Tsunamis Dominant in Repeat as Blue Division Champions
The Piedmont Tsunamis remained undefeated for a second consecutive season, while bringing home the top PWSL honors on Saturday as back-to-back Blue Division champions.
The team delivered their third championship in the past four seasons – and improved their current winning streak to 12-0. The Tsunamis, swimming in their home pool to clinch the title, carried the day strongly with a total tally of 4230.5 points.
The win represented a methodical lead that grew throughout the morning, and ultimately translated to a decisive 304 point margin over the runner-up Sudley Seahorses at 3926.5, and the Bridlewood Bridlewaves, who tallied 3345 points. The Blue Division victory for Piedmont also translated to a PWSL Cyber Meet top mark of 550 points, leading all 24 clubs and ranking ahead of second place Sudley by 64 points.
The Piedmont win places a further exclamation point on a shifting positional swing in the upper tier of the divisional ranks. The Tsunamis, celebrating their 20th anniversary as a PWSL club team, remain only one of three teams to bring home the highest award for the Prince William Swim League, having now earned the championship trophy three times.
Speedy pool times, dramatic personal bests, and record-setting accomplishments for all three clubs were the order for the day as the morning progressed at Piedmont’s Simpson Pool.
Piedmont opened the competition winning four of nine early relay matches – including a crushing takedown of the league record by the Tsunami Girls 13-14 Medley Relay squad. Coming in at 2:07.69, the new mark set by Alyssa Sagle, Katherine Crown, Sedonah Traister, and Maddie Richardson beat the 2018 Sudley league standard by almost a full second, and took down the team best (set by the squad earlier this year) by a full two seconds.
But the Girls 13-14 team wasn’t finished making history on the relay front. Later in the day, the same powerhouse squad of Sagle, Crown, Traister, and Richardson hammered away at their own PWSL league record in the 200 Free Relay – clocking an incredible 1:54.09, which bettered their own mark from earlier this season by 1.5 seconds.
Individual Tsunami speedsters also brought home three individual records for the Piedmont team on the day. In the 15-18 Boys Freestyle event, Theo Drescher made a statement in his last meet before becoming a Tsunami Alumni by serving up an incredible 24.63 mark, edging out a four-year club target set originally by Henry Radzikowski.
Similarly, Ryan Strotheide took down his own Boys 15-18 Back record which he set at the Bridlewood meet from earlier this season, bringing home a new top mark of 27.28. Not to be outdone, Emma Hannam dropped an amazing 33.84 time in the Girls 15-18 50 Breast, beating a mark set by current teammate Camille Spink at the Wellington meet just weeks ago.
Hot races on the morning were plentiful, and included Austeja Tutkus’ victory in the Girls 10&U 100 Meter IM. Seeded second overall on the entry list, Austeja blazed to a blue ribbon victory – winning by a full second and dropping her personal best by an incredible 2.16 seconds.
Similarly, on the Boys front, Landon Norman came from a three seed on the day to win the Boys 8&U 25 Meter Backstroke as he delivered an impressive 23.25 mark. That effort was good enough for a half second victory, and translated to almost a full second off his best time of the year.
Finally, Alyssa Sagle was not to be denied in the Girls 13-14 50 Meter Butterfly, as she rose from a two seed to first place in the event, crushing her previous best by .6 seconds and landing a 30.52. At the younger side of the age group, it will be exciting to see what marks she brings in 2023.
As the head-to-head contests were finally tallied, individual swims remained dominant for the Piedmont club, as the team brought home 46% of all first place ribbons in the contest. Blue ribbon winners for the group included (PWSL top times noted by number in parenthesis): Tori Simmons, Maddie Richardson (3), Theo Drescher, Austeja Tutkus (1), Blake Hayden, Adelina Chehadeh, Matthew Pianoto (1), Emma Hannam (1), Landon Norman, Matthew Georgia, Alyssa Sagle (2), Ryan Strotheide, Brooks Richardson, Brandon Thai (1), and Adelina Chehadeh. In combined team swims, Piedmont closed the day winning the last half of total relay events to secure the title.
The meet concluded triumphantly with the second-annual ceremonial poolside tossing and dunking of Head Coach Jay Thorpe and Assistant Coach Evan Brandt by an excited Tsunami home team, who celebrated on deck into mid-afternoon at the Piedmont Pool while waiting on official confirmation of the final score and tally.
For the Sudley Seahorses, 69% of the girls, 66% of the boys and 61% of the relays swam best times at the meet. The Seahorses only had 6 DQ’s at the meet. As the meet concluded with the Freestyle relays all three teams gathered along with their families on the edge of the pool deck and cheered loudly for their teams.
Everyone present could feel the energy and many of the relays were very closely contested and the closer they were, the louder the crowd got. All teams had fun, displayed passion for the sport of swimming, and exhibited great sportsmanship throughout the day.
The Seahorses broke several club or league records at the meet:
Boys 13-14 200-Meter Medley Relay: Troy Utter, Carter Layden, Alex Grocholski and Landon Craft set a new club record in the Boys 13-14 200-meter Medley Relay with a time of 1:56.90 breaking the club record of 2:00.47 set earlier this season by Troy Utter, Carter Layden, Michael Utley, and Landon Craft.
Boys 13-14 200-Meter Freestyle Relay: Alex Grocholski, Carter Layden, Troy Utter and Landon Craft, and set a new PWSL and club record in the Boys 13-14 200-meter Freestyle Relay with a time of 1:44.44 breaking the league record of 1:46.12 set in 2021 by Alex Grocholski, Nathan Luevano, Nicolas Chierico and Landon Craft.
Girls 15-18-Meter Medley Relay: Delaney Palenscar, Clara Condon, Jamie Cornwell and Alaina Grocholski set a new club record in the Girls 15-18 200-meter Medley Relay with a time of 2:06.63 breaking the club record of 2:06.72 set in 2021 by Delaney Palenscar, Sydney Craft, Alden Zerkle and Jamie Cornwell
Girls 8&U 25-Meter Fly: Elle Carpenter broke the club record in the Girls 8&U 25-meter Butterfly event with a time of 18.38. She broke the record of 18.82 set by Sydney Craft in 2012.
Girls 15-18 50-Meter Breaststroke: Clara Condon broke the club record in the Girls 15-18 50-meter Breaststroke event with a time of 35.32. She broke the record of 35.60 set by Jenny Grizzard in 1990.
Girls 15-18 50-Meter Freestyle: Jamie Cornwell broke the club record in the Girls 15-18 50-meter Freestyle event with a time of 26.42. She broke the record of 27.64 set earlier this year by Sydney Craft.
Girls 15-18 50-Meter Backstroke: Jamie Cornwell broke the club record in the Girls 15-18 50-meter Backstroke with a time of 30.14. She broke the record of 30.59 set by Delaney Palenscar in 2021.
Girls 15-18 50-Meter Fly: Jamie Cornwell broke the club record in the Girls 15-18 50-meter Butterfly with a time of 28.94. She broke the record of 29.54 set earlier this year by Sydney Craft.
Boys 13-14 50-Meter Freestyle: Landon Craft tied the club record in the Boys 13-14 50-meter Freestyle event with a time of 25.50. He tied the record set in 2006 by Patrick Lytle.
Boys 13-14 50-Meter Backstroke: Troy Utter broke club record in the in the Boys 13-14 50-meter Back event with a time of 29.21. He broke the record of 29.34 set by Alex Grocholski in 2021.
Boys 13-14 50-Meter Backstroke: Alex Grocholski broke club record in the in the Boys 13-14 50-meter Back event with a time of 28.47. He broke the record of 29.21 set by Troy Utter moments earlier.
Boys 13-14 100-Meter IM: Alex Grocholski broke club record in the in the Boys 13-14 50-meter IM event with a time of 1:01.87. He broke the record of 1:03.36 set by Sam Pomajevich in 2013.
Each year all the teams in the Prince William Swim League compete in a virtual swim meet on Divisional Saturday. Called the Cyber Meet, all times from every individual event are combined into one virtual meet, and the top 24 times that day are awarded a Cyber Meet ribbon. This year Sudley swimmers amassed 116 Cyber Meet ribbons. The following Seahorse swimmers are recognized for earning Cyber Meet ribbons. The number in parentheses represents the total number of Cyber Meet ribbons each individual swimmer earned. Congratulations to the following swimmers:
Colby Alexander (3), Lauren Balagtas (1), Lilian Beemer (3) Stephanie Berk (1), Olivia Bruns (3), Elle Carpenter (3), Jack Carpenter (1), Nicolas Chierico (3), Stella Chierico (3), Clara Condon (3), Megan Condon (1), Benjamin Cooper (3), Jamie Cornwell (3), Landon Craft (3), Peter Davis (1), Isaak Fowkes (1), Kate Francis (2), Anastasia Garvey (2), Lucia Garvey (1), Alaina Grocholski (1), Alexander Grocholski (3), Sophia Halisky (1), Lindsay Hawkins (1), Benjamin Huffman (3), Patrick Kay (2), Thomas Keapproth (2), Thomas Klump (3), Carter Layden (3), Mark Linares (2), Tis Matt (1), Henry Millette (3), Jake Moats (1), Jamie Moats (3), Natalie O’Connor (1), Delaney Palenscar (3), Kylie Payne (3) Lucy Pennefather (2), Regina Pennefather (1), Violet Pizzillo (3), Preston Rall (3), Tony Rannells (1), Angelina Russo (1), Hadley Simpson (2), Tristan Spence (3), Michael Utley (3), Troy Utter (3), Kaitlyn Venturini (1), Clare Waldron (1), Eliana Walls (2), Isabella Walls (1), Hatcher Young (3), Aurora Zary (2), Aubrey Zimmer (2), Ava Zimmer (2), Evan Zimmer (3)