Around this time of year, Western Albemarle’s girls and boys swim teams usually start figuring out how to peak, how to maximize performance and take things to another level heading into the state championships.
If the Region 3C meet is any indication, the Warriors are in the process of doing it again.
The Warriors’ girls won the Region 3C championship while the boys’ squad, on a day where Western looked to up its state qualifier numbers, managed to take second place behind region champion Brookville.
“It was a great team performance, but we can get even better,” said Western coach Dan Bledsoe.
The Warriors led a group of strong local performances, with Monticello’s girls squad taking the runner-up slot behind the Warriors while Fluvanna finished third. On the boys side, Fluvanna took third behind Western while Monticello finished fifth.
The Western girls snagged a trio of event wins, with Kathryn Burr winning the 200 IM, Carey D’Atre winning the dive and the 400 freestyle relay team winning the meet’s final race. The Warriors also took third in 200 free relay and fourth in the 200 medley relay while Sophie O’Donnell took third in the 500 free, Noa Steven and Sydney Dutton went 3-4 in the 100 backstroke and Lilly Fitzpatrick took second in the 100 breaststroke.
“The girls had solid swims from every class,” Bledsoe said. “One big swim led into another big swim. It was so fun to watch as a coach.”
Monticello had a sterling performance to earn the runner-up slot, with Athena Vanyo winning the 100-fly, Izzy Bradley winning the 100 backstroke and two huge victories in the 200 medley and 200 free relays. Bradley was also the runner-up behind Vanyo in the 100-fly while Eloise Weary took third in the 200 free and the Mustangs took second in the 400 free relay.
Fluvanna County’s Abigayle Harlow doubled up with wins in the 50-free and the 100-breast while Abigail Fuller took second in the 100 free. THe Flucos finished second in the 200 medley and 200 free relays while snagging fifth in the 400 free relay. Thea Thompson took third in the 200 IM and Lauren Davis took third in the dive for Fluvanna.
On the boys side, Western went heavy on underclassmen to set the stage for a run at a state title and nearly pulled off the region title too. Even with a disqualification in the 200 medley relay due to a clerical error, the Warriors finished just six points behind Brookville.
“We put an emphasis on letting our underclassmen show off what they can do and they didn’t disappoint,” Bledsoe said. “I was really proud of the leadership out of our upperclassmen.”
Noah Hargrove’s victory in the 100 free, William Peritz’ triumph in the dive, Sam Johnson’s win in the 100 backstroke and a relay title in the 400 free relay made up the bulk of the Warriors’ top end scoring. Peyton Wray’s second place in the 100 free and a runner-up finish in the 200 free relay were also huge. Noah Johnson took third in the 200 free early on while Trevor Donalson took fourth in the dive. The Warriors also stacked points in the 500 free when Henry Addison took fourth, Graham Devito fifth and Franklin He snagged sixth for a deep, fruitful performance in the meet’s marathon event.
Fluvanna County’s third place finish picked up a ton of points when Hunter Strickland won the 200 IM and took second in the 100-fly. Owen Strickland posted a fourth in the 50 free and a fifth in the 100 free. The Flucos also got a huge jolt from winning the 200 free relay and Ahmad Woodson winning the 200 free. Jackson Schundler took fourth in the 200 IM, Augustus Jones was fourth in the 100-fly and the 100-breast, with Woodson snagging fifth in the 100-breast. Jason Dech Took second in the dive for Fluvanna.
Monticello got a third place from Jack Culbreath and the Mustangs took fourth in the 200 medley relay.
A ton of swimmers from Western, Monticello and Fluvanna will advance to the state championships in Richmond starting February 20.