The Cape girls’ swim team closed out its regular season with a 10-3 record, losing to Henlopen Conference rivals Caesar Rodney, Sussex Academy and Sussex Tech. But on Feb. 10, the Lady Vikings avenged those losses and wrote a storybook ending to their season, winning the Henlopen Conference Championship meet at Sussex Academy. The Vikings finished three points ahead of second-place Sussex Tech. It was the Vikings girls’ sixth straight title and the 10th team championship in the 14-year history of the event.
“The girls all swam unbelievably,” said Cape coach Bill Geppert. “We knew it was going be close, and that our depth and numbers were going to be the key. My coaches and I spent all season working with a lineup and putting together one that was going to be good for the tournament.”
The Cape 200 medley relay team of junior Madelyn McGreevy, sophomore Gianna Vayda, and freshmen Aya Daisey and Erin Morrissey took third place and scored 32 points with a time of 1:59.24. Amaya Daisey, Madison Buchwald and Lily Smith scored fifth-, seventh- and 10th-place finishes in the 200 freestyle.
McGreevy scored a silver medal in the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:22.33, and freshmen Melanie Fritchman and Lindsay Rambo placed ninth and 10th, respectively, to score valuable points.
Aya Daisey took silver in the 50 freestyle with a 25.62, with Morrissey placing fourth while Julie Heffernan took seventh.
Aya Daisey continued to rack up points by taking the gold in the 100-yard butterfly in 1:02.34. Lindsey Reynolds took fifth in the event, while Anna Stancofski placed 15th for more valuable points.
“It was a good meet,” said Aya Daisey, who swam to a personal record in the 50 free and the 100 fly. “We worked really hard and it came together in the end.”
Freshmen Morrissey, Amaya Daisey and Heffernan placed fourth, fifth and 13th, respectively, in the 100 freestyle, and Reynolds, Buchwald and Lily Smith took fourth, fifth and eighth, respectively, in the grueling 500 freestyle.
The Cape 200 free relay team of the Daisey sisters, McGreevy and Morrissey took silver with a 1:45.52. McGreevy continued a strong meet by placing fourth in the 100 backstroke in 1:05.25, while teammate Gianna Vayda scored in the ninth spot and Rambo finished 12th.
Vayda, Fritchman and Laura Markofski took fifth, sixth and 15th, respectively, in the 100 breaststroke.
The meet was so close that the championship was going to be decided in the last event, the 400 free relay.
“We figured that CR had to place first in the 400 free relay and we had to take fourth to get the win,” said Geppert.
Amaya Daisey, Reynolds, Buchwald and Heffernan were that team, and they swam to fourth with a 4:07.39, garnering 30 points and boosting the Lady Vikings to the championship.
“We just wanted to get a good time,” said freshman Amaya Daisey. “It was a great moment when the race finished and we looked at the coaches and the crowd, and they were going wild. It was like a chain reaction. Then we knew we had won the championship.”
“We wanted to win the relay and prove that we were still a good team,” said senior Madison Buchwald. “We lost a lot of good seniors last year, so we had something to prove. We knew it was coming down to us. Amaya, Lindsey, Julie and I got together and said ‘Just swim hard, don’t breathe and we can do this.’”
And they did.
“This was one of my most satisfying moments in my coaching career,” Geppert said. “This was really special.”
Following second-place Sussex Tech were Caesar Rodney in third, Sussex Academy in fourth and Dover in fifth.
The Cape boys’ squad finished fifth with a score of 215.
The 200 medley relay team of Chase Toback, Wes Humphries, James Heid and Dylan Kaplan placed eighth with a time of 1:57.58.
Ryan Bixler took the gold in 1:55.91 in the 200 freestyle, a personal record for the Cape junior.
“I was just a little nervous because I was seeded fourth, so I just went all out in the race,” he said. “After the first 50, I just kept up my pace and pulled it off.”
James Heid and Chase Toback placed 10th and 12th, respectively, in the event.
Josh Toback took bronze in the 200 individual medley in 2:11.73, while Dylan Kaplan sprinted to 11th in the 50 freestyle and picked up six points for the Vikings.
Josh Toback placed fourth in the 100 butterfly, and Bixler placed fifth in the 100 free, with James Heid finishing in 13th.
Freshman Thomas Weeks took silver in the 500 with a time of 5:11.06, breaking his brother Jack’s record of 5:11.76.
The 200 free relay team of Josh Toback, Weeks, Kaplan and Bixler swam to a fourth-place finish with a 1:35.28.
Weeks was on the podium again as he took the bronze in 59.51 in the 100 backstroke with Chase Toback taking 11th.
Humphries picked up five points swimming to a 12th-place finish in the breaststroke.
The 400 free relay team of Josh Toback, Weeks, Heid and Bixler took the bronze in 3:33.02.
“We’ve got a really great nucleus of young swimmers coming back,” Geppert said. “I’m excited for what the future holds.”
Caesar Rodney boys took first with 376.5 points, followed by Indian River with 348, Sussex Tech with 327 and Sussex Academy with 255.