Pack sweeps conference meet

Published 9:36 pm Thursday, January 26, 2012

Washington swimmers Kaitlyn Richards (near) and Emily Pfeiffer helped the Pam Pack girls’ swim team win record 200 points to win the Coastal Conference meet on Wednesday. The Pam Pack boys’ team also won the conference crown as it tallied 120 points to edge out West Carteret. (WDN Photo/Brian Haines)

For the second straight meet the Washington boys’ swim team faced a winner-take-all situation heading into the final event and for the second straight time they rose to the occasion only this team it locked up a Coastal Conference championship.
The exciting finish capped off a fantastic day as both the Washington girls’ and boys’ teams went home conference champs for the first time in school history.
“It’s big, the girls went in as a favorite and they ended up having a phenomenal swim and scored the most points they scored all season,” Washington swim coach Spencer Pake said. “The boys were definitely the underdogs and they had a phenomenal meet. It was a very intense place going into the final relay and they just pulled it out.”
Locked in a tie with West Carteret, Luke Harris, James Martin, Robert Sandy and Gabe Shepard dug deep and pulled out a victory in the 400-yard freestyle relay to clinch the conference crown.
“In that last relay that team dropped about seven seconds to win. It was phenomenal,” Pake said.
That victory gave the boys 120 points and allowed them to edge out West Carteret (115) and D.H. Conley (112).
In the girls’ meet, Washington continued to dash past the competition as the Pack racked up 200 points to place ahead of D.H. Conley (139) and Havelock (95).
The icing on the cake came after the meet when it was announced the Washington senior Riziki Omonde was named the Coastal Conference Swimmer of the Year and Pake was tabbed the Coastal Conference Girls’ Coach of the Year for the second straight time.
Pake said he couldn’t think of a better choice than Omonde to receive the honor.
“I couldn’t be any happier for her. She’s such a good athlete and person and a good leader on the team. If anyone in the conference deserved it, she deserved it,” Pake said.
Pake, the Pam Pack’s eighth-year coach, was also well deserving of his honor and laid the credit to the athletes in the pool.
“I’ve been honored to have such a great girls’ team for the past few year, and great teams in general,” said Pake, who received the honor for the sixth time.
On Wednesday the girls’ team put forth an incredible effort as it won 10 of the 11 events.
Chandler Beach, Emily Pfeiffer, Jessica Penhollow and Kaitlyn Richards took first in the 200-yard relay (2:03.99), while in the 200-yard freestyle Lanie Godley (2:05.91) and Omonde (2:07.55) finished first and second, respectively.
Washington repeated that feat in the 200-yard IM as Pfeiffer (2:17.17) placed right ahead of Beach (2:28.89) to take first and second.
In the 50-yard freestyle Baldwin dashed to first with a time of 26.40 while Penhollow was right behind her nabbing silver with a time of 27.14.
Godley took home gold in the 100-yard butterfly (1:04.11), while the Pack also took first and second in the 100-yard freestyle (Omonde 58.08, Penhollow 1:00.82), the 500-yard freestyle (Beach 6.00.75, Amy Arnold 6:23.12) and the 100 breastroke (Pfeiffer 1:09.77, Baldwin 1:09.97).
Omonde, Arnold, Godley and Baldwin teamed up to take first in the 200-yard freestyle relay, while Godley, Beach, Richards and Baldwin were tops in the 400-yard relay.
In the boys’ meet, Washington’s Shepard, Daniel Crozier, Sandy and Coleman Smithwick swam a 1:52.47 to earn first place in the 200-yard medley relay.
Shepard also captured first place in the 100-yard backstroke (59.13) and second place in the 200-yard individual medley (1:16.63).
Sandy, Martin, Smithwick and Harris took gold in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:40.23. Harris also placed second in the 200-yard freestyle (2:02.50) and the 100-yard freestyle (54.58).