Walter Johnson’s Siena Carp ends his high school swimming career in spectacular fashion


Heading into the Maryland 4A/3A state championships, Sienna Karp knew she would be emotional, knowing it would be her last high school meet. But for Walter Johnson, she was determined not to shed a tear when her swimming season ended.

Tears poured down her face as she took the stage with a gold medal around her neck after winning the 100-yard breaststroke at the University of Maryland’s Epley Recreation Center on Saturday.

“Everyone else was crying,” she said. “It’s an amazing feeling. … You’re so excited, but it’s so sad that it happened.

Karp, a runner, and Isla Bartholomew, a Walter Johnson sophomore, shared a long hug as their teammates cheered them on in the pool. For Karp, a senior Penn State commit, the moment was sweeter than bittersweet: She knew her team had secured the state title. The Wildcats successfully defended their championship, posting 310 points to surpass Bethesda-Chevy Chase (289). Richard Montgomery is third at 263.

During her senior year in high school, Karp dazzled from start to finish, earning three state titles and winning three state titles. In the 200 medley relay, the quartet of Karp, Maren Konze, Maddie Simmons and Haley Morgan set the record with a time of 1 minute, 44.92 seconds. They were almost two seconds ahead of the outgoing Wootton.

A short while later, Karp returned to the pool for the 200 individual medley. She finished three seconds clear of the pack in 2:01.15 for her second straight state title. Her breaststroke time of 33.61 seconds helped her to a healthy edge before heading to the wall for the win, setting another record in the process.

Karp’s second individual state title came when the Wildcats needed it most. With B-CC trailing by a few points going into the final individual event, Karp was the top seed in the 100 breaststroke. She set another record by clocking in at 1:01:54. Bartholomew finished second as Walter Johnson pulled away.

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“I just finished and saw [Bartholomew] Be second, I love yelling — it was so much fun,” Karp said. “…I’m so proud of her.”

From there, all the Wildcats needed was a solid finish in the 400 freestyle relay to clinch the team victory. The Barons struck first — led by senior Nina Allen, who dominated the 50 freestyle and helped both B-CC freestyle relay teams to victory — but Walter Johnson’s third-place finish was more than enough for another state title.

Whitman men edge Churchill

Churchill and Whitman combined for the boys 200 freestyle relay, leading the Bulldogs to a 16.84-point lead. At the end of the race, the lead belonged to the Vikings at 23.16.

Churchill’s children pretended to control the meeting and ducked them at first. But the Bulldogs were disqualified when a swimmer failed to stay at least one foot in front of the water before diving into the water, sweeping 40 points.

That put Whitman in the driver’s seat with just a few races left. Senior Blake Conway won the next event, the 100 back, in 48.36. Senior Chris Lawson won the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly.

All members of Whitman’s 400 freestyle relay team finished under 48 seconds to help the Vikings finish third in the finals, take state honors and dethrone last year’s champion. Whitman finished with 293.16 points. Churchill had 274.

“They’ve worked really hard, so they deserve it,” Whitman coach Teresa Vaggi said. “Great team spirit, great camaraderie, great group of kids.”

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