Behind Cole Buese, Loyola again wins MIAA swimming title

Loyola Blakefield's Cole Buese, pictured here in 2013, helps the Dons to yet another MIAA championship Saturday.
Loyola Blakefield's Cole Buese, pictured here in 2013, helps the Dons to yet another MIAA championship Saturday. (Steve Ruark / For The Baltimore Sun)

Midway through the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championship Saturday night at McDonogh, Loyola Blakefield was all but assured its dynasty would remain firmly intact.

After sweeping the 500-yard individual freestyle behind senior Cole Buese, junior Ben Brown and sophomore Michael Pierce, the Dons held a commanding 418-237 advantage over rival and runner-up Calvert Hall.


They would ultimately win going away, 613-371, over the Cardinals, Mount Saint Joseph (284), Gilman (189) and McDonogh (128).

By the midpoint of the event, Buese had already been part of a meet-record winning 200-yard medley relay with senior Mitch Williams, junior Sammy Logue and sophomore Alex Blair and had won the 200-yard individual medley.

The Loyola star's winning time in the 500 (four minutes, 27.46 seconds) was also a league record.

Other Don honors went to Williams for winning the 200-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly while senior Zachary Hoelting won the 100-yard backstroke.

Mount Saint Joseph's Andrew Sanchez won the 50- and 100-yard freestyles. He also teamed with fellow seniors Collin Turner, Chris Krabbe and Connor Ganley to win the 200-yard freestyle relay and 400-yard freestyle relay for the Gaels. Ganley added a win in the 100-yard breaststroke.

"Our senior class have been together for a long time," said Sanchez, who plans to swim for UMBC. "We have a lot of good younger guys, too. This was one of our best team showings ever."

Despite what Loyola coach Keith Schertle called "a good margin of victory," he said Calvert Hall's showing was beyond what he expected.

"They scored 50 more points than we projected they might score," he said. "I'm an alum (of Calvert Hall), so that makes me happy. They're an up-and-coming team."

His Dons, though, are still the undisputed champs as they have been every year except one since 1995, and the versatile Buese was a big reason why the tradition continued.

Showing a wide range, his record-breaking 500-yard freestyle was accomplished after a teammate asked if he would give up the 100-yard freestyle.

Buese has recorded All-American times in the 200-yard IM, 200-yard freestyle, 500-yard freestyle, 100-yard backstroke and 500-yard freestyle.

"I swim what my coaches asked me to swim," the Princeton commit said after his 500 time broke a team record set in 1980. "We all do. But what I love most about high school swimming is the strategy"

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