by David Wagner
The Crozet Gators’ Swim Team finished second again to Fairview Swim Club at the Jefferson Swim League Championship meet held July 24-25 at U.Va.’s Aquatics Center. Fairview finished the meet with 2,412.75 points, while Crozet amassed 2,163.25 points in a field of 17 area swim teams. Top tier teams Boar’s Head, Fry Springs, ACAC and Forest Lakes rounded out the top six.
In the 8-and-under boys’ division Crozet made a strong showing. Thomas Heilman broke the record in the 50 yard Freestyle by nearly a second, winning with a time of 31.25, and tied the 25 yard Butterfly record with a time of 14.86 for first place. Heilman also finished first in the 25 yard Freestyle with a time of 13.81, just 7 hundredths of a second off of a 36-year-old record. Heilman was also a member of the second place 100 yard Medley Relay team. For the meet, Heilman had three individual first place finishes, a second place relay team finish and scored a total of 85 points for the Gators. Colby Grimes finished second to Heilman in the 50 Free, was fourth in the 25 Breaststroke, and was a member of the 100 Medley Relay team. Grimes added 78.5 points for the Gators. Davis Kauffman scored points in all three of his individual events and was also a member of the 100 Medley Relay team (28 points). Finnegan Driscoll also had a fine JSL Champs showing. Driscoll finished 10th overall in the 25 Free and 25 Backstroke. Braden Fuller (100 Medley Relay team) also finished strong with a 16th place in the 25 Backstroke.
The 8-and-under girls’ 100-yard Medley Relay team of Bree Palmer, Sophia Garono, Ella Wagner and Willa Simmons finished second overall. Palmer finished third in 25 Free, second in 25 Back and sixth in the 50 Free, scoring in all three of her individual events (53.5 points). Garono took fourth place in the 25 Butterfly, ninth place in 25 Free and 12th in the 25 Breaststroke, also scoring in all three of her individual events (46 points). Simmons and Wagner scored points individually to go along with their 100 Medley Relay finish.
The 9/10 boys’ were the highlight of JSL Champs by far for the Gators. Henry Addison, Jack Burr, Jonathan Alexander and Anthony Garono won the 200 Medley relay in a time of 2:23.4 finishing 13.77 seconds ahead of second place. In the 200 Free Relay, Graham DeVito, Franklin He, Gavin Harris and Anthony Garono posted a time of 2:10.63 for the win. Individually, Henry Addison was first in the 50 Backstroke with a time of 35.79, third in the 100 IM and in the 50 Free. To go along with his two first place relay finishes, Garono took second place in the 50 Free and second place in the 100 Free. DeVito added a third place finish in the 50 Backstroke, and third place in the 100 Free.
Jack Burr swam a 39.21 for second place in the 50 Breaststroke and was fourth in the 100 IM. Alexander scored 18 points with a second place in the 50 Butterfly. Gavin Harris finished fourth in the 50 Free, fifth in the 50 Back and sixth in the 100 Free. Franklin He of the first place 200 Free relay also finished sixth overall in the 50 Backstroke. Other solid performances came from Ian Ratcliffe, Soren Corbett, Sean Lanahan and Nicholas Haslam.
In the 9/10 girls, the first place 200 Medley Relay team of Julie Addison, Megan Life, Kayleigh Long and Noa Steven led the way. Addison scored points in all three of her individual events with a second place in the 50 Free and the 50 Backstroke and a third place in the 100 Free. Megan Life posted a sixth place in the 100 IM and scored in all three of her individual events.
The 11/12 boys put together a solid performance. The 200 Medley Relay team of Alexander He, Matthew Heilman, Michael Holzwarth and Gibbs Gresge finished fifth, and the 200 Free Relay team of Jackson Douvas, Nicolas Karp, Liam Harris and Lucas Farmer finished seventh. Heilman and Holzwarth led the way for the 11/12 boys. Heilman took third in the 50 Breast and Holzwarth was tenth in the 50 Fly.
The 11/12 girls were not to be outshined by the boys’ side. They swam to a second place finish in the 200 Medley Relay (Sydney Dutton, Sophie O’Donnell, Maya Chatterson and Kathryn Burr) and a fifth place in the 200 Free Relay (Sydney Dutton, Libby Addison, Ashna Nitzsche and Jenny Little. Dutton, O’Donnell, Chatterson and Burr dominated this group with top five finishes all session long. Burr was first in the 50 Free, second in the 100 Free and third in the 50 Butterfly. Sophie O’Donnell took third in the 50 Back, and fourth in the 100 IM. Chatterson added a third in the 100 Free, fourth in the 50 Fly and fifth in the 100 IM.
The 13/14 boys did not disappoint either. They took second place in the 200 Medley Relay in a time of 2:00.43, scoring 28 points behind the strong swimming of Evan Sposato, Ricky Weikle, Jason Heilman and Zach Bowen. Bowen was also a member of the 200 Free Relay team (Bowen, Danny Hodge, Stephane Karp and Andrew Holzwarth) that finished fourth overall. Heilman was, “the man” in this group. Adding to his second place finish with the 200 Medley Relay team Jason was second in the 50 Free, second in the 50 Fly and third in the 100 Free. Andrew Holzwarth backed that up with fifth in the 100 IM (16.5 points), and fifth in the 50 Backstroke. Overall, this is an extremely talented, deep and versatile group of young men.
The Gators benefited from the effort put forth by the 13/14 girls as well. Abby Cole, Colleen Farabaugh, Teryn Ratcliffe and Meredith Martin combined for a second place finish in the 200 Medley Relay. Farabaugh and Martin led the charge. Farabaugh finished second in the 50 Breaststroke and second in the 100 Free. Cole also scored in all three of her individual events.
The 15-18 boys are by far the smallest group of the Gators’ swim team but made a worthy contribution nonetheless. The scoring at JSL Champs is weighted to help level the playing field for the smaller teams. Only the top two finishers from each team can score points in any one event. Therefore, a group such as the Crozet 15-18 boys still has a chance to help their team. A lot of credit goes to Ryan Boyce, Sebastian Crescimano, Marcus and Alexander Respeto, Jared Carter and Riley Tedford. It’s not easy going out to compete on a big stage like the JSL’s when you know you’re not going to be competing for top ten finishes and lots of fanfare, but these young men persevered. Marcus Respeto, Carter, Tedford and Crescimano took tenth place in the 200 Free relay, scoring 24 points for the Gators in what would be the best finish for this age group in any event. Boyce led the scoring for the senior boys’ and Crescimano scored in all three of his individual events also. When all was said and done the group scored 111.5 crucial points. Third place Boar’s Head Swim Club was a mere 70 points behind the Gators at the final tally. Every swimmer, every point, and every race matters. Keep showing up guys, you do make a difference!
The 15-18 girls made their contribution in stoic fashion, scoring a significant number of points as they helped the Gators secure the runner-up position at Champs again. Savannah Scarbrough burned the brightest in this group. She finished tenth in the 100 Free and was also a member of the eighth place 200 Medley Relay team of Scarbrough, Jesse Dugan, Emily Farabaugh and Averi Witt that scored 25 points. Witt was also a member of the fourth place 200 Free Relay that scored 27 points. Joining Witt on the relay were Catherine Adams, Rylee Franklin and Anjali Nitzsche. These young ladies combined for almost 200 points.
The story wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the 6-and-under boys and girls, even though they aren’t scored. These youngsters show up for practice, brave the early season cold water and put in the time just like everybody else. In the mixed 6-and-under 100 Free Relay, Sarina He, Charlie Alexander, Forrest Schnell and Miller Grimes put forth a valiant effort and finished fourth. Alexander was ninth of 91 swimmers in the boys’ 25 Free.
For the 6-and-under girls, Miller Grimes had an amazing 25 Free race, finishing second out of 98 with a time of 18.63 seconds. Grimes finished fifth in the 25 Backstroke. Sarina He nabbed fifth place honors in the 25 Free.
A big round of applause goes out to all the swimmers, coaches, volunteers and parents who make this all happen. The Jefferson Swim League only survives because of their tireless efforts. JSL swimming is fun, competitive, positive and a great community event all over Central Virginia. Congratulations to the Crozet Gators on another fine season!