(Dec. 24, 2021) The Stephen Decatur boys’ and girls’ swim teams won their final meet before the holiday break, competing against both Pocomoke and Kent Island at the Pocomoke YMCA on Dec. 16.

“I thought they did great. Some times were better, so people are definitely improving, which is what we’re looking for. I’m proud of how everyone did,” said Decatur Coach Steve Deakyne. “Kent Island [competition] ended up being close for both the boys and the girls. It was exciting coming down to the end. The girls were tied going into the last relay, the 400 freestyle … and the boys were up by four going into the last event.”

The Decatur boys’ team earned a 46-39 victory over the Kent Island Buccaneers and topped the Pocomoke Warriors, 53-6.

Decatur swimmers who came in first place in their events were: sophomore captain Daniel Karchewski (200-yard freestyle, 2:01.38; 100-yard breaststroke, 1:07.60), sophomore, Mason Castanares (100-yard butterfly, 1:03.06), junior captain Gavin Stearn (200IM, 2:07.35; 100-yard freestyle, 51.21 seconds), and senior Luke Bahlman (100-yard backstroke, 1:13.78).

Karchewski, Stearn, Bahlman and Castanares outswam their competition in the 200-yard medley relay race (1:48.78). The foursome also won the 200-yard freestyle relay race (1:39.19).

With a slight lead, Decatur needed to place either first or second in the final race, the 400-yard freestyle relay. The group of Castanares, Bahlman, sophomore Chase Ponton and senior captain Alec McCabe came in first with a time of 4:29.44.

Kent Island’s top foursome finished the race in 4:34.

Decatur’s girls’ team outscored Kent Island, 50.5-42.5, and Pocomoke, 75-8.

Lady Seahawks who won their events were: sophomore Trista Harner (50-yard freestyle, 26.09 seconds; 100-yard breaststroke, 1:17.16 (tie)), junior captain Natalie Canham (100-yard freestyle, 59.78 seconds; 100-yard backstroke, 1:08.16) and senior captain Sierra Wakefield (100-yard butterfly, 1:08.05).

Canham, Wakefield, Harner and junior Kayden Hamby took first in the 200-yard freestyle relay race (1:50.72).

The score was tied, 41.5-41.5, with the 400-yard freestyle relay race remaining. Decatur not only earned first place, but second place as well, scoring nine points. Kent Island’s teams came in third and fourth, earning one point.

The team of Canham, Wakefield, Harner and Hamby won the race in 4:09. Coming in second was the Decatur foursome - junior Katelyn Pizlo, freshman Molly Hoffman and sophomores Ashleigh Noonan and Hannah Allam (4:34.36).

Decatur’s next meet is after the holiday vacation, Jan. 6 against the Cambridge Vikings at 3 p.m. at the Cambridge YMCA.

“We’ve definitely seen improvement. Hopefully we can stay in shape over the long break and get right back into it after,” Deakyne said.

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