The end result was the same, but achieving another league swimming championship was a little harder this summer for Washington Golf & Country Club Lightning.
Washington Golf of Arlington recently won its seventh straight A Division title of the Country Club Swimming & Diving Association. The Lightning had a 3-0 dual-meet record, then won the season-ending Division A meet in their home pool with a 354.5 point total and coming from behind. The Lightning were in third place halfway through the meet. Kenwood Country Club was second (313.5) and Army Navy Country Club, also of Arlington, finished third (299).
One of the Lightning’s dual-meet wins was over Army Navy by just eight points in a see-saw match.
During those seven seasons, Washington Golf has not lost a dual meet.
In past seasons, Washington Golf, which draws swimmers from McLean and other local neighborhoods in addition to Arlington, has won its dual meets and the season-ending championship meet by wide margins.
“We had to really work hard to win those meets this summer,” Washington Golf coach Carter Cline said. “Army Navy is always our big rival, and they were very strong this year. We were able to pull out that dual meet. That was a tough meet.”
Cline said much depth of having 252 swimmers (most in team history) helped the Lightning’s fortunes.
The Lightning’s dual-meet wins were over Manor, 430-56, Congressional, 340-136, and Army Navy, 247-239. In addition, Washington Golf won the A Division relay championships with 258 points. Army Navy was second with 228 points.
Leading Washington Golf individually at the A Division championships were triple-race winners Madeleine Steves and William Lepre.
Single winners were Mack Repke, Mikey Maloney, Phinn Bon Salle, Maren Schwarz and Sydney Cate Thornett.
The winning junior girls medley relay consisted of Steves, Schwarz, Arya Bhargava and Blake Luongo. The team narrowly missed the league record by .08 seconds.
The first-place boys mixed age relay was made up of Pepre, Repke, Charlie Hartman, Michael Steves and Lucas Zidlicky.
“It’s always nice to win the championship in your own pool. You don’t want anyone else celebrating in your pool,” Cline said. “We had so many swimmers contribute all season.”
High-point scorers for Washington Golf were Schwarz, Lepre, Bhargava, Hartman, Luongo, Michael Steves, Madeleine Steves, Oliver Gooch, Jack Carman and Josie Gieseman, whose older sister Evie is an assistant coach.
Team record-setters during the season were Carman (18-under boys breaststroke, 29.42), Lepre (12-under boys butterfly, 30.21, and 12-under boys freestyle, 27.90) and Madeleine Steves (12-under girls breaststroke, 36.41).
Triple races winners for Army Navy at the A Division championships were Ainsley Lehman and Frederick Papadopoulos. Bruno Bruyere was a double winner.
Single winners were Quinn Hardimon, Amelia Maclvor, Scarlett Gray, Jack Sutherland and Evelyn Meggesto.
McKinley Busen was second in two races. Also second were Maclvor, Meggesto, Gray and Bruyere. Gray also finished third in another race and Dominic Bruyere had a second, a third and a fourth.