NEWARK – Salesianum won four events and added six other top-three finishes to capture the state swimming and diving state championship Feb. 24 at the Rawstrom Natatorium at the University of Delaware. For the Sals, it was their second consecutive title and 18th in the past 20 years.
The individual standout for the Sals was senior Andrew Halberg, who won the 50 and 100 freestyle sprints and was part of the 200-yard medley relay and the 200-yard freestyle relay. Those wins, plus points provided by a deep roster, allowed Salesianum to finish with 340 points, 83 ahead of second-place Charter School of Wilmington. Conrad placed third with 217 points.
Halberg anchored the medley relay by swimming the freestyle leg. His teammates on that winning squad included Cameron Marion, John Boyle and Brian Hochman. The 200-free relay team, with Halbert starting things off, also included Michael Portmann, Marion and Hochman.
Other top three finishers for the Sals were Joey Dickson, who took second in the 200 and 500 freestyle; Hochman, second in the 200-yard individual medley and the 100-yard butterfly; and Marion, third in the 50 free and 100-yard backstroke.
St. Mark’s Matt Zwilgmeyer captured fourth in the 50 free. Julian Iacono of Archmere placed fourth in the 100 fly, with Zwilgmeyer behind him by four hundredths of a second. The Auks also tied for third in the 200 free relay and took fourth in the 400 free relay. Archmere came in fifth overall, and St. Mark’s was ninth out of 27.
Later Saturday, the girls took over the pool at Rawstrom, and in front of a capacity crowd, Newark Charter held off Ursuline for the Patriots’ first girls state championship in any sport in school history. Padua closed out another strong season with a third-place finish.
The Raiders, who had won the previous two state titles, entered the last event, the 400-yard freestyle relay, within striking distance of Newark Charter, but the Patriots won that and clinched the trophy. The Patriots finished with 270.5 points, ahead of Ursuline’s 248. Padua was the only other team to top 200, coming in with 212.
The Raiders looked anything but defeated following the awards ceremony. They celebrated the accomplishments of senior Heidi Dickson, who won individual titles in the 200 and 500 freestyle and also anchored the Raiders’ winning quartet in the 200 free relay. She finished the 500 in under five minutes, celebrating in the water with her opponents.
After the meet, Dickson clutched the runner-up trophy while getting photos with teammates on the pool deck.
“It means everything,” she said of her outstanding day. “I definitely didn’t think I was going to go those times today, but it was all with the help of the team and the coach.
Dickson swam the anchor leg of the 200 free relay immediately following her win in the 500. She followed teammates McAneny-Droz, Rylee McGonigle and Cradler.
Newark Charter won five events, including the opener, the 200 yard medley relay. Ursuline’s team of Abigail Poole, Sophia McAneny-Droz, Reese Thompson and Val Cradler took second. Thompson and McAneny-Droz finished second and third, respectively, in the 100 fly. McAneny-Droz was second in the 100-yard breaststroke.
Padua finished fourth in the medley relay and third in both the 200 and 400 free relays. St. Mark’s senior Maire Wilson reached the podium with a third-place outing in the 100 breaststroke.
The Spartans swam to a seventh-place finish, while Archmere came in 16th.