By David Wagner
The Crozet Gators Swim Team went into their final regular season meet July 15 with one thing on their minds: Win! Needing a victory over ACAC to finish second in the top division of the Jefferson Swim League for the sixth straight year, the Gators seemed focused and determined. After finishing third at last year’s JSL Championship meet (following four straight second-place finishes) the Gators were looking to make a statement, and they did.
After the freestyle races the Gators had the lead, but there wasn’t much wiggle room. As the meet progressed, Crozet swimmers slowly started to impose their will and increase the lead. By the time the backstroke was complete (following butterfly and freestyle), the Gator lead had ballooned to nearly 100 points. This left only the freestyle relays, and Crozet dominated, winning six of the eight races. The 9-10 boys (Wyatte Copeland, Trevor Phelps, Nick Keen, Christopher Carmagnola), the 9-10 girls (Selena Feng, Emily Farabaugh, Elizabeth House, Sarah Lescault), the 11-12 boys (Andrew Peritz, Ryan Boyce, Jack Luecke, Marcus Respeto), the 13-14 boys (Philip Ewing, Spencer Elliot, Kevin Burns, Shimiao Wang), the 13-14 girls (Lexi Campbell, Natalie Cronk, Anna Corley, Elsa Strickland), and the 15-18 girls (Brittney Wagner, Katie Roddy, Mattie Webb, Tasha Congdon) all won their relays. When the pool had settled, the Gators came out on top with a 578-455 win and another second-place finish in the top division.
Organized into three divisions, the JSL consists of 16 teams from four counties (Albemarle, Greene, Orange and Fluvanna) and the City of Charlottesville. The top division, the five highest-scoring teams in the league, this year included Fairview Swim Club, the Crozet Gators, Fluvanna Aquatic Sports Team, the Farmington Swim Club and and the Boars Head Swim Club. All teams and swimmers are eligible for the JSL Championship meet, held annually at the U.Va. Aquatics and Fitness Center. About 2,000 swimmers, and countless volunteers and families, descend on the pool the last full weekend of July every summer. It is a well-organized and super event.
The Gators made an excellent showing again this year (1,756 points), re-capturing their runner-up spot to the perennial champs, Fairview Swim Team (1,904.50 points). Congratulations to Colleen Farabaugh (5-8 yrs.), Carly Witt (11-12), and Natalie Cronk (13-14) who were all high-point winners for their respective age groups. These girls scored more points for their team than any other swimmer in their age group. Unbelievable! Way to go Gators and we’ll see you in the pool again next summer.