TAC Titans February Qualifier
- February 14, 2021
- Triangle Aquatic Center, Cary, North Carolina
- Short Course Yards (25 yards)
While most of the focus in North Carolina swimming this weekend was on the high school state championship meets, on Sunday the TAC Titans held a follow-up event.
The meet, among other purposes, gave swimmers the chance to use their ‘state championship tapers’ on the non-high school event lineup.
The swimmer who best took advantage of that was 17-year old TAC swimmer Lance Norris. After winning the 500 free at the 1A/2A (small schools) championship meet on Thursday representing Nash Central High School, Norris returned to the blocks on Sunday to swim the mile.
There, he went under 15 minutes for the first time in his career and crushed his lifetime best by almost 7 seconds, swimming 14:58.94. That time leaves him just short of the 14:57.07 that it took to qualify for the NCAA Championships last year.
That also breaks his own TAC team record.
Norris was one of a number of TAC swimmers who came back from the nationwide paused on sanctioned meets with a number of best times in the fall, and he’s continued that trend through the season – going at least one personal best at almost every meet he’s raced since then.
That includes a 4:20.83 in the 500 free at the state meet and a 48.67 in the 100 back at his high school regional championship a week earlier. That 500 free is also a TAC team record, while the 100 back misses the team’s all-time best by just .04 seconds.
After Norris, the next-most significant swim of the meet came from Michael Volpe of the YOTA Swim Team.
Volpe, who is an uncommitted high school senior, improved his recruiting stock with a 21.34 lifetime best in the 50 free. That nine-tenths of a second off his previous lifetime best. After a 55.73 in the 100 breast at the 3A State Championship meet on Wednesday, Volpe is among the top uncommitted seniors remaining in the class of 2021 – though he doesn’t have a second event that matches that 100 breaststroke time.