Three Mallards Swimmers Qualify for Junior Olympics

Three Mallards Swimmers Qualify for Junior Olympics
Three Worcester Prep swimmers representing the Mako Swim Club are competing this weekend in the Mid-Atlantic Junior Olympics with the National Championships in Florida looming next month. Pictured above, from left are Anna Mumford, Gabriella Damouni and Jude Damouni. Submitted photo

BERLIN- Three Worcester Prep swimmers have qualified for the Mid-Atlantic Junior Olympics taking place this week.

For Jude Damouni (Class of 2026), Gabriella Damouni (Class of 2027) and Anna Mumford (Class of 2027), hard work is about to pay off as they will compete in swimming during this month’s Mid-Atlantic Junior Olympics taking place that got underway on Thursday, followed by the National Championships in St. Petersburg, April.

In December, representing Mako Swim Club, Gabriella and Anna attended Keystone Aquatics Arena Holiday Cup Championship in Carlisle, Pa., where both girls competed against the top swimmers in the country in their age group. As a result, they qualified for the Eastern Sectional Z​ones Divisional Team, which is made of the top swimmers from the mid-Atlantic area. They also both qualified for many different events in the Junior Olympics, including all different lengths from 50-free to 1,650-free, and 100-back.

“These girls excel in school at Worcester Preparatory, and all the rigor it gives them, as well as outside of school in their swimming,” Gabriella’s mom, Helen Damouni said. “If they were not on deck ready to swim, they were studying and catching up on schoolwork in the car or at the hotel.”

A month later at the Friends Central Aquatics Distance Challenge, Gabriella and Anna along with Jude reached another milestone while they swam 1650-yards. Anna is ranked 11th and Gabriella is ranked 58th nationally in their age group, and Jude is ranked 225th nationally for his age group. In the Mid-Atlantic region, Anna is ranked 2nd and Gabriella is ranked 11th among the girls, and Jude is ranked 30th among the boys.

In February, the three competed at the ​Double Last Chance ​Meet and qualified for additional events for the Junior Olympics. The races were for highly qualified swimmers in their respective age groups. While there, Anna also qualified for more Senior Championship events.

“I am very excited to be going to Junior Olympics and National Championships,” Gabriella said. “My coach always tells me that there is no such thing as adding time, but setting a new goal to beat that time.  I feel so honored that I got into Zones, and I am so excited for future competitions and hanging out with all my friends. I feel like I had such high goals and when I hit them, I was so happy.”

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.