Clean sweep

Published 5:30 pm Saturday, January 21, 2012

Washington swimmers Ryan Morlock (left), Robert Sandy (third from left) and Chris Crompton (right) dive into the pool at the start of the 400-yard freestyle relay at Washington High School. The team of Sandy, James Martin, Coleman Smithwick and Luke Harris would win the event. (WDN Photo/Brian Haines)

Leading by one point heading into the final heat Washington swim coach Spencer Pake needed his boys’ team pull out a victory in the 400-yard relay to join the girls’ team at the top of the standings and secure a sweep in their final meet of the season.
The boys did not disappoint their coach as Robert Sandy, James Martin, Coleman Smithwick and Luke Harris combined to finish the event in 3:51.31 to help the Pam Pack boys tally 121 points to top Croatan (106) and East Carteret (29).
“I told them at the start of the race that it’s anybody’s meet, if you want it go get it,” Pake said. “They all had very good swims and they got off to a lead and took it.”
The girls also “took it” as they racked up 148 points to cruise past Croatan (111) and East Carteret (29).
The sweep gives Washington some momentum as it prepares for the Coastal Conference championship on Wednesday at New Bern.
The boys were boosted by a gutsy performance by sophomore Gabe Shepard who won one race and placed second in another despite having a broken foot.
Shepard swam a 5:38.56 in the 500-yard freestyle to take first, while he joined forces with Daniel Crozier, Sandy and Smithwick to take second in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:49.35.
Overall the boys won five events as Sandy also took first in the 200-yard individual medley (2:35.93), while Harris took the 100-yard freestyle (54.30) and teamed up with Smithwick, James Martin and Crozier to win the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:43.66).
In the girls’ meet, the victory was a little bit extra sweet for Washington as it allowed them to avenge a loss to Croatan suffered earlier in the season when the team was missing several key members due to various commitments. It was their only defeat of the year.
“It’s a very talented squad— Croatan is a very talented squad as well — but it was their only defeat of the year,” Pake said. “Swimming is filled with great sportsmanship so it’s not like we wanted revenge but they did want to win this, they really wanted to win this.”
The girls closed out the regular season in style as they won 10 of their 11 events. Chandler Beach, Megan Baldwin, Jessica Penhollow and Kaitlyn Richards got Washington off to a hot start as they took first in the first event by winning the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 2:06.81.
Swimming in her final home meet, senior Riziki Omonde went out a winner as she swam a 2:08.75 in the 200-yard freestyle to capture gold. Omonde would also win the 100-yard freestyle (57.68) and team up with Rebecca Omonde, Emily Pfeiffer and Lanie Godley to win the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:52.66). Omonde also joined Richards, Penhollow and Baldwin to take first in the 400-yard freestyle relay (4:07.65).
In the 200-yard individual medley, Baldwin topped her competitors by swimming a 2:25.94, while Penhollow’s time of 27.15 was tops in the 50-yard freestyle.
Pfeiffer coasted to first in the 100-yard butterfly (1:03.94) and the 100-yard backstroke (1:07.03) to add two more victories to the girls’ total.