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Yorktown girls repeat as 6D North Region swim & dive champions

Patriots strong results in relay races was a big key to the victory
The Yorktown High School girls swim and dive team gathers with the 6D North Region championship banner and trophy after winning a second straight title.

With strong relay races, and individuals placing high throughout the competition, the Yorktown Patriots won their second straight 6D North Region girls swim and dive championships by an impressive margin.

Yorktown amassed 346 points in the high-school meet, with the swim finals the night of Feb. 11 at at Oak Marr RECenter. The Langley Saxons were a distant second with 295.

The region title was the third in program history for Yorktown, but the consecutive championships were a team first.

“It’s very exciting to win this again,” Yorktown junior Rachel Conley said. “We all showed up and swam hard and made our big move, especially in the relays.”

Conley had Yorktown’s only individual victory for the girls in the 100 butterfly in (55.94). She finished second in the 200 freestyle (1:51.35) and swam on second- and third-place relays.

“I really pushed hard to win the butterfly for the team,” said Conley, who was seeded second in the race.

Yorktown’s other win in a swimming event came in the 200 medley relay in 1:45.0, the first girls event of the meet. Nora Sherman, Sarah Newman, Bridget Morris Larkin and Sophie Fredericks made up that relay.

In the last race, Yorktown finished second in the 400 free relay (3:31.13), consisting of Conley, Fredericks, Sherman and Clara McCarthy. The team’s 200 free relay of Conley, McCarthy, Newman and Mary Hecmanczuk placed third.

Yorktown coach Torey Ortmayer said the strong performance by the relays was a big reason for the Patriots’ wide-margin victory. Those relays swam much better than two weeks earlier, when Yorktown won the Liberty District championship, he said.

In that district meet, the medley relay finished third and the 200 free fourth.

“Our relays took a huge step forward, and that was needed,” Ortmayer said. “This team has a lot of experience and young depth, but getting those relays figured out and in order was the biggest thing.”

The coach said having Morris Larkin healthy and racing again in the medley relay was a big factor. She was injured and did not race in the district meet.

After Conley in individual races, Fredericks had a strong performance, with a second in the fly and a fourth in the 100 backstroke, and Morris Larkin was second in the 100 breaststroke.

Sherman was third in the back and fourth in the 200 individual medley, McCarthy placed fifth in the 200 and 500 free races, Lauren Fatouros took fourth in the 500 free and fifth in the breast, Newman was seventh in the 50 and 100 free, Ashley Gregory was 10th in the 500 free and 12th in the 200 free, Clara Smith was 11th in the fly, Jay Young was 11th in the 500 free, Sabrina O’Dea was 13th in the breast, Scarlett Gray was 10th in the back and 13th in the 100 free and Francesca Pereira was 12th in diving.

Yorktown now will be a top contender to win the upcoming Virginia High School League’s Class 6 state girls championship.