Seahawks, Vikings split Henlopen’s marquee swim meet at YMCA

Sussex Academy girls finish undefeated with 90-80 victory; Cape boys win 109-61
February 8, 2024

It gets a little complicated when Sussex Academy and Cape Henlopen get together for a swim meet.

“This is my favorite meet of the year, and boy, did it end great,” said Sussex Academy coach Tom Martiner. “Both teams went into it undefeated in the conference, both on the boys' and girls' sides, and I don’t think they could have scheduled the meet any better.” 

In the end, Sussex Academy won the girls’ meet 90-80, while Cape prevailed in the boys’ meet 109-61. The Seahawks’ win clinched the fourth straight undefeated regular season for a girls' side with decorated seniors.

Gracie Maughan topped out in the 200 individual medley and 100 butterfly, and was joined by Victoria Evans, Anna Mumford and Addi McKay on the first-place 200 medley relay team. Mumford also won the 200 and 500 freestyle events. 

“Hats off to them; they’re a phenomenal program, and it’s always fun to swim with them,” Cape coach Bill Geppert said.

Cape’s relay team of Sidney Caldwell, Jenna Reinhold, Isla Touw and Anna Sullivan picked up victories in the 200 and 400 freestyle relays.

The Cape boys were able to salvage the day to split the meet.

“We have a next-man-up mentality where if we can’t finish first, we’re going to finish second, and if we can’t place second, we’re going to finish third. That’s the way this boys’ team is. They’re grinders, and I’m proud of them,” Geppert said.

The performances of the 200 relay teams along with Holden Tighe, Brian Fleming and Cole Huxtable helped propel the Vikings to victory. Tighe secured two solo victories, while Fleming and Huxtable had to stave off two Seahawks nipping at their heels.

In the 200 freestyle, Fleming emerged victorious over Sussex Academy’s Christian Wright with a time of 1:52.49, a little over a second faster than Wright. 

In the 500 freestyle, Huxtable squared off against Sussex Academy eighth-grader John Bain. Huxtable, who had led throughout the heat, had slightly fallen behind the emerging Bain in the final lap. At the last moment, Huxtable burst past Bain to win with a time of 5:19.97. Bain finished at 5:19.98.

“I was a 500 swimmer growing up, so I remember those races where every breath you were breathing was each other’s exhale,” Martiner said. “It’s spectacular, it’s heart-wrenching, and I don’t care if it is for first or fifth. When you see a race like that, and both kids are giving their absolute best with every last bit they have, you just can’t beat it.” 

The two teams will compete in the Henlopen Conference Championships Saturday, Feb. 10, at the Sussex Academy Aquatic Center.


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