Pines Swimmers Set Records In State Meet

Pines Swimmers Set Records In State Meet
Ocean Pines Swim Team swimmers last weekend competed in the 2019 LSC Junior Championship meet at St. Mary’s College and turned in several personal and team bests. Pictured above, from left are Coach Kristina Watts, Gavin Stearn, Katie Marcum, Ashley Marcum, Natalie Canham, Daniel Karchueski, Adam Diehl, Nate Fink and Coach Brad Diehl. Submitted photo

OCEAN PINES- Seven swimmers represented the Ocean Pines Swim Team (OPST) at the 2019 Maryland LSC Junior Championship Meet last weekend at St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

Natalie Canham, Adam Diehl, Nate Fink, Daniel Karcheuski, Ashley Marcum, Katie Marcum and Gavin Stearn all achieved qualifying times to compete at this meet during the USA Swimming short course season, which is competition in 25-yard pools.

The team turned in a weekend of personal best times and top finishes to complete their season, which began back in September. Coach Brad Diehl was impressed with all the personal best times at this meet.

“There are times for swimmers when they struggle to drop time. Many of our swimmers overcame that and saw great results this weekend,” he said.

Marcum, 15, competed in the 15-18 girls age group and finished first in the 400-yard individual medley, first in the 100-yard freestyle, and first in the 200-yard individual medley. All three swims qualified her for the 2020 MD Senior State Championship Meet. Marcum also placed second in the 100-yard breaststroke. All four of Marcum’s swims are new OPST team records.

Stearn, 14, broke a 13-14 boys team record in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 54.09 earning him a 2nd place finish. Stearn also broke team records and placed third in the 200-yard freestyle and the 500-yard freestyle. He finished second in the 50-yard freestyle, fourth in the 100-yard backstroke and seventh in the 100-yard breaststroke.

Fink, 10, competed in the 9-10 boys age group, qualifying for seven events and swimming seven best times. Fink finished second in the 500-yard freestyle, third in the 200-yard freestyle, seventh in the 100-yard freestyle, 11th in the 50-yard freestyle and 14th in the 100-yard individual medley.

Karcheuski, 13, competed in the 13-14 boys age group in seven events and swam seven best times. His 1:05.88 earned him a 17th place finish in the 100-yard butterfly. Canham, 13, placed ninth in both the 13-14 girls’ 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke events. Canham also had a 10th place finish in the 100-yard backstroke.

Ashley Marcum, 15, placed 7th in the 15-18 girls 100-yard freestyle with a season-best time of 58.67. She had an 11th place finish in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 2:25.03. Marcum dropped two seconds in the 200-yard freestyle for a personal best time of 2:13.93.

Diehl, 14, earned a 16th place finish in his 100-yard backstroke with a best time of 1:06.07. Diehl also swam a personal best in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 6:03.86. In a sport where results are measured in hundredths of a second, every detail counts.

“These swimmers have been working very hard since the first day of practice in September and it definitely showed with their results this weekend,” said Coach Kristina Watts. “I think it validated everything we worked on.”

Watts said the OPST results in the 25-yard pool all season will prepare them for the longer distances in the upcoming spring season. The long-course swim season with competition in 50-meter pools begins in April.  “The results will give them the fuel they need going into the next season,” said Watts.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.