NEW ORLEANS — For Mandeville High School’s Jonna and Denise Frantz, Saturday’s finals of the 2012 All State Sugar Bowl Metro New Orleans High School Swimming Championships might have represented a passing of the familial torch.
Jonna, a senior, earned two individual wins Saturday, first capturing the girls 500-yard freestyle in a time of 24.25 seconds, then seizing the 100-yard freestyle with a mark of 53.44 seconds.
Meanwhile, freshman Denise swam legs on the winning 200-yard-medley relay and the 200-yard freestyle relay — her older sister joined her in the 200 free — and placed second in the 100-yard breaststroke.
They were part of a Mandeville squad that placed second overall to girls winner Northshore High School. The sisters also helped their school take second in the coed team standings behind Northshore.
But now Jonna is poised to move on to the collegiate level — hopefully, she said, to Tulane — after the state high school meet in two weeks, and Denise admitted she has some big sisterly shoes to fill next year.
“It’s a little daunting,” Denise said of assuming the Frantz family mantle. “As she’s leaving, I’m coming in. Living up to her expectations will be a little bit tough, but I think it’s manageable.”
She’s not the only one facing high expectations. The Jesuit boys squad, for one, blew away the metro field Saturday, taking the team title by more than 240 points and doubling up second-place Northshore. The Blue Jays are hoping to reclaim the state team crown in two weeks.
Individually, at state all eyes will be on metro swimmers of the meet Patrick Reiss of Newman and Kara Kopsco of Fountainebleau. Kopsco posted a stellar performance on Saturday, crushing the competition in the girls 100-yard butterfly in 55.73 seconds — more than four seconds better than the runner-up — and establishing a meet record in the process. That time also qualified Kopsco for All-America consideration. Kopsco also copped the 200-yard individual medley title with a mark of 2:05.67 on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Reiss, was also a double-winner, taking the 100-yard boys freestyle with a mark of 48.14 seconds and winning the 100-yard backstroke in a blistering time of 52.98 seconds.
Reiss, a senior, now moves on to his final state championship meet, where he wants to break at least one Louisiana prep record. He said that over the next two weeks he’ll taper down his workouts in order to rest up for the state meet, a loosened regimen that he said can allow him to capture his goal.
“It’s within reach, yeah,” Reiss said of establishing state marks. “But in general, I just want to swim fast overall.”
Jesuit won the overall boys metro crown with balance and depth. The Jays won only two events — sophomore Michael Conrad in the 500 freestyle (4:59.57) and the 200 freestyle relay quartet of senior Matt Arceneaux, sophomore Patrick Cecola, junior Brett Dipuma and sophomore Chris Simmons (1:31.33) — but posted a slew of seconds and thirds.
On the girls side, Northshore showed even more depth — the Panthers didn’t win any individual events, but numerous Northshore swimmers clogged the upper echelons of the races.
The second-place Mandeville girls team had to settle for a fistful of individual wins Saturday. In addition to the Frantz sisters’ exploits, sophomore Megan Loop dominated the girls distance events, winning the 200-yard freestyle (1:53.49) and the 500-yard freestyle (5:02.41).
“I did really good,” Loop said. “I’m really proud of myself. I’ve been subtracting a lot of time from my best swims.”
With only one more prep event to go, Jonna Frantz got to watch her younger sibling shine on Saturday, but she was also pretty happy with her own effort. Now it’s on to the state meet.
“I need to believe in myself and in my coaches,” she said of the state meet. “I’ve trained really hard to get to this point. Hopefully it will all come together at states.”