Athletes from all over Northern Virginia met at Oak Marr RECenter in Oakton for the Northern Region Swimming and Diving Championship finals on Saturday night. As one of the favorite teams for the boys’ swimming event, the Jefferson boys went in with their eyes on previous records and state cuts. The girls, after barely missing the state cut for two of their relays during Friday’s prelims, came to the pool fired up and ready to race.
The night started off with a new regional record in the boys’ 200-yard medley relay event from the squad of sophomore Luke Thorsell, senior captain Reese Frerichs, sophomore Andrew Seliskar and junior Miles Oakley. With a key butterfly leg from Seliskar, the boys were able to lower the record to 1:33.85, finishing two seconds ahead of the second place finisher, James Madison High School. The girls’ 200-yard medley relay with senior captain Sarah Liu and sophomores Carrie Heilbrun, Taylor Quinn and Grace Liu came in 12th place with a time of 1:52.41.
Seliskar had one of the most successful nights out of all of the swimmers present. In one of the most anticipated events of the night, Seliskar broke the regional record in the boys’ 100-yard breaststroke with an Automatic All-American time of 54.09, lowering his own 15-16-year-old boys’ National Age Group record in the event. He narrowly missed the national high school record for the event by .42 of a second, held by three-time Olympic gold medalist Brendan Hansen. Frerichs came in 7th in the event with a 59.30.
“I was a little off my time goal, but was still happy with the personal best,” Seliskar said. “I’m not sure what I will swim at States. I might try to switch it up a little bit and try something new or go for that breast record again.”
Seliskar also won the boys’ 200-yard individual medley in 1:46.42, touching the wall over eight seconds faster than the second place finisher. Thorsell came in 6th with a 1:55.99 and also placed 3rd in the boys’ 100-yard backstroke in 52.14.
In the 100-yard butterfly, Oakley placed 7th, making the state cut with a 53.34 while sophomore Carrie Heilbrun placed 4th in the girls’ event with a 57.31. Oakley also finished 12th in the 50-yard freestyle, while Heilbrun finished 9th for the girls and made her state cut for the event.
In the last event of the night, the Jefferson boys put on a spectacular performance in the boys’ 400-yard freestyle relay, thanks to Seliskar’s anchor split of 44.63, which was half a second faster than the winning time of the boys’ 100-yard freestyle event. Though they failed to hunt down Robinson’s relay and finished second with 3:10.49, the effort put in by Frerichs, Thorsell, Seliskar and freshman Emilio Sison gave them an All-American Consideration time.
For diving, sophomore Callan Monette placed 10th in the girls’ event on Wednesday night with a score of 291.90.
Jefferson’s boys and girls have two weeks before they head to the VHSL Swim and Dive Championships.
“I think TJSD as a whole did a great job, especially people who rose up a lot in the rankings and were able to score big points for the team,” Seliskar said. “TJSD will continue to work hard, up until States, and I know our boys’ relays will be pushing for that gold we missed out on last year.”
The VHSL Swim and Dive Championships (AAA) will be held from Feb. 15-16 at George Mason University’s Jim McKay Natatorium.