Brian Young, who is headed to James Madison next year and won’t be swimming in college knew he was facing his last competitive swim. The Monticello alum went out in a big way though in the 200-free relay swimming for Glenmore Country Club on day one of the Jefferson Swim League championships.
“Anchoring is my favorite part about relays, I love being last and having the pressure on me,” Young said. “We talked about it all year, this one relay. We love this relay, we live for it. Great way to end it, best way to end it”
Young capped his career with a win and a JSL record as he, Sam Holstege, Noah Holstege and Teddy Leeds Armstrong combined to break their own record from 2015 and win the event. Glenmore had to hold off a strong charge from Boar’s Head led by Aaron James and August Lamb to defend their title including Young battling James in the final leg.
“We knew we would have a tough race with Aaron James and August Lamb from Boar’s Head, we really had to kick it in this year,” said Covenant graduate Sam Holstege, another swimmer wrapping up his JSL career. “I ended on a high note, and I know it’s just going to keep getting better and better once I get to college.”
Holstege is headed to Calvin College to join his brother, Eli who is Glenmore’s head coach. This year’s JSL field was highlighted by a particularly strong field of senior boys like Holstege, Nick Pease, Brian Hynes, Matt McHugh, Jack Robbins, Nick Switzer, Chas Sigloh and Hogan Harper, who is already at West Point and couldn’t compete in the championship meet. Eli Holstege has a name for that group, and he should know, he was a part of a strong contingent a couple of years back when he was still swimming for Covenant and Glenmore, a group that included UVa’s Matt Lockman and Alex Montes de Oca.
“I like to call them the titan groups,” Holstege said. “All those guys it is so fun to watch them swim. Every once in awhile you see these groups come through and you can kind of see it happen.”
Fairview coach J.J. Bean and Boar’s Head’s Dan Bledsoe agreed that the depth of this year’s senior boys was particularly strong — one of, if not the best ever. The battle in the 100-IM where 14 swimmers swam under a minute with James taking home the title was an excellent example of that depth as four future college swimmers filled in the top four slots with Fairview’s Switzer taking second, Forest Lakes’ Pease finishing third and Jack Robbins taking fourth for ACAC.
While Glenmore got the win in the 200-free relay to close the day, Fairview held the team scoring lead after Day One in the overall championship race.
McHugh and Switzer were a big reason why with McHugh, who is headed to Denison to swim, taking setting a new record in the 50-fly with a win while also taking second in the 50-free. McHugh broke Lockman’s 2013 record by three hundreths of a second. It’s now the fifth record that McHugh holds or is a part of as he was part of Fairview’s 5-8 year old record in the 100-medley relay, Fairview’s 9-10 year old 200-medley relay (which was bested Friday), the 6 and under 25-free individual record in 2005 and the 50-backstroke record in 2014 for 13-14 year olds.
“This is my last year and I knew I needed to go out with a bang and my teammates did too because (a lot of us) are seniors,” McHugh said. “I’m just really happy I could finish it off on a good note and that my team could also.”
Switzer, meanwhile, set a new record in the 50-breaststroke, beating the 2009 mark of a former UVa swimmer, Nick Montes de Oca. Switzer, who is bound for UVa to swim, also took second in the 100-IM as well as the 50-back and combined with McHugh, Ben Paschina and John Messimer to win the 200 medley relay.
“Driving over here I was tingling, I was so ready to go and it was a great way to finish it off,” said Switzer, who has been swimming for Fairview for 14 years. “It has been a great JSL career. Nothing like it.”
Forest’s Lakes’ Pease, headed for South Carolina, won the 50-back in the 15-18 group and set a new meet record in the process. James won three events for Boar’s Head with titles in the 50-free and 100-free joining his 100-IM championship. It was a tremendous performance that evoked memories of his Group 3A championship double for Western Albemarle earlier this year when he won double state titles in the 50 and 100-free events.
Other big nights on the first day came from City’s Ashley Huang in the 15-18 year old girls group, winning the 100 IM and 50-fly while also taking second in the girls 50-back. Forest Lakes’ Maggie Woods won the 50-back and 100-free and took second in 50-fly behind Huang.
Fairview’s Gabby Tosi took second in 100 IM, and swam with Beth Kelly, Rachel Wang and Grace Farmar to take home the 200-medley title. Boar’s Head’s Morgan James won the girls 50-free. Fry’s Spring’s Mack Lawson won the 50-breast
In the 13-14 year old group, Crozet’s Kathryn Burr won the 50-free and 100-free and swam on the title winning 200-free relay squad.
Fluvanna’s Abby Harlow won the 100-IM and the 50-breast, setting a new record in the 50-breast.
On the 13-14 year old boys side, Boar’s Head’s Noah Hargrove won the 100-IM and 100-free and also swam on the 200-medley relay title squad,
Crozet’s Stephane Karp won the 50-free while Fairview’s Lucas Smith picked up a pair of wins in the 50-breast and 50-back. ACAC’s Sophie Haise won the 50-back.
In the 9-10 boys group, Farmington’s Maxwell Moore broke the 50-free record that was set in 1981. Moore also combined with Will Browne, Matty Ward and Simon Wray to set a new record in the 9-10 200 medley relay for Farmington.
The second day of JSL action kicks up early on Saturday morning with Fairview leading with 1,195 points while Boar’s Head has 1,147.75 points. Fry’s Spring is in third with 1,107.25 points and Crozet sits in fourth with 1,084.50 points.