Yorktown high swimmer

Yorktown High School swimmer Bridget Morris Larkin is one of the top returners for the defending Liberty District champion and region and state runner-up. (Photo by Deb Kolt)

With a roster that includes record-setting individual standout Victoria Huske along with other strong participants, the Yorktown Patriots are again expected to be one of the top high-school girls swimming and diving teams across the commonwealth this winter.

Yorktown finished second in the Virginia High School League’s Class 6 state championships in 2018 and 2020, was third in 2019 and took second in the region the past two seasons and third in 2018. The team has won Liberty District titles all three of those years.

“The girls team should be pretty strong,” Yorktown coach Torey Ortmayer said. “This season will be a little different, so we’ll have to see how that works out.”

The 2020-21 campaign has been significantly shortened because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Yorktown is slated to have just five regular-season meets, the first two Jan. 8 and 9. The Jan. 9 showdown is against host and Arlington rival Washington-Liberty. The postseason competition is expected to begin Jan. 29-30 with the district meet, followed by region and states.

With Stanford University-bound and U.S. Olympic team hopeful Huske, a senior who has never lost an individual high-school race, Yorktown is guaranteed a significant number of points with her in the lineup. That gives the Patriots an advantage in the bigger meets like region and state. Huske also swims on relays.

“The state meet can be more about star power,” Ortmayer said. “With Torri, we hope that gives us a lot of points.”

Huske, who will swim multiple events, is a team captain this year.

“She is still excited about high-school meets and would like to help the team do something special this season,” Ortmayer said.

Other captains for the Yorktown girls are seniors Ainsley Flatin, Sally Conroy and junior Lauren Hartel, who all should be strong contributors, Ortmayer said.

Other top Yorktown returners are senior Emily Larsen; juniors Ashley Deabler, Caroline Burgeson, Grace Jansen and Olivia Grabman; and sophomores Bridget Morris Larkin, Lauren Fatouris and Clara Smith.

Top divers are junior Ellie Simmons and sophomore Avery Stoker.

Ortmayer said the Yorktown boys will be young but strong this season. The squad placed second in the district last winter.

Overall there are 130 swimmers and divers in the Yorktown program, forcing the team to have various practice sessions to conform with COVID restrictions.

“We are doing what we can to make this happen and continue to have everyone involved. The kids need this,” Orymayer said. “We have a lot of bodies on a daily basis.”

NOTE: The Yorktown girls won back-to-back state championships in 2006 and 2007, and placed second in 2013.

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