ATLANTIC CITY - Following an upset loss in the first relay, the host Atlantic City High School girls swimming team took command of the annual Hackney High School Girls Invitational Swim Meet on Saturday.
Ocean City pulled a surprise by beating the Vikings' in the 200-meter medley relay with a time of 2 minutes, 4.68 seconds to set the new Hackney mark. Atlantic City was also under the old meet record.
A.C. is the defending state Meet of Champions winner in the 200 medley relay and returned all four from that lineup. That didn't stop the Vikings, who won six of the remaining 10 races. Senior Colleen Callahan and freshman Amber Glenn each had individual doubles for A.C.
Callahan won the 200-meter individual medley, and set a meet record in winning her premier event, the 100 breaststroke.
Glenn was first in the 200 and 400 freestyle races. Teammate Melissa Toy took the 100 freestyle. A.C.'s Ayana Cox, Glenn, Callahan and Toy finished up with an easy win in the 400 freestyle relay.
"You win some, you lose some," said Callahan, 17, the three-time Press Girls Swimmer of the Year and a Ventnor resident.
"We didn't win the 200 medley relay, but we didn't let that affect us the rest of the way. If anything, it motivated us to go even faster, and we'll be even more motivated in the next 200 medley relay."
Callahan, who will swim for the University of Tennessee next season, received a challenge from Vineland standout Rachel Bernhardt in the 100 breaststroke. But Callahan kept the lead to win by two feet in a meet record 1:11.36. The time was just 0.03 seconds off her school record. Callahan won the 200 IM by more than half a pool length in 2:23.44.
She's the three-time state Meet of Champions winner in both events.
"I was happy with the way I swam today," Callahan said. "Rachel is getting faster and that makes me faster."
Ocean City's Rachel Chain, Mel Wilezol, Aly Chain (Rachel's freshman sister) and Noel Styer edged Atlantic City by three-quarters of a length in the 200 medley relay.
"It was nerve-wracking," said Rachel Chain, a 16-year junior from Longport who did the backstroke leg. "The coach (Katie Merz) really wanted us to pull together and actually win this year. It took a team effort. We all really did push ourselves to the max. I knew since I was first that I'd have to get out in front."
Styer also took the 50 freestyle in 27.19. Rachel Chain returned to win the 100 backstroke in 1:07.49.
Glenn won the 200 freestyle by more than two lengths, and she captured the 400 freestyle by more than 13 seconds in 4:34.54.
"I feel great. It was really fun," said Glenn, 14, of Ventnor. "I try to pick it up in the last half of the race. It worked out pretty well."
Toy, a senior, was third in the 50 freestyle but won the 100 freestyle by three-quarters of a length over Styer in 1:00.62. Toy will swim for Towson University (Md.) next year.
"I was happy to go out on a good note," said Toy, a 17 year old from Ventnor.
Mainland's Harley Illingworth, Sydney Boswell, sister Sammy Boswell and Morgan Walls won by half a length over Ocean City in 1:53.07. The Mustangs just missed the meet record of 1:52.80.
Illingworth, a sophomore, was a late substitute when Rylie Devine began feeling ill.
"I had to mentally prepare myself," said Illingworth, 15, of Northfield. "It was an adrenaline rush. It felt amazing to win."
Sydney Boswell also won the 100 butterfly in 1:07.74, beating O.C.'s Aly Chain by 0.41 seconds. Boswell later was second in the 100 backstroke.
"I put my head down and tried to finish strong (in the butterfly)," said Boswell, a 17-year-old senior from Linwood. "I always take my (first) 50 out faster and I always finish strong, and it worked for me in the end."
The Hackney Meet, which was briefly a boys and girls meet in the early 1980s, was in its 20th year as an all-girls event since its re-start in 1994. It honors the late Marion Hackney, who rode the high-diving horse at Steel Pier in Atlantic City.
Contact Guy Gargan:
Teams-Absegami, Atlantic City, Buena Regional, Cape May Tech, Cedar Creek, Egg Harbor Township, Hammonton, Holy Spirit, Lower Cape May Regional, Mainland Regional, Millville, Oakcrest, Ocean City, Our Lady of Mercy Academy, Sacred Heart, Vineland, Wildwood Catholic. The Hackney Meet has no team scoring or diving.
200 Medley Relay-1. OC (Rachel Chain, Mel Wilezol, Aly Chain, Noel Styer) 2:04.68 (meet record. The previous mark was 2:06.02 by Egg Harbor Township's Leah Varvaro, Hayley Conover, Mackenzie Howarth and Holly Berenotto in 2008.); 2. AC 2:05.77; 3. VIN 2:10.60. 200 Freestyle-1. Amber Glenn AC 2:09.61; 2. Emily Barnard ABS 2:14.15; 3. Gabby Breazeale OC 2:17.78. 200 IM-1. Colleen Callahan AC 2:23.44; 2. Dominique Voso AC 2:34.52; 3. A. Chain OC 2:35.01. 50 Freestyle-1. Styer OC 27.19; 2. Rachel Bernhardt VIN 27.48; 3. Melissa Toy AC 28.08. 100 Butterfly-1. Sydney Boswell MAIN 1:07.74; 2. A. Chain OC 1:08.15; 3. R. Chain OC 1:08.84. 100 Freestyle-1. Toy AC 1:00.62; 2. Styer OC 1:01.86; 3. Kirstin Rontos EHT 1:02.19. 400 Freestyle-1. Glenn AC 4:34.54; 2. Voso AC 4:48.06; 3. Rylie Devine MAIN 4:52.23. 200 Freestyle Relay-1. MAIN (Harley Illingworth, Sydney Boswell, Sammy Boswell, Morgan Walls) 1:53.07; 2. OC 1:53.54; 3. EHT 1:58.27. 100 Backstroke-1. R. Chain OC 1:07.49; 2. Sydney Boswell MAIN 1:08.21; 3. Ayana Cox AC 1:10.44. 100 Breaststroke-1. Callahan AC 1:11.36 (meet record. The old mark was 1:12.77 by Callahan in 2012); 2. Bernhardt VIN 1:12.38; 3. Wilezol OC 1:18.76. 400 Freestyle Relay-1. AC (Cox, Glenn, Callahan, Toy) 4:09.94; 2. MAIN 4:17.62; 3, EHT 4:18.36.
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