On Saturday, the JP varsity swimmers traveled down to Woodberry Forest School for a “Relay Carnival.” The meet included several events that are not usual for High School swim contests, such as the obscure 400 Individual Medley Relay as well as a 300 Breaststroke Relay.
Adding to the excitement of the meet was the slate of 25-yard events. 25 yards is one length of the pool, and is generally not a race length for swimmers above the age of ten. However, at this meet, high schoolers participated in the 25 Butterfly, Freestyle, and Backstroke.
The girls’ relay team composed of Julia Ranieri, Corrie Michell, Nikki Skaines, and Michelle Planchak won the 100 Freestyle Relay, and placed third in both the 200 Medley and 200 Freelay. JP’s B-team composed of Aiden Gelbach, Jasmine Frank, Isa Lanthaler, and Emily Collins took second place in the 100 Freelay, giving the Wolves the one-two sweep. And in the 200 IM relay, the girls came in third again (Raineri, Skaines, Planchak, and Collins).
Individually, the ladies succeeded as well. Ranieri, Michell, and Skaines took 6th-8th place respectively in the 25-yard Butterfly. And in the 25 Freestlyle, the same girls took 5th, 6th, and 8th place in identical order. Both events included over 60 swimmers. Michelle Planchak posted top-12 finishes in both events as well.
“This season is going to be really exciting,” Planchak, a senior, said after the team’s success on Saturday.
Victories came on the guys’ side too. The team composed of Steve Miller, André Michell, Ryan Donohoe, and Patrick Gelbach won the 100 Freelay and finished second in the 200 Freelay. Donohoe and Miller also participated in the 300 Breastroke Relay alongside Max Gelbach and Joe Samson. The team dominated, winning that event by nearly 12 seconds.
However, the biggest excitement for the guys came in the individual events. In the last heat of the Boys’ 25-free, André Michell and Steve Miller swam as the only non-Woodberry boys in the fastest race of the day. After a dive and just a few seconds of white water, André emerged victorious with a time of 10.88 seconds! Steve placed fifth at 11.05 seconds. If you do the math, FIVE swimmers finished in a span of 0.17 seconds!
“I feel like I’m a little kid again!” André exclaimed as he saw his name listed under “25-yard Freestyle.” Michell’s victory was the only individual win for JP on the day.
Michell and Miller finished 5th and 7th respectively in the 25 Fly, another close event in which the top 10 swimmers were within 0.99 seconds of each other.
Great job everybody!
The Wolves swimmers will be in action again this Saturday afternoon at Central Park Aquatic Center in Manassas at 1 pm. Come out and support the team as they compete close to home.