CARY The swimming teams of Cardinal Gibbons and Chapel Hill couldn’t help but engage in a little back-and-forth minutes before the N.C. High School Athletic Association 3A East regional swim meet Tuesday.
“That was kind of a spur-of-the-moment thing,” said Chapel Hill senior Evan Rose. “We saw them over there, they saw us, and we just had a little fun competition.”
After they finished trading chants like Cardinal Gibbons’ “Two, four, six, eight: we’ve got more than you can take” and Chapel Hill’s “We won conference” across Triangle Aquatic Center’s main pool, they took their rivalry to the water.
That’s where Chapel Hill’s volume of talented swimmers proved to be even better than the volume of both teams’ cheers.
The Tigers boys topped Cardinal Gibbons 509 to 457 to stop the Crusaders’ streak of regional titles, and the Chapel Hill girls had a bit easier time holding off Cardinal Gibbons 516.5 to 410.
The schools have combined to win 10 NCHSAA swimming titles since 2006, led by Cardinal Gibbons’ boys’ current streak of six straight. They have been conference foes for the past five years.
“Our relationship with Gibbons is definitely an interesting one. Before the meet, we don’t like talking to them. We’re very harsh to each other. But afterwards it’s all hugs and love,” said Chapel Hill senior Anabelle Durham.
Cardinal Gibbons’ 200 medley relay team opened the meet with a win, but it was later disqualified, which led to a 42-point swing. The Crusaders lost 40 points and Chapel Hill picked up two as it slid from third to second in the event.
Cardinal Gibbons’ boys were led by Noah Cairns, who took the 200 freestyle (1:46.31) and 500 freestyle (4:37.68).
On the girls side, Cardinal Gibbons’ Emily Dykstra took the 200 freestyle (1:54.73) and 500 free (5:04.70).
Cardinal Gibbons’ quartet of Sammy Stone, Haley Allen, Sophia Lindem and Dykstra won the 200 freestyle relay (1:40.44).
Blake: 919-460-2606; Twitter: @JMBpreps