Call him "Yes"-akowski

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JF's Blake Nowakowski takes swimming gold at States


The team leader earned some individual glory.

Jefferson Forest's Blake Nowakowski, who has been a driver for the Cavs during his four years of swimming, took top honors at last weekend's State swim meet.

During an interview back in December, Nowakowski told us, "I'm really excited (about the season).  I hope to leave some lasting impression."  

Did he ever.

Nowakowski took the gold in the 4A State individual medley event, helping power his team to a sixth place.  The JF ladies also took sixth place at States.

The senior sailfish nearly made it a double-gold tournament for himself, as he nabbed second place in the 100 yard breaststroke.  Nowakowski was the top dog in that race after prelims, and even improved on that time.  But so did Tabb's James Kegelman, who won with an astounding time of 58.61 seconds.

The William & Mary-bound Nowakowski was pretty darn astounding himself in the 200 yard IM.  After swimming a prelim time of 1:58.85, he logged a 1:54.99 in the final, beating the field by over three seconds.

As if that weren't enough, Nowakowski would help boost JF's relay teams to some fine finishes.  The  200 free relay team earned fourth place.  The crew of Keefer Lindaur, Jake Richardson, Devin Creger and Nowakowski cruised home at 1:32.68, a mere 0.11 seconds out of third.

That same quartet of gents earned fifth place in the 200 medley relay to open the meet's finals.  They combined to post a mark of 1:43.93, about a second and a half better than their previous best.

Creger mounted the medalist stand twice as an individual.  He earned second place in the 200 free (1:51.17) before nabbing third in the grueling 500 free.  In that one, the sophomore clocked in at 4:55, a seven-second improvement over his prelim time.  That garnered him third place.  Nicely done!

What that all meant was the Cavs got 124 points, well behind champion Grafton's 295, but well ahead of 10th place E.C. Glass (59 points).

The Lady Cavs' 141 points were way behind winner Jamestown, which romped with 354 points, 145 more than runner-up Grafton.  The Lady Cavs finished behind archrival E.C. Glass, which took fifth place with its 149 points.

Jefferson Forest featured a pair of individual medalists on the ladies' side.  Casey Wrabley turned in JF's top finish.  She churned her way to third place in the 500 yard free.  She swam a 5:23.60, which was less than a second out of second place.

Earlier in the day, Wrabley was fourth in the 200 free, swimming a time of 1:59.39 to earn 15 team points.

Teammate Alyssa Reed medalled in back-to-back events.  First, she sped to a 3:13.73 finish to take fourth in the 200 yard IM.  Then she turned right around and nailed a 1:00.00 in the 100 fly to take fifth place.

Wrabley and Reed would later team up with Danielle Utz and Valerie Breslow to take third in the 200 yard free, touching up at 1:44.96.

In the 400 yard free relay, that group swapped out Utz for Veronica Breslow.  With Wrabley kicking things off, the Breslow twins swimming the middle stages and Reed finishing up, they then went on to garner fourth place at 3:49.48.