Warriors win dual in the pool

Published 10:30 pm Friday, December 10, 2010

Anchor leg: Nansemond River’s Alyssa Sperlazza dives in for the anchor leg of the Lady Warrior 200-meter freestyle relay as Rachel McManus touches the wall. The Lady Warriors beat King’s Fork 114-51 in a Southeastern District meet Thursday in Chesapeake.

CHESAPEAKE—Nansemond River swept city rival King’s Fork in the pool Thursday night at the Great Bridge Swim and Racquet Club.

While the Warriors and Bulldogs are natural rivals, they, until this coming week, have been practice mates so far through the preseason and early part of the swimming season.

Nansemond River will set up practices at the Taylor Bend YMCA in Chesapeake starting Monday but so far this season the Warriors and Bulldogs have been sharing practice time, and valuable space, at the Suffolk Family YMCA.


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The Warriors, now in their fifth year as a swimming program, and the Bulldogs, with a program one year younger than their city rivals, have grown in experience and in overall numbers.

“My first year coaching, we started here with six guys and 14 girls,” said Nansemond River head coach Shamus Riley. “This year we had 60 kids come out. I was able to keep 40 of them after tryouts. Our numbers have basically tripled. There’s a lot more interest.”

On the boys side of Thursday’s meet, Nansemond River won 116-36. Alex Loclear won the 200 freestyle (2:36.19) and the 400 free (5:54.35). Lucas Chehuen won the 200 individual medley (2:41.91) and the 100 backstroke (1:10.98).

The Bulldogs were led by Dallas Johnson winning the 50 and 100 freestyle events in 28.59 and 1:08.87.

The Lady Warriors won 114-51 over KF. NR’s Rachel McManus won the 100 breaststroke (1:30.17) for the whole meet, as Hickory faced Oscar Smith at the same time. Alyssa Sperlazza won the 50 and 100 freestyle races (30.43 and 1:08.06).

KF’s Samantha Barbour won the 200-meter medley in 2:44.23 and the 100 butterfly in 1:15.37. Barbour was second overall in the meet in the butterfly.

It was the first meet of the year for the Bulldogs. Both NR squads went to 1-1. The Warriors lost to Grassfield Saturday.

“It was much more competitive than versus Grassfield last year,” Riley said. “We were better and closer all the way around, boys and girls.”

The switch in practice venue should be a boost to the Warriors and Bulldogs. It’s a matter of logistics.

“Our biggest challenge now is pool time and space,” Riley said.

Splitting a pool meant both squads usually had two or three lanes to work with for an hour-long practice. At the Taylor Bend YMCA, and with King’s Fork having more space at the Suffolk YMCA, both teams will wind up with better practices.

“Some teams get an hour-and-a-half or two hours and five or six lanes to work with,” Riley said. “It’s tough with 15 kids in each lane.”

The Bulldogs will have little time to practice for the next week with three meets coming in short order. KF faces Grassfield Saturday, Indian River Thursday and Western Branch next Saturday.

Nansemond River’s only meet between now and the new year is next Saturday vs. Hickory. All Southeastern District meets are at the Great Bridge Swim and Racquet Club.