(Feb. 22, 2019) The Stephen Decatur swimming program will send nine boys and six girls to the 3A-2A-1A state championships, Saturday, Feb. 23, at Eppley Recreation Center on the University of Maryland College Park campus.
The top-three finishers in each regional event automatically advanced to the state championship. Individual competitors or relay teams that had the next top-12 statewide times during regional meets also qualified for the championship.
Seventeen Decatur swimmers actually qualified for states because of their performances during the 3A-2A-1A East Regional meet at the Arundel Swim Center last Saturday, but two are unable to attend. Thirteen of the 15 swimmers have competed in the state competition before.
Three Seahawks captured regional titles in their individual events last weekend.
Junior captain Richard Poist won the 100-yard butterfly (57.06 seconds). He just edged out Easton’s Anri Cifuentes, who finished the race in 57.09 seconds.
“Richard lost to him in the fly at Baysides and was able to beat him at regionals, so that was great,” Decatur Coach Steve Deakyne said.
Poist came in third place in the 100-yard backstroke (1:01) and will compete in the event at states as well.
Sophomore Caleb Vaxmonsky was victorious in the 500-yard freestyle (4:57.11).
“It’s pretty exciting. I think I did pretty good,” Vaxmonsky said. “I know I can do better though, since I wasn’t fully rested.”
Vaxmonsky came in second place in the 100-yard backstroke (55.46 seconds).
Senior captain Kirsten Graham earned her regional title in the 100-yard butterfly (59.81 seconds).
“It’s pretty exciting considering it’s my senior year,” Graham said. “I knew it was going to be a close race. I kind of went out pretty fast, and went for it and I held on the last lap.”
This will be Graham’s fourth time going to states.
“I’m just really excited, because it’s my last year and I want to make it pretty memorable,” she said. “I’m probably going to have the same strategy – just go out pretty fast, because I have a lot of natural speed and just try to hold on that last lap.”
Graham took second in the 100-yard backstroke (1:01.79).
Decatur swimmers who placed top-three in their individual regional events and have also automatically advanced to states are: senior captains Chase Deickman (50-yard freestyle, second, 23 seconds; 100-yard freestyle, second, 51.81 seconds) and Allison Hunter (500-yard freestyle, second, 5:42.38) and senior Abby Crisanti (200-yard freestyle, third, 2:14.23).
The boys’ 200-yard medley relay team of Vaxmonsky, Poist, Deickman and sophomore Jack Slaysman placed second (1:46.03).
Senior Jack Bahlman and sophomores Patrick O’Halloran, Nick Cardamone and Luke Crisanti finished second in the 200-yard freestyle relay race (1:41.4).
Vaxmonsky, Poist, Slaysman and Deickman took second in the 400-yard freestyle relay race (3:31.48).
Graham, Crisanti, junior Kiley Hamby and freshman Gracie Coker came in third in the 200-yard freestyle relay race (1:53.15).
Swimmers who qualified for states because of their times in individual regional events are: Slaysman (200-yard IM, fourth, 2:17.56; 100-yard breaststroke, fourth, 1:10.15), Hamby (200-yard IM, seventh, 2:37.91), Abby Crisanti (100-yard freestyle, fifth, 1:00.81), Hunter (100-yard breaststroke, fourth, 1:17.02), seniors Wyatt Sperry (500-yard freestyle, fourth, 5:54.34) and Davina Graybill (100-yard backstroke, seventh, 1:09.51), and junior Mikayla Denault (200-yard IM, sixth, 2:35.81; 100-yard breaststroke, seventh, 1:17.77).
The girls’ 200-yard medley relay team of Graybill, Hunter, Graham and Coker finished in fourth place, but their time of 2:02.39 qualified them for states.
Graybill, Denault, Crisanti and freshman Farrah Brown placed fourth in the 400-yard freestyle relay race. Their time of 4:13.38 was good enough to qualify for states.
Easton won the boys’ regional competition, scoring 341 points. Decatur was runner-up with 302 points. Cambridge was third with 244 points.
“The boys did well overall. We did have some really good swims. A majority of the guys got best times,” Deakyne said. “We got second place to Easton for the second time in a row [the other during the Bayside Conference championship], so I knew they were going to be tough competition in advance.”
The girls’ competition was close. Queen Anne’s won with 309 points. Kent Island took second with 307 points, followed by Decatur with 305 points.
The final standings came down to the last event – the 400-yard freestyle relay race. Decatur was tied for first place with Queen Anne’s going into the race.
Queen Anne’s was victorious, followed by Easton, Kent Island and Decatur.
Overall, Decatur Coach Mary Hathaway thought the girls did awesome.
“They’ve had a wonderful season. They won a Bayside title, which is incredible and for it to be that close at regionals is awesome,” she said. “All of our kids were dropping best times. This is where we want them to drop their best times, so hopefully they can do it again this weekend [at states].”
For the girls to be successful, Hathaway said they need to repeat their performances from the regional event.
“They need to put up some more best times. They’ve got some good seeds in individual events, which we really never had before,” Hathaway said. “I’m just proud of them and excited to see what they do this weekend, and I hope being on the big stage they continue to drop time.”
Deakyne also hopes the boys can drop time at states.
“We do have some higher seeds than we’ve had the past few years, so hopefully we can score a little higher at states than we did last year,” he said. “I’m proud of the effort they put in and we’re seeing the results in the pool.”