Sussex Academy swimmers start year with win streak

Seahawks showcase versatility in Dover victory
December 14, 2023

Sussex Academy swimmers have begun to stake their claim atop the Henlopen Conference following the boys' 128-35 victory and the girls' 136-23 triumph over Dover Dec. 12.

With the wins, the teams move to 2-0 in the conference. 

“It's a great start to the season,” said coach Tom Martiner. “We've got very lofty goals for both the boys and the girls this year, and to reach those goals, we have to at least start 2-0 and keep going from there.”

The Seahawks showcased their versatility and ability to successfully compete in multiple events.

“I often like to let kids swim in different events,” Martiner said. “I don't want to overclassify someone and put a square peg in a square hole each time. Plus, it helps the kids to know that they can do more than they think they can do.”

Senior Itzel Gomez Sanchez, a member of the winning 400 and 200 free relay teams, won the 100-meter backstroke in 1:09.39. She said she believes the team is responding well when challenged to win in familiar and unfamiliar events.

“Tom likes to mix us up every once in a while,” she said. “Tom can see, along with the swimmers, how they do when they try new events, and he keeps an eye on it for them in case they want to continue.”

The senior was joined in the individual win column by fellow senior Gracie Maughan (breaststroke), sophomore Victoria Evans (individual medley and 100 free), freshman Anna Mumford (50 free and butterfly), freshman Caitlin Perchiniak (200 free) and eighth-grader Gretchen Maughan (500 free). Evans, Gracie and Mumford teamed up with junior Addison McKay to win the 200-meter medley relay, while Gomez Sanchez, Gracie and McKay also won the 200 free relay with Lyla Baker. Mumford, Perchiniak, Evans and Gomez Sanchez took top honors in the 400 free relay.

Jaxon Laux was one of the key contributors in the boys’ victory, winning the 50 free and 100 breaststroke.

“Our team has come a long way since last year,” he said. “We've developed a lot as a whole.” 

The junior was also a member of the first-place 200 medley and 200 free relay teams. To win the breaststroke, Laux needed to beat out his 200 medley teammate Brayden Trout. As the two entered the final 25 meters, they were cap to cap with one another. Laux’s time of 1:06.97 was under a second faster than Trout’s 1:07.55. 

“It's a lot of fun. We're very competitive. So we always try to beat each other, but it's always fun winning,” Laux said.

Laux and Trout were joined by Michael Whitaker and Angel Figueroa on the winning 200 medley relay squad. Laux partnered with Figueroa, Matthew Perchiniak and Christian Wright to win the 200 free relay, while it was Perchiniak, Trout, Whitaker and Wright on the victorious 400 free relay.

Trout took home top honors in the 200 individual medley, joining Laux, Wright (200 and 100 free), Whitaker (100 butterfly and 100 backstroke) and Perchiniak (500 free) as the individual winners.

Sussex Academy’s next meet is at 3:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 15, in Seaford.


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