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The Region III meet in the can, local poolsters now turn their sights toward Charlottesville.
That's where the State swim tournament will take place this weekend. Bedford will be well represented at that one.
While our best hope of a regional team title fell a bit short, there were plenty of good things happening on the individual front.
Jefferson Forest's boys had the best shot at a team title, but there was just too many good Knights from Turner Ashby cranking out performances.
Jefferson Forest Head Coach Jonathan Templeton boiled it down for us, saying, "All it comes down to is that we swam fast, but the Turner Ashby boys swam faster"
Boys top 10
1. Turner Ashby 110
2. Jefferson Forest 80
3. E.C. Glass 76
4. Brookville 72
5. Spotswood 64
6. Waynesboro 54
7. Staunton River 33
8. Liberty 17
9. Lord Botetourt 12
10.William Byrd 11
Girls top 10
1. Spotswood 140.5
2. William Byrd 96
3. Brookville 86
4. Jefferson Forest 52
5. EC Glass 47.5
6. Harrisonburg 40
7. Broadway 21
8. Turner Ashby 19
9. Waynesboro 16
10. Lord Botetourt 12
(Neither the Liberty nor the Staunton River girls teams scored points).
Three area swimmers took top prizes, including Jefferson Forest's Caleb Williams, who was named the Region III Swimmer of the Year. JF's Blake Nowakowski and Staunton River's Zachary Dehli also took top prizes.
Williams had the trophy-maker etching the senior's name on the Swimmer of the Year plaque after he blazed a 2:00.35 in the 200 yard individual medley, to win by a second and a half.
Then he edged Brookville's Logan White in the 500 yard freestyle. Williams swam it in 4:49.70, giving himself scant breathing room, as White clocked a time of 4:50.09.
Nowakowski seems poised to become the marquee member of the Cavs, once Williams grabs his diploma this spring.
The sophomore pounded out a win in the 100 yard freestyle, clocking in at 48.81. That time was a mere one second off the meet record and was good enough to beat runnerup Jordan Dehli of Staunton River (50.15).
Jordan also picked up silver behind little brother Zak, who was the top dog in the 50 yard freestyle. That race came down to which brother had the longer fingernails that day. Zak clocked in at 22.57 seconds, while Jordan touched at 22.58.
" I am very happy considering we only had four boys actually compete," said Staunton River Head Coach Rachael Leigh. River's other participants were Dagan Willis and Connor Leslie.
There were some other notable performances on the guys' side of the house.
Liberty's SJ Boone nabbed a fifth in the 200 free (2:03.09)
Minuteman Travis Beverley earned a fourth place in the 100 back (59.68) and a sixth place in the 100 fly (59.04).
Liberty's Brice Beverley took sixth in the 500 free (5:20.75)
JF's Nowakowski took third in the 100 yard breast stroke, with a time of 1:03.68. He also teamed up with Williams, Taylor Morris and Stuart Blakely to crank out a time of 1:22.45 in the 200 medley relay, good enough for second place.
Speaking of relays, the JF 400 yard freestyle relay took fourth, timing out at 3:42.68. That team consisted of Blakely, Carlen Gordon, Connor Edelman and Tyler Pociluyko.
While no county girl took a first place, a couple of lasses from JF came close.
Ainsley Reed knocked out a time of 25.72 in the 50 free. She lost out to Katherine Adkins (Spotswood) by the whopping total of 0.02 seconds. Ah, not to worry, the junior will get another shot to pick up the win next year. Wait a second, she gets a shot at a first place this very weekend!
Reed and Fredericksen picked up big team points in the 100 butterfly. In that race, Fredericksen, the senior team captain, took third place, with a time of 59.18.
Reed finished in fourth, churning home at 1:03.10.
Fredericksen also picked up a second place finish in the 500 yard freestyle. Her time of 5:13.92 was four seconds behind Jessie Arnold, the Spotswood freshman sensation who took the win.
Fredericksen and Reed teamed up with Lauren Romanzak and Valerie Breslow to take a fifth place in the 200 yard freestyle relay.
In the 400 yard free relay, that quartet swapped out Romanzak for Veronica Breslow. That crew took fourth, with a time of 3:52.74.
Despite being edged out of a team title, big things are expected from the JF squad.
"We plan on regrouping for next week with hopes of even better performances and much higher individual placements," said JF's Coach Templeton. "Our team showing won't be as strong as last year, but we have a lot to look forward to with our individual events--notably with Caleb, Blake, Sarah and Ainsley. I think they'll really make a showing on the big day."
States will be at the Christiansburg Acquatic Center.