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Notre Dame Prep rallies to edge McDonogh in IAAM swimming championships

As she headed toward the pool to compete in the pivotal 400-yard freestyle relay at the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland swimming championships Sunday afternoon, Notre Dame Prep senior star Mary Kate Clancy nodded her head when she caught the eye of the school's athletic director, Jamie Smith.

With the defending IAAM A Conference champions trailing host McDonogh by three points, Clancy and teammates Katie McComas, Abby Merriman and Selah Peacock knew they would need their best effort to beat McDonogh's Amanda Chabbott, Emily Wilhelm, Lindsey Bloom and Isabella McElrath while securing the unbeaten Blazers' fourth title in five years.

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Notre Dame Prep's foursome backed up their leader's quiet confidence, touching the wall well ahead of their fierce rivals in the meet's final event by nearly four seconds to claim the crown. The 454.50- 451.50 triumph was almost identical to the Blazers' 84-82 dual-meet victory two weeks ago.

"In the past, the 400 free relay has always been our strength," said Clancy, who is considering swimming in college at the Air Force Academy, Johns Hopkins or Washington University in St. Louis. "We said, 'This is it.' We heard their 'Eagle Relay' cheer, and we just tried to tune it out."

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Clancy undoubtedly heard plenty of cheers as well for her winning efforts in the 200 individual medley and the 100 butterfly.

"Mary Kate always stands out," Notre Dame Prep coach Terri Byrd said. "She will really be hard to replace next year."

Byrd also praised senior McComas and juniors Merriman and Peacock.

"Katie had her best meet ever," Byrd said. "And Abby and Selah just do so much for us. They'll be the heart of the team next year."

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McComas captured the 50 freestyle while Merriman and Peacock finished as the runner-up in the 200 and 500 freestyles, respectively, to McDonogh dual champion Chabbott. McComas' sister, Ellie, and her sophomore classmate Caroline Bloom helped the Blazers sweep the top three spots in the butterfly.

Meanwhile, McDonogh freshman standout Alayna Nielson helped her team prevail in the 200 medley relay and the 200 freestyle relay while also tying with Notre Dame Prep's Katie McComas for the individual title in the 100 freestyle. The Eagles' other individual champion was McElrath in the 100 breaststroke.

Junior backstroker Allison Voorhees was Severn's lone individual winner.

Coming close was no consolation for McDonogh coach Scott Ward.

"I have a mix of emotions," he said. "On the one hand, after finishing fourth last year, it's nice to be back in the hunt. On the other hand, it's tough to come so close and not win."

In the B Conference, St. Mary's claimed the school's first-ever championship by beating Roland Park, 467-386.

Junior Anne Hayburn, who finished first in the 200 individual medley and 100 backstroke, was joined by freshmen Sarah DeWitt (100 butterfly) and Abby Andrews (100 breaststroke) in earning individual honors for the Saints.

St. Paul's freshman Kendall Hayes was the other swimmer to claim two titles in the B Conference.

St. Vincent Pallotti became another first-time team champion as the Panthers topped Seton Keough, 389-329.50, in the C Conference.

Junior Kristen Toth was a double winner for Pallotti, taking the 200 and 50 freestyles.

Team results

A Conference:

1. NDP (454.50)

2. McD (451.50)

3. MdS (312)

4. AS (232)

5. Severn (215)

6. JC (137)

B Conference:

1. SM (467)

2. RP (386)

3. SP (356)

4. IND (244)

5. BM (173)

C Conference:

1. Pallotti (389)

2. SK (329.50)

3. ST (299)

4. CH (271.50)

5. AACS (252)

6. BT (196)

A Conference:

200 medley relay-1. McD (Nielson, Griffin, McElrath, Hoelting), 2. NDP (E. McComas, Zungailia, Clancy, Potis) 3. SV (Voorhees, Dubinski, Franham, Cumm)

200 freestyle-1. Chabbott (McD), 2. Peacock (NDP), 3. Merriman (NDP)

200 individual medley-1. Clancy (NDP), 2. McElrath (McD), 3. Homes (AS)

50 freestyle-1. K. McComas (NDP), 2. Nielson (McD), 3. Prentice (AS)

100 butterfly- 1. Clancy (NDP), 2. E. McComas (NDP), 3. Blum (NDP)

100 freestyle-T-1. Nielson (McD), T-1. K. McComas (NDP), 3. Peacock (NDP)

500 freestyle-1. Chabbott (McD), 2. Merriman (NDP), 3. Long (MDS)

200 freestyle relay-1. McD (Nielson, Hoelting, Wilhelm, Chabbott), 2. NDP (K. McComas, McElroy, Merriman, Peacock), 3. (Holems, McKissick, Sturgis, Prentice)

100 backstroke-1. Voorhees (SV), 2. Hoelting (McD), 3. Bloom (McD)

100 breaststroke-1. McElrath (McD), 2. Zungailia (NDP), 3. Holmes (AS)

400 freestyle relay-1. NDP (K. McComas, Merriman, Clancy, Peacock), 2. McD (Chabbott, Wilhem, McElrath, Bloom), 3. AS (Sturgis, Holmes, McKissick, Prentice)

B Conference:

200 medley relay-1. SM (Hayburn, Andrews, Hakun, McMahon), 2. SP (Hayes, Hock, Bothwell, McDonnell) 3. RP (Zollicoffer, Mandel, Waire, Lavelle)

200 free-1. Hayes (SP), 2. Ball (RP), 3. McMahon (SM)

200 IM-1. Hayburn (SM), 2. Pollack (BM), 3. Bothwell (SP)

50 free-1. Salvatori (RP), 2. Hock (SP), 3. DeWitt (SM)

100 fly- 1. DeWitt (SM), 2. Hakun (SM), 3. Zollicoffer (RP)

100 free-1. Pollack (BM), 2. McMahon (SM), 3. Mandel (RP)

500 free-1. Hayes (SP), 2. Ball (RP), 3. Hakun (SM)

200 free relay-1. SM (N/A), 2. RP (Mandel, Ball, Nguyen, Salvatori), 3. SP (Wells, Clayton, Rosario, Jurgens)

100 back-1. Hayburn (SM), 2. Salvatori (RP), 3. Forsyth (SM)

100 breast-1. Andrews (SM), 2. Hock (SP), 3. Mandel (RP)

400 free relay-1. SM (DeWitt, Hakun, McMahon, Hayburn), 2. SP (McDonnlee, Hayes, Hock, Bothwell), 3. RP (Waire, Ball, Zollicoffer, Salvatori)

C Conference:

200 medley relay-1. ST (Celnik, Wilson, Grace, Bowen), 2. SK (McCourt, Yancy, Bubnis, Smith) 3. SVP Pruden, Jones, Patrick, Lamirande)

200 free-1.Toth (SVP), 2. Harkom (SVP), 3. Blockl (BT)

200 IM-1. Plant (BT), 2. Bowen (ST), 3. Patrick (SVP)

50 free-1. Toth (SVP), 2. Grace (ST), 3. Smith (SK)

100 fly- 1. Plant (BT), 2. Bubnis (SK), 3. Patrick (SVP)

100 free-1. Thompson (AACS), 2. Harkcom (SVP), 3. Brignol (ST)

500 free-1. Wilson ST, 2. Baker (BT), 3. Pruden (SVP)

200 free relay-1. ST Bown, Celnik, Wilson, Lee), 2. SK (Yancy, Bubnis, Solloway, Smith), 3. SVP (Harkcom, Jones, Lamirande, Toth)

100 back-1. Celnik (SM), 2. Baker (BT), 3. Pruden (SVP)

100 breast-1. Brooks (CA), 2. Yancy (SK), 3. Smith (SK)

400 free relay-1. SVP (Patrick Harkcom, Pruden, Toth), 2. BT Plant, Block, Monroe, Baker), 3. ST (Lee, Celnik, Bowen, Wilson)

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