: Seniors Hayden Gargaliano (100 free) and Ben Keith (100 fly); sophomore Harlen Erskine (50 free); freshmen Court Barrett (500 free), Callum Olenec (100 free) and Tyler Monaldo (200 free). Girls: Caitlyn Given (100 back), Caroline DiPaola (50 free), Erin Hooper (100 free), Anna Erskine (100 breast); junior Aliza Monaldo (500 free); sophomore Kenzie Getz (50 free); freshmen Charlotte Weny (500 free) and Caroline Stities (50 free)

South River

Last season: second at counties (boys); fourth at counties (girls)

Coach: Laura Falsone, sixth season

Top swimmers: Senior Henry Sykes (50/100 free); juniors Jack Deppe (200 IM/100 breast) and Griffin Harris (100 back); sophomore Tripp Kennedy (200/500 free)

St. Mary’s

Last season: 6-1 (boys); 4-2 (girls)

Coach: Allyson Reiter, 12th season

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Top swimmers: Boys: Seniors Joe Hayburn (100 back), Trey Gendell (50 free) and Sam Starr (distance); juniors Jack Drucis (100 fly) and Nico Tollefson (100 free). Girls: Seniors Kylie Sands (100 free), Delaney Gendell (100 back), Kailyn Ernst (200 IM), Julia Kruesi (distance) and Ellie Williams (distance); junior Riley Smith (100 breast); sophomore Shannon Harvey (200 free)


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