Swim Fast: Albemarle girls win Ben Hair swim portion

Albemarle's Ashley Huang Photo by Bart Isley

Albemarle’s girls swim team went to work Tuesday with a single goal in mind.

“Our goal was to not think and just swim fast,” said Albemarle coach J.J. Bean.

The approach worked as the Patriots held off newcomer Monacan High 395-374 to win the swim portion of the Ben Hair Swim and Dive Meet. The meet’s dive portion is Wednesday at Woodberry Forest.

Western Albemarle rounded out the top three with a third-place finish while Fluvanna County took fourth and Monticello grabbed fifth place.

The Patriots’ leaned on solid finishes rather than event winners, a necessity with their youth and the number of top-of-the-line swimmers in the pool including Louisa’s Alexa Owen, Fluvanna’s Abigail Fuller, Monticello’s Athena Vanyo and Monacan’s Jessie Wallin. In nearly every event, an Albemarle swimmer took the runner-up or third-place spot.

“We had so many boys and girls that stepped up and swam fast,” Bean said. “We qualified our relays for state, that was our biggest goal and that’s what they stood up and did.”

The Patriots qualified all three relays

Avery Huang was the lone individual event winner for the Patriots taking the 100-breaststroke to go with a runner-up finish in the 200 IM. The Patriots also won the 400-free relay, took third in the 200-medley relay and finished as the runner-up in the 200-free relay.


Maddie Wells was the runner-up in the 200-free relay and took fifth in the 100-fly while Claire Moody was the runner-up in the 100-free and third in the 100-back. Rachel Murray took third in both the 50 and 100-free races while Sophia Yu was third in the 100-fly and seventh in the 100-breast. Morgan Breza took fourth in the 200-free and sixth in the 500-free and Audrey Kashatus made those races big point-getters for the Pats with a fourth in the 200 and fifth in the 500. Lindsay Morton finished sixth in the 200 IM while Sophie Haise took seventh in the 50-free.

Individually, Louisa’s Owen won the 200-IM and the 500-free. The Lions’ senior ran away with the 50, winning by nearly nine full seconds. She edged Huang in the IM.


“We’re back into full swing training and I’m happy with how I did,” Owen said. “I was hoping my 500 would be a little bit better and my 200 was about a second off what I wanted it to be but overall I’m happy with how I did.”


Fluvanna’s Fuller had a monster day for the Flucos, swimming the anchor of the 200-medley relay, winning the 50-free and the 100-free and anchoring the 200-free relay to maximize her impact on the meet. Abigayle Harlow also swam well with a runner-up finish in the 100-breast and a sixth in the 100-fly. Maialen Zabaleta was the runner-up in the 500-free and in the 100-backstroke.

Western Albemarle’s girls took third with depth fueling that effort much like it did for Albemarle. The Warriors were fourth in the 400-free relay, fifth in the 200-free relay and sixth in the medley relay. Sophie O’Donnell took fifth in the 200 IM, Kayleigh Jumper took sixth in the 100-back and Kathryn Burr was sixth in the 100-free.


Monticello’s Vanyo was the runner-up in the 100-fly and took fifth in the 100-free. She also swam legs on fourth place finishes in the 200-medley and 200-free relays. The Mustangs also had an individual event winner as Izzy Bradley won the 100-backstroke and took the runner-up slot in the 50-free.

Charlottesville’s Ella Reed took third in the 100-breast and seventh in the 200 IM while Zoe DeGuzman finished fifth in the 200-free.