Boys’ Swimming Wins State Championship; Girls Finish Second by Smallest Margin in State Meet History

Norfolk Academy’s Swim and Dive Team had an extraordinary finish at the 2018 State Championship: The Boys’ Team won the championship by a substantial margin, while the Girls’ Team came in second to the Madeira School by a mere half point, 294 to 293.5.

The extraordinary conclusion of the girls’ championship, which came down to the final relay of the meet, the 4 x 100, is described on the VISAA website as “the closest Championship Meet Finish in recorded meet history.” Madeira is an all-girls boarding school for grades 9-12 near Washington, D.C.

Both boys and girls set state (and school) records in the 200 Freestyle Relay. The team of Spencer Ryan, B. Gray Randolph, Guil Ware, and Will Wilson set a record of 1:24.45 (set in prelims), while the team of Eliza Ware, Abigail McCammon, Kayla Wilson, and Callie Dickinson finished at 1:34.78. The times of both teams qualified for All-American recognition. In addition, the 400 Freestyle Relay of Kayla Wilson, Eliza Ware, Marin McKee, and Callie Dickinson earned All-American.

Will Wilson is the state champion in the 100 butterfly and the 200 freestyle. Callie Dickinson is the state champion in the 200 individual medley and the 100 backstroke, and her times in those events qualified her as All-American.

The dive team had a strong finish at the state level with Balthazar Denk placing fourth and Peyton McNider placing seventh out of a total of 15 male divers. Kaitlyn Antonick finished seventh out of 16 girls.

Both teams finished first in the Tidewater Conference of Independent Schools (TCIS), and numerous school records were set over the course of the season. Callie Dickinson now holds four school records for individual events: 200 IM, 100 butterfly, 100 backstroke, and 100 breaststroke. Kayla Wilson is the new school record holder for the 100, 200, and 500 freestyle. Both Wilson and Dickinson are members of two relay teams that set new school records.

On the boys’ side of the ledger, Will Wilson holds two school records for the 200 freestyle and the 100 fly, and he is a member of two relay teams with new school records. Clay Whetstine also set a new school record for the 500 freestyle.

Co-head coaches of the Varsity Swimming and Dive Team are Kristen Kirkman, who directs the school's swimming instruction program, and Joel Shinofield, executive director of the College Swimming Coaches Association of America. Assistant coaches were Brooks Nopper, teaching associate at Norfolk Academy, and Andrew Smith.

Michael Smack is the head coach for the divers, and the assistant coach is Chase Seymour.