Swimming off to a strong start with win over WJ

With the upcoming MCPS Division 1 Relay Carnival Jan. 8, the Swim and Dive team hopes to duplicate its early season success against Northwest and Walter Johnson.

The Bulldogs will lean on their skilled underclassman and strong-hearted and talented captains to lead them to repeat wins in counties and regionals.

“I think that, as a team, we are a top contender for the county championship,” junior captain Timmy Faerber said. “We will have our speed bumps to overcome due to the graduation of several great swimmers and divers last year, but our strong freshman class is definitely going to help.”

Despite the absence of some of its top swimmers, the Bulldogs won their first meet of the season against Walter Johnson Dec. 11. Senior captain Emily Hall and sophomore Michelle Illig placed first in their events to lead the Bulldogs to a win for both the boys and girls. The boys earned a 102- 69 win and the girls won 93-78.

“The team really stepped up to the plate against WJ with everyone working together,” Faerber said. “Several swimmers had personal bests, really displaying our great depth.”

Both the boys and girls annihilated Northwest Dec 4., as they won all 22 events including  stellar performances by freshman Kevin Gu in the 100-meter butterfly event. The girls won 117-24, while the boys also destroyed 122-19.

“The freshman did real well,” head coach Rodney Van Tassell said. “Quite a few new swimmers scared the veterans and it created some healthy competition.”

With its great depth, the Bulldogs went into their meet against rival Wootton, Dec.18, with the hope to revenge against the upset in counties last season.

“A win would really put us in the driver’s seat,” Van Tassell said.