CARY - With her swimmers cheering on their teammates more and more, first-year Green Hope coach Lauren Nosal noticed the qualitative results – her team growing stronger – and the quantitative effect it had on lowering their times.
On Thursday, Green Hope won its first boys’ swimming state championship while the girls finished runner-up.
“The stakes were higher, and they fed off each other’s energy more than anything today,” Nosal said. “We pushed around (the relays) a little bit. There were no feelings. Everyone was super positive; they just wanted what was best for the team.”
The boys’ race was heavily impacted by Green Hope’s success in the relays, where it won two of the three events and finished with 259 points.
“I can’t really explain it,” senior Ryan Cade said. “When you think of all the great Green Hope swimmers who have come through, it’s just an honor.”
Cornelius Hough’s boys were runner-up in the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A state championships, while South Mecklenburg (175) was third, East Chapel Hill (168) was fourth, three-time defending champ Charlotte Providence (156) was fifth and Leesville Road (127) was sixth.
The Green Hope girls, meanwhile, couldn’t pull off their first-ever state championship because defending champ Hough was just too fast.
Hough set four state records with meet MVP Emily Allen, a sophomore, helping to set them all – two individuals, two relays.
Hough had 323 points, while Green Hope had 236. Panther Creek (182) was third, while Providence (167), Greensboro Grimsley (160) and Cary (159) all followed.
“This is definitely the farthest we’ve gotten in my four years at Green Hope, and it’s just incredible to be a part of it,” senior Shannon Scovel said. “We tried to fight Hough the whole way, but we were very happy with how it ended up.” Holly Springs’ Ellington named MVP
The boys’ competition had parity for most of the night, so the MVP went to the only swimmer who won two events – Holly Springs junior Colin Ellington.
Ellington became the school’s first boys’ state swim champion with a win in the 200-yard IM (1:49.29), then became the state record-holder in the 100-yard freestyle (44.87). His time broke a 2006 state record set by Knightdale’s Matt Donch.
Green Hope’s boys’ 200-yard medley relay won in 1:34.99, thanks to the efforts of Chris Daniels, Seth Maslowski, Tad Spence and Cade.
The 200-yard freestyle relay (1:27.83) was won by the Falcons’ Jonathan Glavich, Stephen Hollinshead, Daniels and Maslowski. “This was my last swim meet as a senior, so I knew it was going to be a special one, and we made it a special one,” Spence said.
Cade was also third in the 200-yard IM, while Glavich was third in the 200-yard freestyle and second in the 100-yard butterfly.
Green Hope was third in the 400-yard freestyle relay, which was won by Greenville Rose (3:09.52).
Panther Creek’s Jamison Hauser won the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:34.53, while Millbrook’s David Craig was second.
“I felt like once we got to that 100 (yards left) point that I had it and I just had to finish it out and stay strong,” said Hauser, a sophomore. “(Craig) started catching me that last 50 (yards) so I just had to put my head down and race for the finish.”
John Manchester of Hough won the 200-yard freestyle (1:39.85) and the 100-yard backstroke (49.39).
Northwest Guilford’s Daniel Le broke the 100-yard breaststroke state record twice – first he took down last year’s record in the prelims, then he broke his own in the finals (55.14). Leesville Road’s Sean Yeh was runner-up.
Charlotte Providence, which was denied its fourth straight state championship, was led by Kyle Darmody, who missed breaking a 23-year-old state record by 0.1 second with his time of 20.54 in the 50-yard freestyle.
Leesville’s Scott Johnson was second in the event.
Wilmington Laney’s Christian Caveness won the 100-yard butterfly in 50.02.
East Chapel Hill’s Koya Osada was second in the 200-yard IM and 100-yard backstroke.
Riverside’s Aaron Daniels-Freeman won Wednesday’s state boys’ diving championship by 1.83 points, while Panther Creek’s Connor Callahan was third and East Chapel Hill’s James Brady was fourth.Falcons girls come up short
MVP Allen stole the show.
The sophomore broke two 2009 state records set by Olympian Lauren Perdue – the 50-yard freestyle (23.02) and the 100-yard freestyle (49.77) – and then helped Hough set records in the girls’ 200-yard freestyle relay (1:35.04) and 400-yard freestyle relay (3:24.83).
But Green Hope did set a state mark. Hannah Moore broke the state record in the 100-yard backstroke, besting Broughton’s Sabrina Benson’s 2010 time with a 54.37.
Moore also won the 500-yard freestyle by a little more than 10 seconds (4:47.66) and combined with Jenny Nusbaum, Emily Etgen and Maddie Massey to win the 200-yard medley relay (1:47.56).
“I think I swam against (Benson) when she got that record. I’ve come pretty far in the last two or three years,” Moore said, and noted her team has come pretty far too. “As it went on and we kept winning meets we started doing really well, we got so close. And now we’re here and it’s so exciting to be (boys’) champions and (girls’) runners-up.”
Though seeded fourth in her event after prelims, Megan Owens of Cary won the state title in the 100-yard butterfly (55.59).
Hough’s Jessica Merritt cruised to a title in the 200-yard freestyle (1:48.84) while Green Hope’s Brooke Rubendall and Broughton’s Kelsey Moore went second and third.
Alexandra Martelle of South Mecklenburg won the 200-yard IM in 2:03.32, with Apex’s Victoria Tschoke coming in second.
Martelle also won the 100-yard breaststroke (1:03.21) with Holly Springs’ Maddie Witzke coming in second.
Also in the 200-yard relay, Cary was second and Panther Creek was third.
Western Guilford’s Lily Armstrong won the girls’ diving competitions held on Wednesday.