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Jefferson Forest showed that it has little regard for its fellow Bedfordians. At least when it comes to activities involving water.
It’s hard to describe how strong JF was in winning the county high school swim championship.
Dominant? No, too weak a term. Devastating? That’s a bit mean-spirited.
Overwhelming? Yes, that’s the proper term for how JF performed last Thursday night at the Bedford Area YMCA.
While Staunton River and Liberty had a few notable performances, they did little to stem the onslaught of the mighty Cav machine.
Cavs 73, Staunton River 15, Liberty 5.
If you think that looks rough, get a load of this:
Lady Cavs 78, Liberty 8, Staunton River 8.
Can you say “States?”
There are 22 events in a standard meet.
In this meet, which will not go down in history as “The County Classic,” Jefferson Forest swimmers took first AND second place in 18 of those 22 events.
In one event, the 100 breaststroke, JF took the top four spots.
Forest took the top two spots in all six relay races.
In short, this was a showcase for the excellence that is the Jefferson Forest swim program.
Leading the way were some multiple winners.
Carter Watson swam back-to-back men’s events, winning both. Watson nailed wins in the 100 yard butterfly (55.80 seconds) and the 100 yard free (49.26).
A state gold medalist last year, we suspect Watson can win just about any race he decides to enter.
As can his female counterpart. Susanna White took top honors in the 200 free (1:56) and the 100 fly (58.88).
Her times would have placed her in third, had she swum those events with the guys.
Another double winner for JF was Ainsley Reed.
This rising star took top honors in the 50 yard free in 25.87 seconds, nearly three seconds ahead of the field.
She also smoked the field in the 100 free, knifing the water in 57.49 seconds, more than seven seconds ahead of the next finisher (teammate Lauren Romanzak).
Caleb Williams had a nice meet for himself, taking wins in the 200 free (1:49) and the 100 yard backstroke (55.02).
Both wins came with victory margins greater than five seconds. Yikes!
“I can count on him to swim just about anything well,” said JF Head Coach Jonathan Templeton, of Williams. “He is one of the few ‘renaissance swimmers’ around. What’s good is I can count on him next year, too.”
Other winners from JF included Becky Blue (200 IM, 2:55), Tyler Pociluyko (500 free, 5:38) and Mary Deis (500 free, 6:36).
And who were the county swimmers who had the audacity to avoid a 22-win sweep by Forest?
On the guys side, it was the Dehli brothers, of Staunton River.
Zach Dehli earned a first place in the 200 individual medley, cruising home at 2:13.62.
In what may have been the most exciting race of the evening, Dehli edged a swimmer from, of all places, Liberty.
Yep. Travis Beverley turned in the best Minuteman effort of the meet, finishing a mere 0.11 seconds behind Dehli.
Zach’s big brother, Jordan, got the other River win. That came in the 50 free, where his time of 22.97 seconds was 0.65 ticks better than JF’s Chad Nowakowski.
On the ladies side, it was Liberty’s Taylor Watts who prevented the JF sweep.
Watts won the 100 yard backstroke, edging JF’s Megan Enneking in a photo finish. Watts prevailed when her time of 1:11.80 was 0.11 seconds better than Enneking’s time.
Watts also took second in the 50 yard free, behind Reed.
But clearly, this is JF’s year to shine (again).
“This is the best lineup in the history of JF swimming,” assessed Cav Head Coach Jonathan Templeton. “Look for a State championship this season.”
Templeton attributed his team’s success to year-round training. “Kids that swim year-round for a quality USS team like the Lynchburg Y obviously have an advantage over swimmers who just compete during the summer and high school seasons.”
See you in Charlottesville.