Lake Monticello Swim Team hosts Key West Killer Whales

By Duncan Nixon

The Killer Whales from the Key West Swim club came to the Lake Monticello pool on June 28 to take on the Sharks of the Lake Monticello Swim Team. It was a mob scene. LMST coaches Maria Arroyo and Fe Fe Nardone said that they have about 170 swimmers this year and that almost half of their swimmers are under 8 years old. Key West also had a host of young swimmers. With all those swimmers doing warm-ups before the meet, the pool area was over-flowing. Older swimmers often do not have parents and or grandparents in attendance, but younger swimmers almost always do. As a result, the area around the pool was also filled to capacity. Parking by late-comers required imagination.

Key West, an older Charlottesville suburb, north of Pantops, won the meet by a score of 546 – 469. However, the Sharks turned in some excellent performances.

A top performer for the Sharks was Annaliese Campbell. She won the girls 9-10 individual medley, the 9-10 freestyle and the 9-10 breaststroke. She won the first two of these races easily and captured the third by a margin of .02 seconds. Alessandra Elliot also had a strong evening. She won the girls 8 and under breaststroke race and the girls 8 and under freestyle, both in close finishes. Lila Kate Robinson was a winner in two races as well. She won the 13-14 breaststroke race fairly easily and then finished in a dead head for first in the 13-14 backstroke. With times recorded to the hundredth of a second, a dead heat is quite rare. For the boys, a double winner was James Johnson. He won the 13-14 individual medley and the 13-14 butterfly. 

Other winning swimmers for the Sharks were Cole Gehling in the boys 8 and under breaststroke, Brick Sumner in the 11-12 freestyle, Madison Clark in the girls 13-14 freestyle, Jack Pace in the 13-14 backstroke, Nicholas Hockman in the boys 15-18 back stroke, Piper Eves in the girls 8 and under butterfly and Brenna Rea in the girls 15-18 butterfly.

Second place finishers for the Sharks were Aaron Fairbanks in two races, Robinson in two races, Ava Powell, Rea, Harrison Williams in two races, Ivan Patchett, Isabella Koerper in two races, Mateo Achmad-Guzman, Ariella Miller, Andrew Mikesh in two races, Perry Provencher, and Clark. 

 In relay races the Sharks did better in the older age groups than the younger. The Sharks boys 13-14 relay team won over the Sharks second relay team. The winning relay team consisted of Fairbanks, Johnson, Pace and Harber Amiss. The Sharks girls team also won the 13-14 freestyle relay. The team consisted of Clark, Robinson, Sydney Belew and Chyler Miller. In the 15-18 freestyle relay, the Sharks boys won. The team consisted of Patchett, Hockman, Mikesh and Matthew Rea.

The Sharks coaches have been doing this very busy and taxing job for quite a while. Arroyo is in her tenth year, with a year off due to COVID. Nardone is in her sixth year. The Sharks compete every Wednesday evening, with the Lake Monticello pool as their home venue. Despite the Lake Monticello name, there is no requirement that swimmers live at the Lake. In fact, Coach Arroyo said that swimmers do not even have to reside in Fluvanna County.

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