Central girls swim to county championship
STRASBURG-As a sophomore, Central High School girls’ swimmer Ashley Funkhouser set precedents for Shenandoah County in the pool.
She was the first Central girls’ participant to swim to a Group 2A title in 2016.
Along with winning the 50-yard free-style in just her second season of competitive swimming, she earned five school records.
However, Funkhouser, now a junior, saw her team lose to Strasburg in the annual Shenandoah County Swim Meet at Signal Knob Recreation Center a year ago.
Situation rectified as of Wednesday.
Funkhouser set school records in the 100 fly (1:04.53) and the 500 free (5:51.38) to lead the girls’ side of the Falcon team to the county victory after missing out a year ago.
“Yeah, it’s something that’s really important. First off, they’re a county school and so they’re a rival, but it’s always nice to swim against Strasburg because we know all of them because we compete against each other in the summer. They’re our friends,” said Funkhouser.
Central’s girls defeated Strasburg 230 points to 181 and dropped the other county school, Stonewall Jackson, 232-136.
Strasburg edged Stonewall Jackson 228-146.
Funkhouser teamed with Anna Jeffrey, Sydney Crosser and Winter Ruhling to earn a first place in the girls’ 200 medley relay (2:07.12) to go with her victories in the 100- and 500-yard free.
Sophomore Carly Boyce was another big winner for the Falcons. She claimed victories in the 100 free (1:04.44) and 200 yard free (2:28.03). Boyce teamed with Crosser, Ruhling and Audrey Johnston to win the girls 200 free relay (2:00.53). Anna Jeffrey claimed the 100-yard backstroke (1:09.26), 200 yard IM (2:39.68). Winter Ruhling claimed the girls 50 yard free (28.42).
Meanwhile Strasburg’s team of Niki Funkhouser, Cassie Cooper, Abby Davis and Tessa Hockman finished second in the girls 200-yard medley relay. Davis finished runnerup in the girls 200 IM; Cooper was the runnerup in the girls 50-yard free style and runnerup in the girls 100 yard fly.
The Rams’ team of Caitlin Hart, Niki Funkhouser, Tessa Hockman and Cooper were the runnersup in the girls 200-yard free relay.
Funkhouser finished runnerup in the girls 100-yard backstroke and the 400 yard free relay of Caitlin Hart, Davis, Haleigh Mills and Hockman finished second.
Stonewall Jackson’s Carley Bennett was the top swimmer in the girls 100-yard breast-stroke (1:22.56). Savannah Miller and Haleigh Mills finished second and third in the girls 200 yard free.
On the boys’ side, Central defeated Strasburg 238-116 and Stonewall Jackson 245-99 to defend their title from 2016. Strasburg topped Stonewall, 129-123.
The Falcon team of Jeremy Racey, Dean Woodwell, Cliff Croom and Jonah Neri picked up a first in the boys 200-yard medley relay.
Woodwell won the boys 1,000 yard fly (59.93) and 200 yard IM (2:19.16); Racey claimed first place in the 100 yard back (1:03.30) and Croom won the boys 100 yard breast (1:14.38).
Nathan Hershey was a big winner for Strasburg. He claimed first in the boys 200 yard free (2:02.44) and the boys 500 yard free (5:49.31).
The team of Neri, Graham Wenn, Croom and Woodwell joined together for the boys 200-yard free relay championship and the team of Wenn, Racy, Mark Ostrand and Neri won the boys 400-yard free relay.
For Stonewall, Lukas Fultz and Don Keith finished second and third in the boys 50 yard free; Fultz claimed second in the boys 100 free and the boys 400-yard free relay team finished runnerup. It included James Clark, Don Keith, Evan Araujo and Fultz.
“The girls won 10 of 11 events and the boys won nine of 11 events, so it was a pretty good day for us,” said Central coach Steve Shaffer.
“Both the boys and the girls set the bar high and so our younger swimmers have to go and match that,” Shaffer said.
The coach said he thought George Mason, Clarke County, Central, William Monroe, Strasburg and Madison will probably tussle at the upcoming Bull Run District meet at Manassas Park.
Contact Jim Laise at email@example.com