Cyclones show their mettle at states in water, on the mats
© Culpeper Times
But at the recent AA state tournament other participants in their sports found out they have special talents. Three Cyclone swimmers and two Cyclone wrestlers saw the hours of lonely training take them to the upper echelons of high school athletics.
Swimming and wrestling don't draw the crowds or the media coverage that some other high school sports achieve, but in those athletic endeavors five-year-old Eastern View is quietly building dynasties.
EVHS had a 6-3 Battlefield District record in swimming and the wrestling team took first place in eight of the 11 tournaments in which it participated, including Battlefield District and Region I titles.
Annie Boone has been swimming since she was 6 years old. Now a freshman she is one of the reasons first year coach Melissa Garcia is excited about the future. Boone placed second in the 100 backstroke with a 56.49 and fifth in the 200 Individual Medley with a time of 2:11.48. And neither of those times was even a personal best.
Fellow freshman Jacqueline Barklund did swim a personal best in the 100 backstroke of 1:01.19 to take 10th in the state. Junior Owen van Krimpen was fourth in the 500 freestyle clocking 4:52.67 and sixth in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:47.04. It was his second trip to states.
“I was proud to see these three perform so well at states,” said Garcia in an e-mail. “Annie is a phenomenal swimmer with a talent way beyond her years. I look forward to seeing her swim next year and, hopefully, break state records.
“Owen has grown by leaps and bounds since his performance last year at states. He represents Eastern View well. Jacqueline is an impeccable athlete and an all-around great student. Her dedication to swimming and improving are astounding and I also look forward to her going far in years to come.”
Boone earned 31 points for her performance at states and finished tied for 10th overall among the girls, just nine points away from overall winners Mary Elizabeth Warhol of York High School and Kaleigh Rosenburg of Heritage High School in Leesburg.
“I swim year round,” said Boone, 14. “It keeps me healthy and energized. I also have fun with my friends and I enjoy the competition.”
Boone was beaten out by Warhol in the backstroke by just .26 of a second.
“I was a little nervous,” Boone said. “I was just thinking swim fast and try to beat everyone. The girl who won is a senior so this is her last year. She really wanted to win. I felt good about my race. I would have felt better if I was first, but I was still really happy.”
Boone said she battled illness during the season, but she was still able to swim a state qualifying time during regular meets and she went to states confident.
“I expected to do well,” she said.
Boone, along with van Krimpen, swim year-round, competing with the Nation's Capital Swim Club out of Damascus, Md. as well as with EVHS.
“I average about two weeks off a year plus spring break,” Boone said. “I don't do any other sports besides swimming.”
Boone lists 12-time Olympic medalist Natalie Coughlin as one of the swimmers she admires.
“I enjoy competition, but mostly I enjoy the satisfaction of being able to say 'I actually did that,” she said.
Junior van Krimpen was happy, but not satisfied with his fourth and sixth place finishes.
“I did well, but I think I could have done better if I had not been sick before and during the freestyle.”
Last year van Krimpen placed in the butterfly.
“I like all the strokes so I try to change every year,” he said.
His toughest swim at states was the 100 freestyle.
“By the third lap I was already dead, but I wanted to bring it home so I went all out,” he said.
van Krimpen said swimming is his only sport and hopes to compete in college.
He said that when he is in a race “I am just trying to beat everybody and not be last so the coach won't be mad. One day swimming is amazing and another day I say 'can I just go to sleep?'”
It's not all work for van Krimpen Boone and Barklund, though.
“We made a video of the 'Harlem Shake' that was pretty funny,” van Krimpen said.
Barklund said she felt she would do pretty well at states, but wants to “do better next year.”
She also swims for BASS – the Battlefield Area Star Swimmers – who practice at Woodberry Forest School.
“I like swimming and having friends on the swim team,” Barklund said. “Most of my friends are on one of my swim teams.”
Barklund admires Coughlin and 2012 Olympian Missy Franklin. When she's not swimming she said she is doing homework.
“I like history,” she said. “It's interesting to learn about all the stuff that has happened in the past.”
But Barklund is not a one activity girl.
“I also play lacrosse,” she said. “It helps me cross train for swimming.
“And I play the flute in band. It's my fourth year playing and I really enjoy it.”
Wrestlers Bryan Ramey and Austin Jenkins also made quite an impression at their state tournament. Ramey was first at 113-pounds and Jenkins was second at 145.
In two seasons, Ramey has amassed a 106-9 record with 29 pins this year in his 52 victories. In three seasons Jenkins is 170-20 with 33 of his 55 wins this year coming via the pin fall. He has the opportunity to become one of a very few wrestlers to win 200 matches in his high school career.
Ramey was second at states last season and Jenkins was fifth each of the past two years.
“I started when I was 4 or 5 years old (with the COBRAS youth team) and (EVHS coaches) Eric (Brown) and Eddie (Jenkins) are just like family to me.”
He said wrestling has taught him that “if you work hard you can get good results. Winning and losing is something you face in life and wrestling helps me relieve stress.”
Ramey said he never gives up.
“I keep pushing until I feel like I can achieve the goals I have worked hard for,” he said. “Toward the end of the year I felt like I was getting better and better at practice so I felt I was ready for states.”
Ramey wrestled and won three other matches during the two-day event. When he got to the title match he was excited.
“I was a bit nervous as I think anybody would be,” he said. “But I had beaten (my opponent) before at the Holiday Duals in Richmond so I felt I could do it again. After I won I was too excited to even think clearly. I had told some people I would do a backward handspring if I won, but I didn't do it. I didn't want to ruin the moment.”
Jenkins said Ramey and Austin, his son, are consistent..
“They are practice partners and they are two of about five weight classes that I could always count on for a win,” Eddie said. “Wrestling is one on one. It's a lot like life. It takes work and dedication to succeed.”
Austin Jenkins said he felt he got better as the season went on.
“I had a couple of difficult early losses,” he said. “But I stepped my game up a bit and focused on preparing to win a state title. Everyone on the team pushes each other and tries to make everyone else better.”
Austin, who said he thinks the last time he was pinned was in middle school, knows why his state title effort fell just short.
“I went into that match pretty wild and just trying to go after it instead of setting stuff up,” he said. “I was down 4-1 after the first period (he lost 5-2). I should have gotten my head straight. Now my focus is on next year. It would be nice to have an undefeated senior season.”
Austin plays football in addition to wrestling and Ramey is an equestrian.
Coach Eddie Jenkins said the success EVHS has had the past two years has opened some eyes around Virginia.
“Last year people were asking where we were from,” he said. “Now we are the team that other teams want to compete against.”