Swimming is the toughest place to make a living for winter sports teams in Sussex County. And yes, it is ironic because of the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay. And doubly ironic bordering on strange, Salesianum won its eighth straight boys' title March 2 while Charter won its fifth straight girls' crown and neither school has a swimming pool. Practice? Are you asking about practice?
The final score for the top five teams in the boys' competition contested at the University of Delaware was Salesianum 407, Charter 325, St. Mark’s 183, Delaware Military Academy 171 and Sussex Tech 143.
Indian River finished in 11th with 61 and Cape 12th with 51 points.
The girls' team competition ended with Charter at 235, St. Mark’s 160, Newark 100, Tatnall 96 and Ursuline 89.
Henlopen Conference finishers included Dover in 13th place with 31 points, Sussex Tech 16th with 24, Sussex Central 17th with 16 and Milford 19th with 10.
The meet is set up over several days, and on championship Saturday there is a championship section with eight swimmers or relay teams and a consolation section with another eight. Making the top eight in any event or the top 16 is an accomplishment for a downstate athlete or team, all of whom are relative novices in s small state loaded with great swimmers.
Individuals from local schools placing in the top eight were Briana Hall of Sussex Tech, who placed seventh in the 50 free in 25.2 and seventh in the 100 butterfly in 1:03.9,.
Gray Venables of Sussex Tech placed sixth in the 50 free in 22.1 and fourth in the 100 free in 49.4. Michael Dopler of Sussex Tech placed fifth in the 100 butterfly in 54.4.
Jack Weeks of Cape placed seventh in the 100 backstroke in 56.8. Blaine Daisey of Sussex Tech claimed the highest place by a local athlete, placing fourth in the 100 backstroke in 1:00.
Individuals placing in the top 16 include Melanie Heald, Sussex Central, ninth, 200 free, 2:04.7 and 10th, 100 free in 57.7; Sara Lingo, Milford, 12th, 500 free, 5:42; Michael Carter, Indian River, 12th, 200 free, 1:53; Blaine Daisey, Sussex Tech, 9th, 200 individual medley, 2:01; Jake Procino, Sussex Tech, 12th, 50 free, 23.0; Ian Cain, Sussex Central, 15th, 50 free, 23.2; and Charlie Burton, Cape Henlopen, 15th, 100 breaststroke, 1:05.
A complete listing of all results can be found at www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/results/published/11785.asp.