Brian Turner had a quick metaphor to describe Nina McLarnan’s performance on Tuesday.
“She’s an Adam Vinatieri in the fourth quarter of the playoffs, maybe the Super Bowl,” Turner said, referring to a pair of clutch finishes by the Richmond High School senior.
The Richmond girls swimming and diving team is low on numbers, but it had strong individual performances in its second trip to the pool this season.
It was the home opener for the Red Devils and the first boys meet this season.
Mt. Vernon won both meets, 106-79 in boys and 125-54 in girls, but Turner saw many positives in his Tiano Pool debut.
For one, McLarnan’s hustle earned the Red Devils key points.
She won the 200-yard freestyle, finished second in the 500 and was a key leg in the victorious 200 freestyle relay.
After Samantha Wilson, Alexis McPherson and Samantha Decker swam their legs, McLarnan dove in the pool a few feet behind Mt. Vernon’s Anne Marie Keeler, but her strong strokes helped Richmond edge the Marauders 1:55:74-1:56.14.
“We’ve been working a lot on sprinting stuff, so it was just a matter of I dove in the pool and I decided that I wasn’t going to let our team get second. So I sprinted and we managed to catch up. I think that our girls have been working hard,” McLarnan said.
Turner added: “That’s the third or fourth time already in two meets she’s chased people down. … She’s a senior captain, that was a lot of fun.”
There was no such rally needed in Matt Holt’s victory. The senior won the 500 freestyle with relative ease, finishing in 5:39.05. Geno Pieroni of Richmond finished second in 5:51.8.
“It’s a longer event, you want to start off slow and then build, and that’s what I did,” Holt said. “I just took it slow to start and then brought it home.”
The Red Devils also saw junior diver Mariam Khamis, a two-time state qualifier, win the diving event with a score of 268.65.
Her dives were clearly at a higher degree of difficulty as she beat out second-place finisher Maddie King of Mt. Vernon.
“Mariam Khamis was amazing out there. She’s unbelievable,” Turner said. “There’s nobody that works harder than her.”
Chase Philman also won the 100 freestyle for Richmond’s boys and Turner said Shannon Boyd had a personal-best finish in the butterfly (1:02.56), where he was second.