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Swimmers prepared for regional meet action

**ON FRIDAY, FEB. 14, THE 3A-2A-1-A EAST REGIONAL MEET WAS POSTPONED TO MONDAY, FEB. 17 AT ARUNDEL SWIM CENTER**

(Feb. 14, 2014) The Stephen Decatur boys’ and girls’ swim teams wrapped up regular-season competition last Thursday, both earning wins over the Kent Island Buccaneers as the Seahawks now prepare for Saturday’s 3A-2A-1A East Regional meet.

The Lady Seahawks finished the regular season a perfect 10-0. They outscored Kent Island 112-58 at the Pocomoke YMCA on Senior Night. All the Decatur seniors were honored that evening.

Decatur female swimmers who won their events were juniors Madison Tinus (200-yard freestyle, 2:21.19; 50-yard freestyle, 28.55 seconds) and Carly Deickman (200 IM, 2:31.72; 100-yard breaststroke, 1:13.30) and sophomores Marley Rakow (100-yard freestyle, 1:01.72; 100-yard backstroke, 1:13.85) and Hailey Williams (500-yard freestyle, 6:04.83).

Williams, Deickman, Rakow and junior Molly Wooten took first place in the 200-yard medley relay race (2:09.33).

Rakow, Tinus and juniors Rachel Bourne and Kailey Mihavetz out-swam their competition in the 200-yard freestyle relay race (1:56.53).

Tinus, Wooten, Williams and Deickman were victorious in the 400-yard freestyle relay race (4:17.89).

“It was a good meet. Overall, they swam well,” said Decatur Coach Joe Keefe.

Some of the Seahawks competed in events they will swim in at regionals, looking to drop their times and score a better seed.

“The girls look strong. They look really good,” Keefe said.

While the Decatur girls’ squad won by 54 points, the boys’ competition was a bit closer. The score was tied 78-78 going into the final event, the 400-yard relay race.

Senior captains James Hillyer and Collin Bankert, senior Cory Campbell and junior Chris Poole earned first-place honors to secure the team victory (4:38.03).

“The relay team had an excellent swim to pull of the win,” Decatur Coach Damien Sanzotti said.

Decatur (5-5) edged out Kent Island 90-80. Seahawks who finished first in their events were Campbell (200-yard freestyle, 2:08.43), Hillyer (100-yard freestyle, 54.87 seconds) and junior Dalton Warren (100-yard backstroke, 1:08.08).

Senior Tate Socha joined Warren, Bankert and Hillyer for the 200-yard medley relay event. The foursome took first, completing the race in 1:54.19.

“The focus of this meet was on the swimmers not going to regionals and they showcased their excellent swimming ability. Seniors got to choose their events and have some fun,” Sanzotti said. “The boys swam well. [There were] some great improvements on times, which is great for seeding at regionals.”

Nine member of the Decatur boys’ team–Bankert, Campbell, Hillyer, Socha, Warren, Poole, senior Michael Lott and juniors Jake Lathroum and Matt Krall–are set to compete in Saturday’s 3A-2A-1A East Regional meet at the Arundel Swim Center.

“I hope they all drop time and have best swims at regionals,” Sanzotti said. “The competition at regionals will be the toughest of the season so we will have to be on top of our game. No mistakes. My hope is to have the boys finish in the top five at regionals as a team, but more important, to have some state qualifiers which is a very attainable goal.”

Ten Lady Seahawks–Tinus, Wooten, Rakow, Williams, Bourne, Deickman, Mihavetz, juniors Maria Zweifel, a team captain, and Katie Bear, and sophomore Zainab Mirza–will participate in the regional meet.

“We’re hoping for the best and to add to our winning streak,” Keefe said. “We should do pretty well. I think it’s achievable to win regionals. The girls are definitely excited.”

The girls’ team won the regional title last year and the boys’ squad finished second.

The 3A-2A-1A state championship is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 22 at the University of Maryland College Park’s Eppley Recreation Center.

The top three finishers in each regional individual and relay event will advance to the state meet. Individual competitors or relay teams who, in their regional meet, are among the next top-12 statewide times will also qualify for states.

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