Fenwick closed out its season on Saturday in the State swimming and diving finals with a 13th place finish. The Friars advanced to the finals in four of the nine events in which they had competitors at State, and earned top 10 finishes in three of them.
The Friars' most impressive event was the 400-yard freestyle relay, their last event of the season. It was also one of their best swims this season. After qualifying fifth in State, the team of Tom Parolin, John Barrett, Pat Lloyd, and Mike Brown finished the event in 3:11.62, good enough for a fourth place finish. They improved upon their time at Sectionals by more than three seconds.
"They went out and swam a great race," said head coach Dave Perry. "It was impressive considering what happened in the 200 [freestyle relay]."
In the 200-yard freestyle relay, the Friars were disqualified because of an early start on Friday, and thus were unable to swim in the finals on Saturday. The disqualification, which many of the Friars did not agree with, put additional pressure on swimmers in other events to score points for the team.
"I was afraid of a letdown [in the 400-yard freestyle relay], but they didn't," said Perry, who thought that the disqualification might take away some of the Friars' energy.
"That getting DQ'd was a big blow to us," said Barrett, a member of both the 200 and 400-yard freestyle relay teams. "We thought that it was all questionable [getting disqualified] ? so that made us angry, and fueled us for the 400."
"We dropped from fifth to fourth, and it was, without a doubt, the most fun meet of the tournament," said Parolin. "I think everyone on the team felt that." Parolin was glad to finish so high in a relay event. "It's nice to have someone to share your glory with," he said.
Parolin was Fenwick's only swimmer in the finals in individual events.
In the 200-yard freestyle, Parolin finished 10th, with a time of 1:45.13. This time was half a second faster than Parolin's sectional time.
Parolin also competed in the finals of the 100-yard butterfly. He finished with a time of :52.62, a full second faster than his sectional time and half a second faster than his qualifying time. He moved from his 10th place qualifying to a ninth place finish. He was satisfied overall with his performance at State, as he competed in three events in the finals.
"It was so much more than I could have asked for," Parolin said.
Luke Baldwin, Barrett, Lloyd, and Brown also competed for Fenwick in the 200-yard medley relay on Saturday, finishing 11th in State. They swam the event in 1:39.20, a second faster than in sectionals, but nearly a half second slower than their qualifying time of 1:38.65, which seeded them seventh.
As a team, the Friars would have liked to have gotten more people into the finals on Saturday, but they were satisfied with how they swam in the events in which they did qualify.
"You leave feeling good," said Perry, "but not as good as you ought to."
"We were kind of disappointed," said Parolin, "because at the beginning of the season we said that we wanted to get top five."
However, the Friars are in good position for next year.
"It's a great place to start because we have a lot of people coming back," said Barrett. Next year, we have no reason why we can't compete for the State championship."
Huskies close out season
The OPRF swim team failed to qualify for the State finals on Saturday. Paul Lohmann, who in the 100-yard breaststroke had the fifth best sectional time in the state, was disqualified in the preliminaries on Friday.
Taylor Rasley had OPRF's best finish in the individual events by placing 28th in the 100-yard backstroke in :56.26