Swim team clutches second place at states


Photo from PHS Falcon Boosters

The swim team took second place for boys and girls at the state championships which were held February 24-25 at the University of Maryland. 

The boys finished with 306 points, falling just short of Rockville High School’s 318, while the girls had 254 points, one point behind Easton High School’s 255. This was the first time in 10 years that the boys team did not win the state title. 

While championship titles were not won, there was still plenty of success for both the boys and girls teams. The girls 200 yard medley relay, featuring freshman Sophie Huang and seniors Anna Li, Avery Ye, and Lina Abzakh, and the girls 400 freestyle relay, composed of Huang, Li, Ye, and senior Maggie Rose Rook, both came in first. Individually, Li also won in both the 200 individual medley (IM) and the 100 breaststroke. The boys 200 medley relay, featuring seniors Andrei Hancu, Charlie Matia, and Luke Griffith alongside freshman Ethan Lee, and the boys 200 free relay, featuring Hancu, Griffith, sophomore Jaden Hou, and junior Liam Sheeran, both came in second place in their respective events. The individual events saw runner-up finishes for Rook (200 free and 500 free), Sheeran (500 free), Ye (100 butterfly) and Lee (200 IM). Hancu finished third in the 100 fly and 100 backstroke, while Matia also placed third in the 100 breast. Senior Ava Lee came in 7th for diving and sophomore Gabe Hermann came in 8th. 

In addition to these top finishes, several team records were also broken. Hancu broke the boys 100 back record with a time of 52.23, as did Matia in the boys 100 Breast (58.55) and Li in the girls 100 breast (1:04.50). 

“The harder you try in practice the more likely you [are to] drop time,” said Matia. “The effort you put in is what you get out.”

Not only were records broken at states but also at regionals, where Rook achieved success in the 200 free. 

“The record I broke this year at regionals was the 200 yard freestyle record,” said Rook. “It has been a goal of mine since last season to break that record, so it feels really good to have achieved that goal.” 

Head Coach Jonathan Leong, who has coached the swim team at Poolesville since 2005, was proud of the individual swimmers’ success. With only nine seniors graduating, almost half the team participating at the state level this season will return next year. Overall, Coach Leong’s goals are being achieved. 

“Each student, I hope, yearns to be their best and compete at their best,” said Leong.