Sweet Swim Season for Neighborhood Teams

Photo | Phil Fabrizio, PhotoLoaf Graduating senior Kentlands Kingfish swimmers Jack Ingrassia, Hannah Harnois, Margaret Lilyestrom, Bryan Gurcan, Emily Mann and Lindsey Thoms pose for team photos before the start of the second half of their swim meet with Stonebridge Sharks on July 13.

Photo | Phil Fabrizio, PhotoLoaf
Graduating senior Kentlands Kingfish swimmers Jack Ingrassia, Hannah Harnois, Margaret Lilyestrom, Bryan Gurcan, Emily Mann and Lindsey Thoms pose for team photos before the start of the second half of their swim meet with Stonebridge Sharks on July 13.

Eating, hanging out with friends, and swimming—lots of swimming: That’s the description of this year’s swim season.

The Lakelands Lionfish ended this season with an astounding five dual meet wins and snagging a comfortable 3rd in their Relay Carnivals. Despite the insufferable 95-degree heat, Lakelands triumphed in Divisionals, beating Lake Marion 818.5 to 811.5. That seven points brought Lakelands to first place in Division J, securing a jump in divisions.

The Lionfish went on to distinguish themselves at the MCSL All Star meet last weekend, winning the Division J trophy. Wesley Lee won the 11-12 breastroke event with another new team record and took 3rd place in the IM. Jacob Linder set new team records by placing 6th in the IM and fly. Brandon Kim, Madi Kim and Jack Richardson placed 11th, 12th, and 7th respectively, in the backstroke. And the boys crescendo relay brought home an exciting win.

The Kentlands Kingfish faced tough competition in Division B, going against Woodley Gardens, Northwest branch, Stonebridge, and others in Divisionals. Though their cheering and energy were unbeatable on the pool deck, the Kingfish placed 6th in Division B. But this does not mean they didn’t succeed. Last Saturday, several pool records were shattered: Ainsley Taylor broke the Girls 12 and under IM record, as well as her own 11-12 50 free. Pierre Zeineddin broke the men’s 100 free, 100 IM, and 100 breaststroke records. Caitlin Hofmann broke a record in the girl’s 13-14 100 IM. Though the Kingfish placed last, there was not a single team in that pool that could rival their camaraderie and enthusiasm.

The Kingfish had a number of exciting races at the All Star meet, with Chase Taylor placing second in the 9-10 50 free, and his sister Ainsley winning the girls 11-12 free. Both Pierre Zeineddin and Caitlin Hofmann swam breaststroke, placing 8th and 7th, respectfully.

“Being a coach in the neighborhood is very rewarding,” Kentlands Kingfish Coach Jonathan Hofmann said. “I think that most of the kids see me not only as a coach but as a friend, and I value that. The Kingfish is not just a team, it’s a family—and I learn just as much from the kids as they learn from me.”

Both teams ended the season with a bang, in their own unique way. No matter their placement, they managed to show that their team was worth something, and that they can make a splash in their pools.

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