By Rachel Danegger
This past weekend the B-CC Barons Swim and Dive Team braved the snowy weather in search of its first dual meet victory against the Churchill Bulldogs. For years, the Bulldogs have been among the top performers in championship meets, especially on the girls side. This year, however, the Churchill boys are looking to be among Maryland’s best. With the stakes at their highest, the Barons succeeded in delivering an impressive performance from both the girls and boys side against their Churchill rivals. A victory on the girls side marks their first over the Bulldogs in 10 years.
The meet began with a thrilling diving performance by Maddy Pfaff and Eleanor McGrath, who finished first and second respectively. On the boys side, Gavin May and Marcus McKee put up an impressive day, finishing third and fourth respectively. Strong momentum off of Pfaff and McGrath for the girls carried into races, with a first and third place finish for the Barons in the 200 medley relay. The 200 medley relay has been one of the Barons most successful events, consistently placing well in championship meets. This year, the girls look to continue this legacy with the help of freshmen Jazz Barry and Delia Vanderzon.
The meet continued in favor of the Barons as Isaac Springe and Caroline Hallmark both went on to out-touch Churchill swimmers in their respective 200 freestyle races, securing two early event wins. Other impressive performances included John Marder’s easy win in the 500 freestyle and Christina Trnkus’ win in the 100 butterfly, securing points for both the girls and boys side. The Lady Barons continued their streak of relay wins by finishing first in the 200 freestyle relay with almost a full second over Churchill’s top relay group. This win put the girls in a strong position to win the meet, with just a few events to go. Another win by Jazz Barry, this time in the 100 breaststroke, furthered the momentum leading up to the final event, the 400 freestyle relay.
With only the final relay remaining, the girls led Churchill by only one point. Finishing first in this event would make or break this meet. With a strong lead from Caroline Hallmark, the girls were in prime position to run away with a victory. But the Bulldogs held on, staying within a body length of the Barons. Heading into the last leg, the Barons had a slight lead on the Bulldogs. As the crowds cheered, growing louder and louder, the pressure heightened. Now, with only 100 left, the fate of the meet rested on Nicole Vanderzon’s final leg of the relay. Not letting the pressure faze her, Vanderzon was able to pull through with an amazing second 50, finishing with a considerable two second margin over Churchill’s relay. Vanderzon’s performance allowed the girls to finish the meet with a three point lead over Churchill, securing the barons first win of the season. A win over Churchill places the Lady Barons in the mix to be among one of the top girls teams in the state. The Barons Swim and Dive teams now look towards next weekend, as they will face defending 1A/2A state champion, Poolesville.