In a tense 3A divisional meet the Watkins Mill swimmers were hit with a blast from the past when alumni Kelly Lewis, Kailey Shriver, and Jackie Gardener showed up in the lobby of the Olney swim center. After long over-due hugs and some small talk, it was time to head to the pool. As the two teams warmed up, the Hornets “Buzz Off” swim caps were a friendly reminder of the powerhouse’s dominance and expectation to win in any competition they were in. They chanted “Damascus Hornets, we are the best!”, to which Watkins Mill replied “Down by the river, we took a little walk, we met up with Damascus, and we had a little talk. We washed out Damascus, and we hung ’em on a line, ‘cuz we can beat Damascus, any old-time!!!”
Damascus pulled out in front in the opening relay but sure enough it came down to the length of a hornet’s stinger and Watkins Mill came in a very close second. After the diving events was the men’s 100 fly. Watkins Mill’s Alec VanBronkHorst was neck and neck with Damascus’ Benjamin Leicht from the start of the race. Down the pool once. As Alec turned he could have looked Benjamin in the eye. Down the pool twice, still neck and neck. Down the pool a third time and there was still no clear winner. It even looked as though Alec may lose by just an inch. As the event came to a close in the last stroke Alec stretched his whole 6’2″ body out and won by just an inch. Senior, Eric Flandrau reminded some team mates “[The big event will be] the 500 free” it’s 20 lengths of the pool and requires a lot of endurance from the swimmers on both teams. In this event Sophomore Erika Wolf pulled ahead with a commanding lead, defeating Damascus swimmers despite a lap count mess up by her counter. “I was looking at the counter next to me.” Erika said “I knew I didn’t go from lap 7 to 11 and do lap 13 twice.” By lap 13 the error had been corrected and when the sophomore finished she looked at her counter who and shook her head and smiled. A simple gesture expressing inner thoughts of “I know you messed up. You know you messed up. But it’s ok. We won the race.”
Despite great efforts WM lost to Damascus. Exact score unannounced.
Story by Michael Siders