The kind of positive momentum they needed to win the meet came in the very first race for the Potomac School Panthers.
Behind a speedy come-from-behind anchor leg by Hudson LaForce, the boys high-school team won the 200 medley relay in 1:40.6, barely ahead of the runner-up Flint Hill Huskies foursome (1:40.64). From there, the excitement of that first race carried Potomac School to the championship in the recent Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference boys swimming and diving meet.
The Panthers won with 543 points to claim the title for the first time in school history. Defending champion Flint Hill was second with 497.
“That first medley race got everyone so super-excited and really motivated us for the rest of the meet,” first-year Potomac School coach Hannah Ferrin said. “That was what we needed. Hudson was so amazing on his final leg.”
Flint Hill won more events in the meet than Potomac School, but the Panthers had more depth. Ferrin said that was the difference.
“It’s a team sport, and that’s what you have to do to win meets,” Ferrin said. “They worked so hard to win this. It was pretty awesome.”
Potomac School’s three-event wins came in that first race, the 200 freestyle relay (1:33.55) and a lone individual win by LaForce in the 50 freestyle (22.74). He also finished third in the 100 free and anchored the winning 200 free relay. The 400 free relay placed second.
Also for the Panthers, Will Waters placed second in the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke; Arav Bhargava was second in the 50 free and third in the fly; Brock Schedle was second in the 100 free and fourth in the breast; Rajan Bhargava was third in the 50 free and fly and seventh in the breast; Sasha Minski was fourth in the 500 free and back; Greg Zubler was fifth in the fly and back; Ale Wick was fifth in the 200 and 500 free races; Clay Turner finished fourth in the 200 free and fifth in the 100 free; Kayden LaForce placed sixth in the 200 free; and in the 200 individual medley Erim Oscan was eighth and Alex Christ ninth.
Entering the meet, Ferrin didn’t know if Potomac School would win, thinking second place would be more likely.
“It all came together,” he said.
Flint Hill had five individual winners. Jeffrey George won the 100 (48.4) and 200 (1:46.54) free races; Simon Bermudez Santa Maria was first in the breast (59.62) and IM (1:54.81); and Spencer Bloom was the diving champion.
Flint Hill’s Jack Peterson was second in the 500 free and third in the back; Michael O’Connor was third in the 500 free and fifth in the IM; Will Bouharoun was fifth in the 50 free and sixth in the 100 free; Daniel Kalan (500 free) and Leonardo Sislen (IM) were sixth; Sam Kelly placed seventh in the IM; Evan Dempsey was seventh in the back and eighth in the 200 free; and Ryan Griggs was second in diving and Sam Mitchell third.
Flint Hill’s medley relay was second and the 200 free placed fourth.