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HIGH SCHOOL SWIMMING NOTEPAD: Eagles reach new heights with win

SEE ALSO: Top Times


Seton School has dominated the Delaney Athletic Conference for years and has been a measuring stick for Fredericksburg-area private schools.

On Saturday, Fredericksburg Christian’s boys did more than just compete, handing the Conquistadors their first loss to a fellow Delaney Athletic Conference team since 2003—and just their second since 1996.

First-year Eagles head coach Nicole Kent said, despite missing some key swimmers, the larger size of the boys team this season was one of the keys to the win in the Seton Invitational held at the new Jeff Rouse pool at the Central Park Aquatic Center in Manassas.

“We’ve got a very talented group of kids,” said Kent, who is in her fourth year with the program. “We have year-round swimmers and depth we’ve never had before. So, it’s exciting to see them working.”

Kent also credited assistant coach Joe Pleban, a former member of the FCS team and the son of former coaches Bob and Lisa Pleban, who regularly talked to the team about its history against Seton and how “this could be their year to catch them.”

Veteran swimmers David Turbyfill, Garrett Ross, Adam Kearney, Chris Jones and team captain Jack Rutherford were instrumental in the victory, particularly in the relay events.

The Eagles won the 200 medley and 200-freestyle relays, and finished second in the 400-freestyle relay, events where Seton usually excels.

“They’re so motivated by the relays,” Kent said. “They huddle up and they just get so psyched.”

Kent was also gracious toward the Seton team and their reaction to the set-back on Saturday, noting how the Conquistadors’ coach came and congratulated FCS after the win.

“It’s a huge thing and they’ve always been so very gracious to FCS along the way and now it’s our turn to give them the competition,” she said.

“It’s just the start of the season and it’s exciting to see where it can go.”

—Tom Leiss