Sherando sweeps Black and Blue swim meet

Posted: January 14, 2013

Special to The Winchester Star

Sherando High School’s Kelsey Dingman finished as the top overall point scorer, helping the Warriors win the team title at the Black and Blue Invitational on Saturday. Dingman won both the 50 and 100 freestyle and anchored two winning relay teams. (Photo by Ginger Perry/The Winchester Star)
James Wood’s Conor Babington finished first in the 100 meter butterfly in 1:06.19 at the Black and Blue Invitational on Saturday. Babington also took first in the 50 free (26.03) and was also on the Colonels’ winning 200 medley relay team. (Photo by Ginger Perry/The Winchester Star)

WINCHESTER — Sherando dominated Saturday’s Third annual Black and Blue Invitational swim meet at James Barnett Park.

The Warriors swept both the boys’ (268 points) and the girls’ (342) competitions, but James Wood wasn’t too far behind.

“James Wood boys swam really well today,” Sherando coach Joe Knight said. “We knew coming in that they had a lot of talented swimmers. We expected it to be a close meet and it was. I’m really proud of our boy’s team. We had some really good swims from them today. What wins a meet like this is your depth, not your top swimmers, and we got some outstanding performances by a lot of the boys today.”

Wood finished second to Sherando in both the girls’ and boys’ meets with team scores of 214 (girls) and 247 (boys).

Harrisonburg (141), Hedgesville (132), and Stonewall Jackson (115) rounded off the team scoring in the girls’ division. The Eagles (144) were fourth in the boys’ division followed by the Generals (119), and the Blue Streaks (111).

“Our boys came into this meet really excited about the possibility of winning,” Colonel coach Kristy Hartbauer said. “Despite not winning the meet, we had a lot of great times. I thought that overall it was a great effort. Although several of our girls came into the meet a little sick I thought they did an excellent job, too. They put tremendous effort into this meet, and I’m really proud of them for that.”

The meet also featured an individual rivalry between two close friends James Wood’s Brian Baker and Sherando’s James Williams. The rivalry also had added spice because the two were former teammates at Sherando for the past two years.

Their only head-to-head competition came in the 400 free relay, where the pair swam the anchor leg for their respective schools, and the result was a near photo-finish.

“This was a great meet,” Williams said. “It was really fun competing against my good friend Brian Baker. “We only squared off once during the meet, but it was the highlight of the meet for me.”

“James and I are really good friends,” added Baker. “We’ve swum together for a while, and were teammates on Sherando’s team for the last two years. We definitely have a rivalry, and it was really fun to swim against him here. It was nice to win too, but it was a relay and you always swim faster in a race like that.”

Baker’s Colonel team, which also included Conor Babington, Andrew Wood and Luke Farinholt, (4:15.26) edged Sherando (Ethan Medrano, Mark Restrepo, Jason Lee, and Williams) by less than two seconds (4:16.78).

The results for the meet, however, were a dead heat. Baker, and Williams, as well as Babington tied for the most individual points at the meet with 28 each.

“The anchor leg on the 400 free relay was really exciting,” Williams said. “It was very close, but I have to admit that Brian out swam me.”

Besides winning the 400 free relay, Baker finished first in the 100 breast (1:14.59), 200 individual medley (2:23.59), and teamed with Connor Green, Babington, and Wood for first in the 200 medley relay (2:11.43).

Williams was first in the 200 free (2:18.10), and the 400 free (4:53.38). Babington won the 100 fly (1:06.19), and the 50 free (26.03)

Warrior Kelsey Dingman dominated the pool individually to lead her Warriors to their first-place finish. She finished the meet as the top scorer individually (28 points), four ahead of Blue Streak swimmer Sydney Little (24)

“I thought that I had an awesome meet,” Dingman said. “I really had a good time in my 100 free, and the relay wins were awesome, too. Both anchor leg races were really exciting. I’m so proud of our team.”

Dingman finished first in the 50 free (29.08), 100 free (1:02.44), and anchored the winning 200 free relay (2:03.36) with Alexis English, Christina Lee, and Laura Ferguson and the 400 free (4:44.28) with Ferguson, Kelsie Utz, and Victoria Reese.

Other winners for the Warriors were Christina Lee (200 free, 2:26.45), Kasey Johnson (100 fly, 1:23.84), Restrepo (100 free, 1:01.78), and Adam Dubrueler (100 back, 1:16.77).

The Colonels also got a first place finish from Erin Jackson (100 back, 1:15.98).

“I thought that I had a pretty good meet,” Jackson said. “I added a few seconds to my 100 back time, but I won the race. It’s really fun though, to come here, race against my friends, and see how we’re all doing.”

Harrisonburg’s Little won the 200 IM (2:50.67) and Emma Peifer won the 100 breast (1:30.34) for the Blue Streaks. Olivia Schultz was Stonewall Jackson’s only top finisher, winning the 400 free (5:30.42).

“This was just an awesome meet,” Blue Streak coach James Miller said. “This the third time that we’ve participated and we love coming to this meet. The sportsmanship here is the best, and the racing is really excellent.”