In 1988, a group of four girls set their Sudley Seahorses’ team record in the age 15-18 200-meter freestyle relay.
Katherine Ripol, Jenny Grizzard, Suzi McManus and Laura Hutchens combined to finish in 1 minute, 56.65 seconds, and their time remained the team’s best for 30 years, becoming Sudley’s longest-standing record across all events.
At least until this weekend. Two of their daughters helped break that record Saturday while also helping the Seahorses win the 2019 Prince William Swim League Blue Division championship.
Whitley Williams and Sydney Craft broke their mothers’ record by combining with Mairead Geiran and Charlotte Pizzillo to finish that 200 free relay in 1:55.78 and place second at Sudley’s pool in Manassas. That gave the Seahorses 53 points in the overall team standings en route to a 4,139.5-3855.5 victory over the Piedmont Tsunamis, while the Braemar Blasters placed third at 3,519.
So Sudley won its 37th divisional title in history, including 33 in the past 39 summers. From 1990-2012, the Seahorses lost only two meets, going undefeated 2000-2012.
“We were dominant,” said Sudley’s 50th-year head coach, Dennis Miller, “but in 2010 there started to be a lot of good teams and a lot of big teams.
“So nobody’s going to dominate anymore,” he said. “But it’s pretty special being my 50th year and winning the championship.”
By beating Peidmont, the Seahorses avenged a pair of recent losses to the Tsunamis. Peidmont defeated Sudley for the 2018 Blue Division championship before beating the Seahorses during the 2019 regular season by five points, 2,648.5-2,643.5.
“With five points, you’re talking about a different swimmer placing seventh instead of eight, and another placing sixth instead of seventh,” Miller said. “There can just be so many little things [that change]. It could be the coach; it could be if I put different kids in different events.”
To wit, Sudley won Saturday by 284 points to end the season with a 6-1 record and keep the Tsunamis (6-1) from finishing undefeated for the second time in their 17-year history. It helped that the Seahorses logged their best times of the season in 59 percent of their swims.
“We swam extremely well,” Miller said. “They were motivated. All the children wanted our senior class to go out with a victory.”
Sudley will lose 14 high school seniors from this championship team.
“They’re one of the best classes I’ve had,” Miller said. “I try not to compare teams, but this class was special.”
With such a storied history, the Seahorses didn’t set any team records during this regular season, but they broke two on Saturday and tied another. In addition to the 15-18 girls 200 free relay record, Craft set the 100 butterfly record by winning in 29.85, while Nathan Luevano tied the 11-12 boys breaststroke record by winning in 36.07.
“It’s very hard to break a record on our board,” Miller said. “There’s been a lot of fast … swimmers here."
Luevano also won the 11-12 boys 100 individual medley in 1:14.84 and 100 free relay with Landon Craft, Troy Utter and Luke Mantooth in 56.99, while Nicolas Chierico, Luevano, Craft and Mantooth won the boys 100 medley relay in 1:02.03. Chierico also won the 50 free (29.97), 50 back (32.60) and fly (32.31).
Steven Butler added victories in the boys 15-18 50 free (24.08), 50 back (27.12) and 50 fly (25.59), while
Mark Linares won the 9-10 boys 50 breast (47.19), 25 butterfly (16.25), 100 medley relay (1:15.66; Shane Hudson, Thomas Tritle, Jake Moats) and 100 freestyle relay (1:03.00; Hudson, Moats, Tritle). Tritle also won the boys 50 freestyle (35.00) while Craft won the 15-18 50 free (28.28) and 100 individual medley (1:08.01).
Jamie Cornwell added wins in the 13-14 girls 50 freestyle (27.84), 200 medley relay (2:09.68; Stella Chierico, Ashlyn Solenberger, Delaney Palenscar) and 200 free relay (1:55.79; Delaney Palenscar, Aurora Zary, Mary Pennefather), while Sloane Phythian won the 8-and-under girls 25 breast (23.37) and 100 free relay (1:21.66) with Regina Pennefather, Natalie O’Connor and Avila Mantooh. Also winning were Jake Moats (10U boys 100 IM, 1:33.47), Clara Condon (11-12 girls 50 breast, 39.41) and Thomas Klump (8U boys 25 fly, 20.41).
For Piedmont, Sedonah Traister had a hand in five victories, winning the 10-and-under girls 100 individual medley (1:26.09), 9-10 50 breaststroke (44.83) and 50 freestyle (33.60). She also won the 9-10 girls 100 medley relay with Alyssa Sagle, Kaylee Dominguez and Samantha King (1:16.01) and the 100 free relay with Samantha King, Kaylee Dominguez and Alyssa Sagle (1:05.70), while Sagle also won the 9-10 girls 50 backstroke (40.03) and 25 fly (16.40).
Charlotte Hannam added victories in the 11-12 girls 50 free Charlotte Hannam (30.90), 100 IM (1:15.68), 50 fly (33.62) and 100 free relay (58.40) with Madison Richardson, Sophie Hayden and Hannah Choi (58.40), while Sophia Malinowski won the 8-and-under girls 25 free (18.50), 25 breast (27.28) and 25 fly (21.81), as well as the mixed 100 medley relay (1:26.62) with Brooks Schires, Jonathan DeVito and Declan Bengston.
Bengston also won the 8-and-under 25 free (17.40) and 100 free relay (1:18.13) with Brooks Schires, Jonathan DeVito and Caden Allen, while Camille Spink won the girls 13-14 100 individual medley (1:04.37), 50 fly (28.94) and 50 back (29.94). Eric Liao won the 15-18 boys 100 individual medley (59.68), 200 free relay (1:38.25) with Henry Radzikowski, Luke DeVore and Sebastian Borden, and 200 medley relay (1:48.44) with Borden, DeVore and Radzikowski.
Also winning for the Tsunamis were DeVore (15-18 boys 50 breast, 30.65), Emma Hannam (13-14 girls 50 breast, 34.88), Jonathan DeVito (8U boys 25 breast, 24.66), Brooks Schires (8U boys 25 breast, 21.19), Madison Richardson (11-12 girls 50 back, 36.15) and Gannon Maxwell (9-10 boys 50 backstroke, 41.78).
For Braemar, Jordan Evans won the 13-14 boys 100 individual medley (1:04.03), 100 breast (31.15), 50 fly (29.13), 200 free relay (1:47.93; Logan Grant, Dominic McCombs, Alexander Martins) and 200 medley relay (2:00.53; Matthew Santee, Grant, Martins). Megan Mastropaolo added wins in the 15-18 girls back (32.09), 200 medley relay (2:08.75; Emily Haugen, Kathleen Wark, Samantha Kissi) and 200 free relay (Haugen, Olivia Santee and Kissi).
Also winning for the Blasters were Haugen (15-18 girls 50 breast, 36.15), Logan Grant (13-14 boys 50 back, 31.19), Alexander Martins (13-14 boys 50 free, 26.93) and the 11-12 100 medley relay team of Christina Korkos, Sienna Cooke, Emily Cole and Payton Jones (1:07.03).