Albemarle girls swimming takes 2017 Ben Hair title

Albemarle’s girls swim team is stocked with seniors. Twelve of them to be exact. On Tuesday night at UVa’s AFC in the Ben Hair Memorial Swim Meet, those seniors made their presence felt.


“They keep pushing each other to get better,” said Albemarle coach J.J. Bean.


They certainly got better Tuesday as the Patriots piled up 565 points to take the team title, outpacing Western Albemarle who had 348 points in the runner-up slot and Fluvanna County who took third with 206. The Flucos barely edged out Monticello who had 199 points in fifth. Coming out of winter training, the Ben Hair presents a unique challenge that clearly the Albemarle girls were up for.


“I thought for the most part we did a really nice job,” Bean said. “For the most part everyone stepped up and swam fast, faster than they have in the past. To get best times in the middle of the season is pretty impressive.”


Grace Farmar had a big hand in that performance. The Patriots’ senior had a hand in four event titles, swimming on the 200-free and 400-free relay title winners while also winning the 200-free and 500-free individual events.


“Grace has done a great job, she was in a little bit of a rut for awhile but then worked her way out of it and she’s been a good team captain and a good leader,” Bean said.


The Patriots swept the meet’s relay titles, winning the 200 medley relay to start the day off with Maren Weathersby, Brianna Nesbitt, Ashley Huang and Colleen Farabaugh combining for that victory. Huang, Rachel Wang, Farmar and Megan Jones raced to the 200 free relay title while Wang, Jones, Farabaugh and Farmar worked together on the 400 free championship squad.


Jones and Weathersby each also won individual championships, with Weathersby taking home the 100-fly title and Jones winning the 50-free. Albemarle was particularly strong in the sprint freestyle, with Bailee Murray taking second and Erin Keller taking fourth behind Jones to stack up points in that event.


Huang took second in the 200-IM while Nesbitt took third in the 200 free. Wang was the runner-up in the 100-fly behind Weathersby and third in the 100-back while Farabaugh took second in the 500-free behind Farmar and third in the 100-breast.


Western Albemarle finished second in the meet despite not posting any individual event champions, with Meredith Martin taking third in the 500 free and fourth in the 200 free, Claudia James grabbing third in the 50 and 100 free events and Sophie O’Donnell taking third in the 100 butterfly.


Louisa County’s Alexa Owen had a huge day with wins in the 200-IM and the 100-backstroke.


Covenant’s McKenzie Lawson took home the 100 breaststroke and third place in the 200-IM.


Fluvanna County finished third as a team with fourth place finishes in all three relays providing a big chunk of the scoring. FeFe Nardone, Emma DiFazio, Morgan Maupin, Zoe Moore, Sophie Kershner and Caylyn McNaul all contributed to those relay performances.


Monticello’s girls finished fourth as a team, with a second place finish by the 400 free relay squad leading the day. The Mustangs’ Ava Burnsed, Kendall Walin, Caroline Hallowell and Kayleigh Stebbins combining in that finish.


Final Team Standings


  1. Albemarle 565
  2. Western Albemarle 348
  3. Fluvanna County 206
  4. Monticello 199
  5. Charlottesville 114
  6. William Monroe 106
  7. Covenant 101
  8. Louisa County 63
  9. St. Anne’s-Belfield 49
  10. 10. Madison County 45