By Jeff Nations
Central swim coach Steve Shaffer wasn't kidding when he pointed to a complete team effort in boosting the Falcons to a successful night in the All-County swim meet on Wednesday at Signal Knob Recreation Center's indoor pool.
The Falcons got strong performances from a host of swimmers, and nowhere was that more apparent than in the most team-focused events, the relays. Central won five of six relays on the night, as the Falcons went 6-0 dual-meet scoring against Shenandoah County rivals Strasburg, Stonewall Jackson and Massanutten Military Academy.
"None of the relays were the same," Shaffer said. "They all involved different kids -- we kept rotating them through, to give them all an opportunity."
Central opened the meet by winning the first eight events, starting with the 200-yard medley relay as Jacob Lineberry, Jonathan Feaster, Aaron Waller and Travis Hamilton notched the win in 1:59.87.
The Falcons' girls quartet of Anne Jadot, Kayla Spaur, Brooke Thompson and Danielle Barr did the same in the their 200 medley relay with a winning time of 2:09.08, and Central was in a groove.
Trevor Wolf won the 200 freestyle (2:07.16), Bethany Neri won the girls 200 free (2:31.97), Feaster scored a first-place finish in the boys 200 individual medley (2:25.27) and Barr did the same in the girls 200 IM (2:34.30). Travis Hamilton kept up the streak with a win in the 50 free (25.10) and Jadot made it eight straight by winning the girls 50 free (28.72).
Finally, Stonewall Jackson freshman Josh Misquith broke up Central's run by edging Strasburg's Hayden Ramage in the 100 butterfly, winning in 1:08.23.
Misquith had a busy night for the Generals; he also set a school record (2:25.64) in his second-place effort in the 200 IM.
Barr picked up her second individual win in the 100 fly (1:06.92) and Wolf got his second in the boys 100 free (54.50).
The girls 100 free might have been the most intense of the night, as Stonewall's Taylor Koontz battled Strasburg's Kirsten Campbell and Central's Jadot in an all-out sprint to the wall. Koontz won in 1:03.97.
"That was a great race," Generals coach Dee Dee Knauff said. "So was the 50 free, and Taylor got second there."
Strasburg junior Josh Stickles picked up the Rams' first individual win with a dominating swim in the 500 free, winning by well over a minute in 5:37.50. Rams coach Jeff Guenther said it is Stickles' first season swimming the event.
Stonewall' freshman Olivia Schutz was no less impressive in winning the girls 500 free (6:18.53), bettering her own school mark in that event.
Central scored another win in the boys 200 free relay, as Feaster, John Paul Schechtel, Hamilton and Wolf combined for a winning time of 1:44.14.
Strasburg pulled off a mild upset in the girls 200 free relay, as Anna Sparacio, Rachel Taylor, Madison Orndorff and Kirsten Campbell combined for the winning time of 2:00.03.
"I was real pleased with the freestyle relays, both boys and girls, especially the girls winning that one -- I was not expecting that," Guenther said. "The kids did well."
Stickles won the 100 backstroke (1:02.27) for Strasburg, and the Rams' Kennedy Smalls did the same in the girls 100 back (1:23.60).
The Generals got another record-setting performance from Corey Harlow, who won the 100 breaststroke in a school-best 1:13.86. Central's Kayla Spaur won the girls 100 breast in 1:21.41.
The Falcons closed strong, winning both 400 free relays. In the boys race, Waller, Ethan Coleman, Jacob Lineberry and Trevor Wolf won in 3:57.99. Central's Bethany Neri, Jadot, Brooke Thompson and Barr combined for the girls win in 4:23.98.
"We're just blessed with some really good kids who've worked hard," Shaffer said.
Contact Sports Editor Jeff Nations at 540-465-5137 ext. 161, or firstname.lastname@example.org>