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Saint swimmers knock off 6 school records

Even with a pair of losses to open up their season on Friday afternoon at the Suffolk YMCA, Nansemond-Suffolk’s swim team started their season in record-setting fashion.

Going up against one of the strongest programs in the state in Richmond’s Collegiate School, including a boys team that finished last year second in the state, the team scores went in favor of the visiting Cougars.

Collegiate won the boys match, 69-25, and the girls match, 57-37.

“Collegiate is an incredible team…we knew it was going to be tough,” said NSA head coach Karen Norman.

“But I was very happy to see our kids swim so well against competition like that.

We raised their level because of who our opponents were.”

“It’s more about improving yourself,” said junior Kelly Ruland during practice on Monday.

“We’d rather swim versus tough competition.

We were just trying to push ourselves.”

The Saint swimmers raised their level to say the least, to the point of breaking six school records on the same day.

Along with the school records, many more of Norman’s swimmers set personal bests.

The feats are more impressive since the middle or the end of the season is when most marks get broken, certainly not the first meet of a season.

In the girls meet, the Lady Saints notched a school record in the 200 freestyle relay.

Ashmore Standing, Maggie Standing, Jade Bishop and Andrea Beale got edged out by Collegiate’s top relay team by .77 seconds, but their time of 1:59.71 was an NSA record.

Five records fell for the boys team.

Philip Brooks got two individual records in the 200 individual medley (2:22.75) and the 100 breast (1:11.53).

Brandon Wilder set a new mark in the 100 fly (1:02.96).

Two of the three relay teams on the boys side had record-setting races; the 200 medley relay (1:58.78) and the 200 free relay (1:48.28).

The same four Saints made up both relay teams, but in different orders.

In the medley, it was Ryan Hanson, Brooks, Wilder and Ben Auteri.

In the freestyle, the order was Hanson, Auteri, Brooks and Wilder.

For the record-setting relay teams, each foursome had three returning vets and one rookie.

Ruland noted eighth-grader A. Standing and senior Ryan Hanson gave credit to Auteri, a freshman, as both are already making major contributions.

“We’ve matured a lot as swimmers as opposed to this time last year,” said Hanson.

“Despite swimming against a really good team, we focused and did a really good job.

A lot of people set personal best times,” said Hanson.

The relay record for the girls team is another sign of being ready to improve on a successful season last year in which the girls finished third in the TCIS and the boys finished fourth.

“The girls 200 free relay team was really good last year, so (the record) was surprising, especially in the first meet,” said Ruland.

First-place, but not record-setting, performances also came on Friday from Beale in the 50 free (29.56) and in the 100 free (1:05.34); and from the girls 400 free relay (M. Standing, Ruland, Bishop and Beale n 4:41.25).

The Saints go to Norfolk Academy Friday for a 4:30 p.m. meet and they will be at their home pool again for a meet on Thursday, Dec. 14.