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Wed., Dec. 5 - phs-girls-depth-chart-too-much-for-bhs
PHS girls’ depth chart too much for BHS
© Gainesville TimesAt first glance, Patriot winning six events to Battlefield taking home five at a duel swimming meet on Friday night in Manassas would seem to suggest that the margin between the two teams would not be much on the scoreboard.
In fact, the Pioneers blew out the Bobcats 179 to 107.
The difference maker turned out to be away from the top of the ticket in each event at the Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center.
Routinely, in event after event, three or four Patriot swimmers clocked in between Battlefield's closest two, regardless of who won.
In other cases, Patriot's best took the first couple of spots to tally up an even bigger point margin from each event.
After Battlefield shut out Patriot last season, the Pioneers could finally claim their first win against their Cedar Run District rival from Haymarket thanks to an all-around team effort.
"It was incredible to watch them all in a line," said PHS head coach Lisa Bussian as she described see her swimmers stay even with each other during the first lap of a race.
"I can tell that we've got that kind of depth."
One prime example of the Pioneers' dominance came in the 200 yard individual medley won by freshman Samantha Baird.
Her teammates Mary Claire Tansill, Rebekah Morgan and Caroline Rector finished in succession after her, allowing Patriot to claim the first four spots in the race.
Tansill later won the 100 yard breaststroke over second-place finisher Adlaide Schumaker of Battlefield and Morgan captured the 500 yard freestyle with teammate Sydney Thorpe placing second.
Haley Soller earned Patriot's other individual victory by taking No. 1 in the 200 yard freestyle.
Baird, Tansill and Thorpe brought home two relay wins alongside Morgan Mugnolo, clinching the 200 yard medley and 400 yard freestyle events.
Thorpe is also one of the two Patriot captains, serving along with junior Morgan Remaley.
After taking some time off from swimming year-round, she is "now working herself back into the shape she was last year," said Bussian.
Part of that is by being the first one in the water at each practice.
She specializes in the 200 and 500 freestyles but is also "very, very confident in many of the other strokes," according to Bussian.
Remaley "is my organizer," added the coach. "She's the one that will show up in my room and say, 'What do you want me to do, Coach?'"
Bussian can use the help with her the 31-member team, especially given that about one-third of the new recruits are freshmen.
That ensures the team will have a deep talent pool for the future but also need to figure out who is ready to take the lead on the otherwise young squad this season.
Among the freshmen, Mugnolo "displays an all-around ability in all the strokes," said Bussian.
Baird "definitely" has potential as a backstroker while Tansill specializes in the breaststroke and is "one we'll be watching to make it" to states, "if not by time, then by place at regionals."
As for Battlefield, the team's five victories came from one relay and four individual events, with senior veteran Nina Tremols and freshman newcomer Mary Katherine Tillotson at the center of the action.
Tremols took first place in the 100 yard butterfly and the 100 yard backstroke individually. She also swam lead for the successful 200 yard freestyle relay team with Caroline Gellene, Kristin Smith and Tillotson.
In that latter event, Patriot claimed the next four placement spots.
Battlefield's other victories came from Tillotson in the 50 and 100 yard freestyle events.