Facing off against some of the best swimmers in Virginia, several swimmers from both Williamsburg Aquatic Club and 757swim returned from the 2019 Long Course Age Group Championships with high marks, records and one state title.
Held in Christiansburg from July 25-29, the statewide meet is one of the biggest of the year, and draws the best swimmers who compete in over 100 different events. With many teams often much larger than those from Williamsburg, the performance of local swimmers is all the more impressive, said WAC coach Harold Baker.
“These are the best swimmers from across the state, many of them from much larger programs than ours,” Baker said. “Our kids more than held their own, and they’re coming home with a lot to be proud of.”
WAC came in second overall, with the boys team coming in first in the division; the girls team finished third.
Leading the way for WAC were sisters Elizabeth and Gracie Gregory. Elizabeth was the meet’s overall high point winner and individual champion, as well as the high point winner in the girls under 10 group. She placed first in both the 100-meter freestyle and the 50-meter butterfly, and set a record in the butterfly in the process. Her older sister Gracie, placed second overall and was the high point winner in the girls 11-12 group. She also placed second in the 200-meter breaststroke.
A one-two finish is no small feat when competing against 178 other swimmers, Baker pointed out.
“The two of them are just incredible to watch in the water. Between the two of them they’ve both broken about six team records each, so seeing them finish like this doesn’t surprise me at all,” Baker said.
On the boy's side of things, Christopher Kostelni won the 400-meter freestyle in 4:03.75, while placing second in both the 800 and 1,500-meter freestyle. The boys 800-meter freestyle relay team of Victor Parks, Jack Graham, Liam Gregory and Nathan Cummings set a team record. Cummings also set a team record in the 100-meter freestyle.
757swim also came back from states with some strong results: the team placed fourth overall, the boys came in third in the division, and the girls placed fifth.
Individually, 757swim’s Joelle Vereb won the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:10.32, defeating teammate Jenna Thompson by 17-hundredths of a second. Vereb was also third in the 50-meter freestyle.
Sean CW Korsgaard can be reached at 757-968-1529, by email email@example.com, and on Twitter @SCWKorsgaard.