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KG Foxes district swim dynasty comes to an end

On Friday, the Foxes district swim season ended in defeat at the University of Mary Washington Goolrick Pool. After dominating Battlefield District girls’ swim competition for the last five years, the Foxes girls’ swim team was dethroned by James Monroe by the margin of two points (125-123).
However, the Foxes swim program continues to be the most successful in high school area competition. Since the day it began with Ken Novell, to present day head coach Debi Bernardes, the Foxes swim teams have consistently dominated area swimming.

In fact, prior to the final event, the Foxes girls led the Yellow Jackets by 119-107. However, the Yellow Jackets’ 400-yard girls’ freestyle team of Allison Slominski, Gillian Downs, Connor Forjan and Noland Butler placed six seconds ahead of the Foxes for a first place finish, which was just enough to put them over the top.

As for the Foxes boys, they were dealt a similar fate. The Yellow Jacket 400-yard boys’ freestyle team, comprised of Brad Allison, Nye Lott, Matthew Howard and Peter Stoffel, crossed the finish line seven seconds ahead of the Foxes, giving the Yellow Jackets their second consecutive district crown. Prior to last year’s Yellow district championship win, the Foxes boys had the title three years in a row.

Ironically, the Foxes defeated both girls’ and boys’ Yellow Jacket swim teams during the 2012-2013 winter sports regular season.

After taking the Foxes to the top of area swimming over a period of six years, head coach Debi Bernardes has no regrets after her teams gave swim fans across the Fredericksburg area a reason to cheer during the Friday evening sports events. “ My kids swam great last night,” Bernardes said.  “We couldn’t have done anything different that would have changed the outcome for the boys, and the girls misfortune was a gain for JM.  This happens in sport. 

“We learn from it, and move on.  It was unfortunate as it ruined our five-year reign at the last District meet we will ever have.”  The good news for Fox fans is that all Fox Battlefield District swim records (nearly 50%) are all still intact.

The 2012-2013 Battlefield District Championship Foxes first place finishes include: boys 200-yard medley relay: Matthew Hunt, Asher Bentz, Ricardo Bonilla-Vazquez, Billy Owen, 1:47.18; girls 200-yard medley relay: Taylor Brandts, Lucy Shippee, Kourtney Miller, Rebecca Liskiewicz, 1:57.86; boys 200-yard IM, Asher Bentz, 2:21.06; no Fox individual winners.

On Friday, Feb. 15, the following Foxes will compete in the VHSL Swimming & Diving Championships: Rebecca Liskiewicz, Kourtney Miller, Lucy Shippee, Taylor Brandts, Katie Barnum, Kelsie Ludwig, Ricardo Bonilla-Vazquez, Matthew Hunt, Billy Owen, Asher Bentz, Chase Manard, Rudy Morrow.

The swim championship also marked another milestone. Starting in the fall, due statewide post-season realignment, district championships as we know them will cease to exist.

Leonard Banks
Sports editor

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