Irmo had the star power, but Spring Valley’s depth was the more telling factor at the Region 4-4A girls swimming championship meet on Saturday at Columbia Country Club.
Irmo came away with six gold medals in the 12 events to Spring Valley’s one individual prize, but the Vikings superior depth made all the difference in the tight race for the team championship. Spring Valley prevailed by a scant 146-141 margin.
The fact that the Vikings managed to secure just six medals in the eight individual events – one gold, five bronze – makes the team triumph an even more impressive achievement.
Mary Kate Boyle was the nominal SV star, claiming the team’s lone glittering prize with a win in the 100-meter free. She was also picked up a bronze for a third-place finish in the 200 free.
Irmo had far more headline performances, but not enough to overcome Spring Valley’s overall scoring power.
Brooke Elias was the Yellow Jackets’ standout with four gold-medal performances. Elias won the 200 free and the 100 backstroke, and joined forces with Laine Huggins, Brooke and Brittnee Hill on the winning 200 medley and 400 free relay teams.
Huggins and Brooke Hill had solo wins, as well – Huggins in the 50 free, Hill in the 100 butterfly.
Blythewood finished in third place with 107 points. Sarah Barnes led the way with a first place finish in the 100 breaststroke and a second in the 200 individual medley.
Dutch Forks Annie Suarez was the winner in the 200 IM, and teamed up with Mary Pat Suarez, Jenny Martinez and Madeline Link for a win in the 400 free relay.
Rachel Castell was the Lugoff-Elgin story, claiming one gold (400 free) and one silver medal (100 backstroke).