On Saturday morning (6/24), the Flying Fish traveled to Highlands Swim and Tennis Club in McLean for the first meet of the 2017 season. In what has become an annual early season matchup that tended to serve as a stress-free ‘run through’ for swimmers and coaches adjusting to summer competition, this year featured a much more competitive match up between the two pools, with a final score of Overlee winning 229-191.
Highlands has been in Division 1 since 2012, finishing in 5th place with a 1-4 record each of the past five seasons. Nonetheless, the Whomping Turtles have managed to avoid relegation from the top division, all the while allowing their talented swimmers to fill out across all the age groups, where they previously were limited in depth. This year’s meet saw competitive races in all four strokes for nearly every age group.
On the other hand, Overlee displayed a few common early season deficiencies that many teams struggle initially with, including limited legal 8-under breaststroke and butterfly swimmers, less than aggressive flip turns in freestyle and backstroke, and waning closing speed. However, with the seemingly endless school year severely cutting into practice time, and many athletes finishing their spring seasons for other sports, the team pulled together a true group effort to complete the victory. While many races seemed to just slip away from the swimmer in lane 4, the support staff in lanes 2 and 6 readily picked up necessary second and third places to bolster the point total throughout the meet. Ultimately, the Flying Fish were too much to handle, heading into the relay portion of the meet needing to win only three of the twelve races remaining.
The 15-18 girls led the way in this meet, dominating the individual events by scoring 35 of 36 possible points, and winning their 200 medley relay by an entire length of the pool. Though still developing a true identity and role on this years team, the 13-14 boys vastly outperformed their seeded expectations, stealing points across the board, and completing their day with a big come from behind win in their 100 medley relay. The four 10-under age groups showed a lot of promise, and given their tendency to make the largest amounts of improvement over the course of the 5 week NVSL season, I would be willing to put money on these kids to be far more competitive with the rest of the division in coming weeks!
Of other significance, Overlee has won their first meet of the season for 14 straight years–a streak dating back to 2003, which is by far the longest of any team in Division 1!
See some of the videos of races from the weekend below, and be sure to follow our Instagram account (@OVL_Boosters) on race day for more up to the minute videos and announcements. The Flying Fish travel to McLean for another exciting meet, featuring some of the best individual swimmers in the area going head to head. Check back later in the week for a week 2 preview, as well as more exclusive conversations with Overlee coaches and swimmers!