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High school swimming notepad: Relays key Eagles’ success

Going into last night’s swimming meet at Albemarle, Colonial Forge’s girls were 7–0 and its boys were 6–1 against Commonwealth District opposition.

A major key to the Eagles’ success so far this season has been the outstanding performance of their relay teams.

The girls boast the top times in the Fredericksburg area in the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays, while the 200 free ranks fourth. All three of the boys relays are ranked in the top six.

The three girls relays have also already qualified for the Northwest Region meet.

Colonial Forge coach Georgia Rathje said relays are a priority for the team.

“We definitely focus on our relays,” she said. “We have more of the top girls in our district, so our relay really comes together well.

“The boys are also doing well for us, but [we’re] still trying to figure out the fastest mix for their relays.”

The girls team also has the added boost of having Bailie Monahan in its lineup. The accomplished year-round swimmer currently holds the top area time in seven of eight individual events.

The senior—a member of all three relay teams, as well—is also joined on the Eagles roster by her brother Cullen, a sophomore.

Rathje said she doesn’t think the younger Monahan is necessarily trying to follow in his sister’s footsteps, but added that they definitely work well together.

“Bailie keeps Cullen in check,” she said. “I wouldn’t say they are any different than any other brother or sister, but they definitely push each other.”

The Eagles will try to carry over the success they’ve had so far to the district championships on Saturday at the Spotsylvania YMCA.

“I’m looking forward to districts,” Rathje said. “I think [the boys and girls] can place really well.”


Louisa’s boys and girls both finished in fifth place at Saturday’s Jefferson District meet held at Fork Union Military Academy. Western Albemarle swept both meets comfortably over Charlottesville, who was runner-up in both.

The Lions’ Debra Bickley was named girls coach of the year.

—Tom Leiss