Loyola head coach Keith Schertle, who graduated an outstanding class of swimmers following last season, let it be known, prior to this season, that his current team was young and unproven. He said that if ever there were a year when one of Loyola's league rivals would step forward and dethrone the Dons as the only swimming champion the MIAA has ever known, this might be the one.

Well, it wasn't.

The young Dons, led by sophomore Nick Taylor, who won four gold medals at yesterday's MIAA Swimming Championships, are unproven no longer. After an undefeated dual-meet season, Loyola amassed 656.5-points, yesterday in its own aquatic center, to rout the field and walk away with its eighth straight MIAA title and its ninth straight league title, dating back to the days of the MSA.

Mount St. Joseph, which emerged as a top swimming program over the course of this winter, finished second with 520-points and McDonogh was third with 462-points.

Taylor, showing the leadership skills usually associated with a senior, scored individual victories in the 50 Free (21.66) and 100 Free (48.42), and also anchored winning efforts by Loyola in the 200 Medley Relay (1:40.05) and 400 Free Relay (3:16.85). His effort in the 50 Free set a new pool record, as did the Dons time in the 200 Medley Relay.

In addition to Loyola's young swimmers, yesterday's event revealed that the MIAA is loaded with young talent.

St. Joe also got a strong performance from a sophomore, as Eric Cullen claimed victory in 100-yard breaststroke in a time of 1:00.75 and, yet another sophomore, Drew Pallace of McDonogh, won the 100 Butterfly (53.81).

Perhaps the most impressive performer of the day, however, was turned in by a freshman. Nico Zebley, a freshman at Friends, which has no swim team, competed as individual entrant and swam away with two gold medals, including an MIAA record time of 4:35.61 in the 500 Freestyle. That effort also qualified Zebley, a member of the North Baltimore Aquatic Club, for All-American status in the 500 Free. His other victory came in the 200 Freestyle, where he swam 1:45.89.

Saving face for the upper-classmen, was McDonogh senior Tim Newton, who won the 200 Intermediate Medley in 1:57.88, and senior Chris Popp of Mount Carmel, who won the 100 Backstroke in 55.02. Popp, like Zebley, was competing as an individual entrant.

Here are yesterday's complete teams scores and individual results

(at Loyola Blakefield Aquatic Center)

1. Loyola (L), 656.50
2. Mount St. Joseph (MSJ), 520
3. McDonogh (McD), 462
4. Calvert Hall (CH), 384
5. Severn (Sev), 219.50
6. Gilman (G), 208
7. Sts. Peter&Paul (SPP), 131
8. John Carroll (JC), 97.

200 Medley Relay
1. Loyola (Kelsey, Hopkins, Happel, Taylor), 1:40.05;
2. McDonogh (Pallace, Fedderly, Bulkley, Kobb), 1:40.99
3. Mount St. Joseph (Amato, Cullen, Deleonibus, Chartier), 1:41.11

200 Freestyle
1. Zebley (FR), 1:45.89
2. Fedderly (McD), 1:47.11
3. Swann (MSJ), 1:48.80

200 Individual Medley
1. Newton (McD), 1:57.88
2. Deleonibus (MSJ), 1:59.49
3. Cullen (MSJ), 2:01.59

50 Freestyle
1. Taylor (L), 21.66
2. Chartier (MSJ), 22.49
3. Malone (CH), 22.85

100 Butterfly
1. Pallace (McD), 53.81
2. Carouge (SPP), 54.18
3. Deleonibus (MSJ), 54.19

100 Freestyle
1. Taylor (L), 48.42
2. Soper (L), 49.92
3. Lombardi (L), 50.30

500 Freestyle
1. Zebley (FR), 4:35.61
2. Newton (McD), 4:39.46
3. Fedderly (McD), 4:47.54

200 Freestyle Relay
1. Loyola (Acchione, Soper, Conley, Lombardi), 1:32.91
2. Calvert Hall (Fulcher, Thomas, Malone, Gentry), 1:35.02
3. Mount St. Joseph (Cullen, Jelen, Swann, Chartier), 1:35.50

100 Backstroke
1. Popp (MC), 55.02
2. Pallace (McD), 55.73
3. Tichenor (Sev), 56.52
4. Brannan (L), 57.03

100 Breaststroke
1. Cullen (MSJ), 1:00.75
2. Zhang (G), 1:02.05
3. Hopkins (L), 1:02.14

400 Freestyle Relay
1. Loyola (Soper, Conley, Lombardi, Taylor), 3:16.85
2. McDonogh (Fedderly, Paterakis, Pallace, Newton), 3:17.61
3. Mount St. Joseph (Swann, Fox, Amato, Deleonibus), 3:26.59