The National Catholic High School Swimming Championships will take place at Villanova University this weekend, and several local teams have been invited to compete. Calvert Hall, Loyola, Mt. St. Joe, Spalding, and Sts. Peter and Paul will be traveling up to Philadelphia this weekend to compete against some of the Mid-Atlantic’s best high school swimming programs.
Among the other teams attending are Georgetown Prep, Gonzaga, Malvern Prep, Bishop O’Connell, and Good Counsel.
Loyola is heavily favored to repeat as NCHS champions this year. The Dons are led by All-American breaststroke/IM specialist Sean Roddy, who will be attending LSU next year to swim for the Tigers, who boast one of the best programs in the country.
Roddy was the Baltimore Sun’s Athlete of the Week on January 16th, after going 57.41 in the 100 breaststroke and 1:53.81 in the 200 IM against Mercersburg Academy in a dual meet a few days prior. The same day he was named Athlete of the Week, he proceeded to break his own breaststroke school record against McDonogh (56.08) and broke another school record in the IM (1:49.39).
Georgetown Prep’s Brady Fox, a five-star prospect by Swimming World magazine, should also put on a strong performance. Fox has Olympic time trial cuts in both backstroke events (100 meter and 200 meter distances), and has committed to UVA, rounding out arguably the strongest recruiting class in the nation.
The Maryland teams are right in the middle of the “taper” portion of their practice schedule, where dryland activities end, and the coaches focus on having their athletes swim fast while doing significantly less yardage. The teams will not complete their taper, however, until next week, as the National Catholics are just a quiz before the big test. The MIAA swimming championships will take place next Saturday at McDonogh.
Regardless, expect some fast swimming this weekend up at Villanova.