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National Cathedral, St. Albans capture titles at inaugural DCSAA swim meet.

By Spencer Nusbaum, 02/22/22, 10:00AM EST



National Cathedral, St. Albans capture titles at inaugural DCSAA swim meet.

Emily Noll of Maret was the most outstanding swimmer on the girls' side after winning the 200 freestyle and 100 backstroke. (Cory F Royster/Courtesy of DCSAA)

By Spencer Nusbaum

February 16, 2022 at 3:39 p.m. EST

It only took one event, at the outset of the D.C. State Athletic Association swimming championships, for the St. Albans boys to emerge as the favorites. The Bulldogs made a statement by winning the 200-yard medley relay, and their swimmers gathered around the deck and screamed toward the ceiling in response.

By the end of the meet, only one team seemed to be on the Bulldogs’ level: their sister school, National Cathedral, which won or finished second in all 12 of the girls’ events.

The two programs — which combined for nine first-place finishes and by far the most noise on the pool deck — triumphed in the first D.C. state swimming meet Wednesday at the Prince George’s Sports & Learning Complex’s Aquatic Center in Landover.

St. Albans was victorious at the DCSAA swim meet Wednesday in Landover. (Spencer Nusbaum/TWP)

“It’s hard for us, because we don’t have a lot of championship meets where we can really swim together, but we swam well as one collective unit,” St. Albans senior Fletcher Shaw said. “This is great. We already practice together every day, as if we’re one team.”

National Cathedral’s strength and depth were best exemplified in the 500-yard freestyle, in which an Eagle finished first, second and third. Sabrina Perry was proud of what her senior class accomplished in its final meet.

“One of the things our grade’s been told all year is that we’re the ones who have to reinstate all the traditions and set the tone, because most of the people in high school right now have never been on a high school swim team,” Perry said. “So hopefully, with our fingerprint next year and in the years beyond, our team will continue to do this even without us.”

National Cathedral dominated the girls' competition with 517 points. (Cory F Royster/Courtesy of DCSAA)

National Cathedral scored 517 points, finishing well ahead of St. John’s (370) and Sidwell Friends (283).

The St. Albans boys (492 points) commanded the individual races long after their opening win, with freshman Charlie Greenwood (200 individual medley, 100 breaststroke) and junior Zach Cantrell (100 butterfly, 500 freestyle) comfortably winning their events. Gonzaga (371) and St. Anselm’s (274) rounded out the top three "As we started to get first and second in almost every event, we got a lot more excited — we kind of saw it coming as the meet went on,” said Cantrell, who was named the most outstanding swimmer on the boys’ side.

Maret sent just three swimmers to the meet, but the Frogs had the day’s best success rate, with two competitors combining to win four events — Emily Noll in the girls’ 200 freestyle and 100 backstroke, and Xavier Orlic in the boys’ 100 backstroke and 200 freestyle.

The duo’s margins of victory were atypical of the events they competed in, with Noll’s 17-second win in the 200 freestyle (1:56.24) standing out as the day’s most lopsided result. Noll, a senior, was awarded the girls’ most outstanding swimmer award.

“What you saw today is a culmination of all of that club training, summer league training, middle and high school training,” Maret Coach Crosby Treadwell said. “There is a difference between the gap in their races and the gap in the other races. Those are two of the most exemplary swimmers that I’ve had the pleasure of coaching.”

The competition, added to the local schedule this year, did not have spectators, as has been the case for most D.C.-area championship swim meets this season.