Waynesboro swim team

Submitted

Waynesboro seniors pose for a photo during theValley District swim meet at Westover Pool in Harrisonburg on Saturday.

HARRISONBURG — In a very competitive district, the Waynesboro High School swim team continues to make forward strokes as the Region 3C meet and the Class 3 state meet loom later this month.

The Valley District meet Saturday for the Little Giants was more about progressing individuals to place in the regional and state meet than compiling team scores.

Waynesboro’s Ben Young placed first in the 50-yard freestyle, having already qualified for both regional and state in the event.

Also, Waynesboro’s girls’ 200 medley relay team of Emma Woodworth, Anja Pietrowski, Haley Sheffield and Kristen Wagner and the 400 freestyle relay team of Sheffield, Woodworth, Sydney Hill and Wagner both took top honors.

“Our strategy was to place girls in events,” said Wagner, who individually has qualified for states in the 50 freestyle and the 100 backstroke.

Wagner is a senior captain on the team this season and is also a part of three state qualifying relay teams for the Little Giants. But since swimmers are limited to two individual events and two relays in regional and state competition, putting the right people in the right events is critical.

“This is a dynamic team,” said Waynesboro head swim coach Catie Young. “The understanding they have for each other and putting others’ interests ahead of their own has been really exciting to see.”

One of those who has bought in to the team concept is senior Lauren Porter. Although not qualifying to advance past districts, Porter has been a pillar of commitment to the rest of the team. In her final varsity race, after being on the team for four seasons, Porter shaved a full four seconds off of her 100 freestyle time on Saturday.

“The swim team is as close as any team I’ve ever been a part of,” Porter said.

The Waynesboro senior captain will compete on the Little Giants’ tennis team this spring, but will have an important role as a team leader and encourager for her teammates in their upcoming meets in the pool.

A total of 12 Waynesboro swimmers turned in best times at the district meet, so the Little Giants appear to be peaking at the right time in the season.

Already qualified for regionals are Adam Bautista, Hill, Steve Perry, Pietrowski, Clara Riggan, Sheffield, Wagner, Woodworth and Young, while Sheffield, Wagner and Young have qualified for events in the state meet.

In addition, all three girls’ relay teams are both regional and state qualifiers.

The Region 3C Meet will be held Feb. 11 at the Brooks Family YMCA in Charlottesville. Swimmers from Wilson Memorial will join Waynesboro at that meet.

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