To say the Madison High School boys swimming team is a favorite going into this weekend's Liberty District championship is an understatement.
They are the favorite.
The team of 27 swimmers has not only gone undefeated for the past three consecutive seasons, but they've also won the Liberty District Title for the last two.
Despite the pressure, the Warhawks have learned to stay focused in the pool -- not just in one event, but nearly all of them.
Coach Andrew Foos stops short of declaring the squad is the deepest in the region, but "we have the deepest team in our district for sure,” said Foos, a standout swimmer at Falls Church High School who later swam a season at William and Mary.
He expects Thomas Jefferson and Langley, and a few top performers at Marshall High School , to pose threats to the Warhawks as they enter day two of the Liberty District Championship on Saturday, but still thinks Madison can come out on top for the third straight year.
Part of Madison's depth is owed to the Vienna in which most of its swimmers grew up, home to four or five Northern Virginia Swim League teams, Foos said. Many Madison swimmers are already known around the region by the time they reach high school. Several Warhawk swimmers are on club teams as well; it's not unusual for the athletes to swim year-round.
But Foos has been successful in developing even those swimmers without those resources, who come to the pool for a few months each winter ready to learn.
"They may not be first in the district, but they bust their butts. They score points," Foos said.
And in a year that saw the Madison boys and girls teams lose a combined 26 swimmers to graduation, that's made the difference: even when the Warhawks top-seeds can't secure first-place points, there's another handful of swimmers who pull in a few points a piece.
"We have a whole host of guys who score points," he said. "It's hard to say there are just two that contribute to our success.
To say the Madison High School boys swimming team is a favorite going into this weekend's Liberty District championship is an understatement. The team of 27 swimmers has not only gone undefeated for the past three consecutive seasons, but they've also
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The boys' meet will be much closer, with Madison, Jefferson, and Langley contending for the title. Also look for Marshall's talented boys to spoil one of the top teams chances by stealing points at finals. Jefferson's boys' team is much improved this
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After a close win over Jefferson last Friday, the undefeated girls will be one of the favorites going into districts.
As districts begin this weekend, the Langley girls’ swim team is confident they can put out a successful campaign. “We’re definitely going to do well,” says freshman Erin Reilly. “Our best swimmers are prepared and going to give it their all.”
The impressive season the girls have put together demonstrates the progress has made this season, as well as the talent and depth of the team. Sierra Jeter, a sophomore on the team, says, “I definitely think we will be successful at districts. I’ve seen the team at its peak and I think we are capable of being far more successful than we are now.” Clearly, the team has very high expectations for the remainder of the season.
This is even more impressive due to the number of talented senior swimmers the team lost after last season’s state champion team. “We look really strong for districts. Our depth gives us a very good chance at winning the title again,” says senior Allie Zeidan. As the team preps for the strong challenges to come, many swimmers see Oakton as their toughest competitor.