MIDLOTHIAN – The race’s end result didn’t have them listed in first place.
But for a string of moments in that mixed 15-18 200-yard freestyle junior varsity relay, the Goochland YMCA Manta Rays were the fastest team in the competition pool at SwimRVA.
Blistering swims catapulted the relay team of Summit Caul, Garrett Kemmerly, Annelise Rogerson and Anna Kate Wirsing all the way from near the rear of the field into a close second and a seed time-beating swim of 1:47.42.
“That was great,” said the Manta Rays’ head coach Helen Brown. “Wasn’t sure how it was going to go; several of those kids are now cross-training for triathlon, so yesterday they were in a very long training period, so they were pretty tired today (Sunday, July 28). They brought it out at the end.”
It was a highlight for Goochland in the second and final day of the Greater Richmond Aquatic League CHAMPS meet, which featured the 13-and-older swimmers and saw Goochland rise to the top spot in Division 4 and finish 10th best overall with the relays.
The mixed 13-14 200 yard medley relay team also shined for Goochland in the varsity division, which was the top division for that particular event. Joseph Hardman, Alexander Salser, Kaysen Mills and Bowen Barton slashed into their seed time of 2:09.27 with a third-place swim and an SV time of 2:05.79.
Brown praised the same elements with the older swimmers that she did with the 12-and-younger competitors the day before: starts, turns and finishes, which is what her team focuses on.
“The kids did great,” she said. “I was really impressed.”
Several of the YMCA team’s older swimmers are slated to swim for high school, so what Brown liked was “watching how hard they worked now and knowing that they’re going to see results when they get to their high school team.”
Salser wrestled for a while, then came back to swim in the summer. By the end of the GRAL season, he was dropping times and almost broke his minute in the 100 yard freestyle. Brown praised how he dropped times in every one of his swims on Sunday.
She added that Hardman’s first two swims were “phenomenal” as he placed first in the junior varsity (JV) division of the boys’ 13-14 50 yard backstroke with a 29.71 - two seconds faster than his seed time - and third in the JV 100 yard individual medley (IM) with a 1:08.38, also an improvement by 1.9 seconds. He swam fifth-best in the varsity 50 yard butterfly with a 29.84.
Annelise Rogerson led the 13-and-older girls for Goochland with finishes of sixth in the senior varsity (SV) division of the girls’ 15-18 100 IM (1:05.42), seventh in the SV 50 breaststroke (34.33), eighth in the SV 100 breaststroke (1:15.54) and second in the varsity division of the 50 butterfly (an SV time of 28.80).
Kemmerly was ninth in the SV division of the boys’ 15-18 100 yard freestyle (53.05); he also swam sixth-best in both the varsity 50 breaststroke (SV time of 31.47) and the varsity 100 backstroke (1:02.15).
The full results can be viewed at http://gralva.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/champs-results-final.pdf.