Williamsburg Christian Academy’s 11th-place finish in the girls’ competition of the VISAA Division 2 invitational swimming meet earlier this month was a little deceiving.
Yes, those were team standings. But eighth-grader Kaitlyn Sullivan was WCA’s only representative, outscoring 12 other teams on her own.
Last Saturday in Christiansburg, Sullivan again donned a WCA cap for the state championships as the Eagles wrapped up their second season in program history and first featuring varsity competition.
“That’s the beauty of swimming with it being primarily an individual sport,” WCA coach Anne Anderson said. “You can take one person and make it a team and do well. It’s exciting to have a school as small as WCA with a kid that can perform on the state level.”
The Eagles had nine swimmers this season and as a true team, competed only on the junior varsity level, though Sullivan’s final two meets of the season came on the varsity level.
Sullivan barely missed making the finals of the 100 free last Saturday, clocking 55.81 to miss the cut by 14 hundredths of a second. She also added an 18th-place finish in the 100 breaststroke preliminaries, beating 10 other high school-age swimmers.
Williamsburg Christian practices in the James City County Recreation Center, but hasn’t been able to host a meet yet since the pool there is too shallow.
Anderson, William and Mary’s coach from 1985-94 and also a former Lafayette High assistant, said the WCA swimmers have had a great attitude as the Eagles seek to strengthen their program.
As for Sullivan, she will bump to the varsity level fulltime next season.
“I think she has great potential mostly because she really loves to race and she really doesn’t like to lose,” Anderson said. “So with that being said, there are definitely places she can improve to make her a better swimmer technically because she just gets in there and swims as hard as she can every time. And she’s done really well with that. But I think as she matures and as she starts working on her technique more, it will make her even faster.”
The boys 4x100 free relay team was one of the highlights for Walsingham Academy in the state meet. Cavan Sullivan, Colin Wilson, Nick Kearns, and Jason Covaney clocked 3:34.37 to finish 14th in the finals.
Covaney also posted 19th- and 20th-place finishes in the 100 butterfly and 100 free prelims, respectively.
Wilson was 13th in the 50 free (24.74) and Burke Lawlor was 18th (24.88).