(Feb. 14, 2020) Seventeen Stephen Decatur swimmers – nine boys and eight girls – will compete in the 3A-2A-1A East Regional meet at the Arundel Swim Center, Saturday at 3 p.m.

Eight of the Seahawks have participated in the regional meet before.

Decatur’s boys’ team came in second place last year and the girls’ squad finished in third.

Decatur boys who will compete in the regional meet are senior captain Richard Poist, juniors Caleb Vaxmonsky, Jack Slaysman, Adison Hommel, Jonathan Franklin, Patrick O’Halloran, Gideon Plamondon and Nick Cardamone, and freshman Gavin Stearn.

“I think they look good,” said Decatur Coach Steve Deakyne. “They’re coming off a strong performance at Baysides.

The Decatur boys’ team came in second place at the Bayside Conference championship meet on Feb. 1. Seven of the 10 schools competing in the regional meet also participated in the Bayside championship.

“We should be in the top two,” Deakyne said. “Generally, the top teams in the Bayside are the top teams in the region.”

Poist and Vaxmonsky won regional titles last year in the 100-yard butterfly and 500-yard freestyle, respectively.

“We need to continue what we’ve been doing in practice and drop more time,” Deakyne said. “I’m looking forward to Saturday. I think we have a really good shot to do well.”

The Lady Seahawks finished in third at the Bayside meet, and Coach Kristina Watts hopes the girls will place in one of the top spots at regionals.

“With only three different teams, it’s almost Bayside round two,” she said.

Watts said she used the Bayside meet results to make her lineup for regionals.

“I changed a handful of events to hopefully get them to place better and have the best chance to go to states,” she said.

Decatur girls who will participate in the regional event are senior captains Kylie Hamby and Mikayla Denault, sophomores Gracie Coker and Emma Sperry, and freshmen Natalie Canham, Emma Coyman, Kayden Hamby and Katelyn Pizlo.

“The girls have been working hard. They’re listening and putting in the effort we need on their part,” Watts said. “This week is crunch time. They’re focusing on all the little things.”

To be successful, Watts said when the Seahawks arrive at the regional meet they need to “turn on their racing mindset.”

“As long as they’re ready to race and to do whatever they can to beat the girl next to them, then they’ll do well,” she said. “And, they need to be positive.”

The top three finishers in each regional event will advance to the 3A-2A-1A state championships, Saturday, Feb. 22, at Eppley Recreation Center on the University of Maryland College Park campus. In regional meets, individual competitors or relay teams that have the next top-12 statewide times will also qualify for states.

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