Hilton Head began its campaign to win a fifth straight South Carolina Class 3A Championship title with a solid victory in the 200 medley relay. Lilla Felix, Madison Field, Karah Kurtz, and Isobella Brockmann combined for 1:52.20. They were followed by Academic Magnet (Cassidy Rindge, Julia Zimlich, Elaine Zhou, and Emma Crowfoot) in 1:52.86 and Aiken (Kailey Grant, Emily Colster, Allison Kekacs, and Erin Colster) with 1:53.09.
Freshman Sydney Baker of Christ Church picked the first of her two state titles with a big 1:51.81 in the 200 free. Hilton Head’s Sarah Reamy (1:54.45) took second, thanks to a 28.8 split on her final 50 that took her past Maggie Langdale (1:54.70) of Myrtle Beach. Baker’s second win came in the 100 breast, where she touched in 1:05.54, ahead of Academic Magnet’s Zhou (1:06.26) and Darby Porter (1:12.15) of AC Flora.
Christ Church freshman Maddie Baker, Sydney’s twin sister, took home a first and a third in her inaugural state meet. She won the 200 IM in 2:07.29, in front of runner-up LeeAnn Tiffany (2:09.87) from Eastside and Claire Holliday (2:10.68) of South Pointe. Baker finished third in the 100 fly with 57.80. Academic Magnet’s Zhou was the winner of that event in 54.63; Aiken’s Kekacs got second with 57.49.
St Josephs senior and recent Arizona commit Katrina Konopka smashed two meet records, beginning with the 50 free. Her 22.99 was a .64-second haircut to the old record which had stood since 2006. Catherine Bendziewicz from Chapin and Eastside’s Emma Hennessy were second and third, with 23.80 and 24.50, respectively. Konopka’s next target was a 51-low mark in the 100 free that had been in place since 2003; she crashed through that barrier with a 1.5-second improvement to 49.82. Bendziewicz was second again (52.41), while Berkeley’s Ashley Thornal (54.47) was third.
Konopka’s victories in the 50 and 100 free marked the fourth consecutive year she had won both events.
Yale-bound Hilton Head senior Felix won the 500 free in 5:00.70. Teammate Reamy picked up her second silver medal, touching in 5:06.29. Aiken’s Grant took third with a 5:19.93. Felix just missed a second win when Kandes Soapes of Myrtle Beach held her off and took first place in the 100 back with 57.09. Trailing by .9 at the 50, Felix came charging back but wound up just short of the win, touching in 57.16. Myrtle Beach’s Langdale (57.98) was third.
Myrtle Beach (Soapes, Kennedy Drew, Olivia McGonigal, and Langdale) won the 200 free relay in 1:40.45. Chapin (Alexa Ussery, Cindy Spence, Emily Gleaton, and Bendziewicz) took second in 1:42.95. Bishop England (Elizabeth Cochran, Erin Dukes, Adesuwa Emovon, and Emma Pizzo) rounded out the podium with 1:44.61.
Hilton Head captured the 400 free relay to close out the meet with their fifth consecutive state team title. The quartet of Felix, Victoria Gill, Reamy, and Field combined for 3:39.31. AC Flora (Rebecca Sturm, Meagan Robins, Riley Ammons, and Hannah Robins) took second place in 3:44.18. St Josephs (Mary Veideman, Claire Andrew, Kyler Van Evera, and Konopka) finished third in 3:45.30 with a 49.67 anchor from Konopka.
1 Hilton Head 422
2 Academic Magnet 292
3 A C Flora 279.50
4 Bishop England 223
5 Myrtle Beach 219
6 St Josephs 202
7 Christ Church 200
8 Aiken 198
9 Eastside 183
10 Chapin 151.50
Christ Church got things started with a 1:38.39 win in the 200 medley relay from Walker Leftwich, Dylan Muse, Bryan Barker, and Rak Hovart. Waccamaw (Patrick Sullivan, Adam Paquette, Luke La Rochelle, and Michael Dear) was second in 1:40.05 and Academic Magnet (Carter Brzezinski, Cooper Pitts, John Pavlides, and Luke Beall) took third with 1:40.61.
Palmetto sophomore Tal Davis won both the 200 free and 500 free, and by large margins. He was 1:42.29 in the 200, 4.7 seconds ahead of Jonathan Morse of Christ Church (1:46.92) and Waccamaw’s Sullivan (1:42.94). The race for second and third was exciting; both Morse and Sullivan trailed Aiken’s Jason Kekacs at the 150 but managed to get their hands to the wall first.
Davis won the 500 by more than ten seconds, finishing with 4:35.21. St Josephs’ Brooks McCoy (4:45.55) held off Morse from Christ Church (4:46.08) for second.
Academic Magnet’s Pitts was also a double champion. He won the 200 IM in 1:54.26 in front of St Josephs’ McCoy (1:57.38) and Mason Bryan of North Myrtle Beach (1:58.10). He then went on to take the 100 breast with 58.56. Nathan Hahn from Dreher (1:00.15) and Hilton Head’s Elliott Gayken (1:00.45) were second and third.
John Kelly of St Josephs came out on top of two very close sprint free races. He won the 50 in 22.01, followed by La Rochelle of Waccamaw in 22.22 and Lancaster’s Nicolas Chance with 22.45. In the 100, Kelly (48.46) touched out Tyler Eldred of Myrtle Beach (48.57) and Brzezinski of Academic Magnet (48.74).
Christ Church’s Barker and Leftwich went 1-2 in the 100 fly, with Barker getting the win 53.22 to 54.17. Third place went to Hunter Jackson of Aiken, 54.95. In the 100 back, Leftwich beat Barker, but North Myrtle Beach’s Bryan was in front of them both, getting the win in 51.59. Leftwich was second with 52.30 and Barker finished .02 ahead of Academic Magnet’s Brzezinski for third, 54.28 to 54.30.
Dreher won the 200 free relay by 1/100 over Waccamaw. Dreher’s Hahn, Cameron Sawyer, Austin Konkle, and Zachary Rue combined for 1:30.20, while Waccamaw’s La Rochelle, Paquette, Dear, and Sullivan went 1:30.21. Third place went to the Christ Church quartet of Leftwich, Muse, Morse, and Jackson Kabas who touched in 1:31.65.
Christ Church ended the meet as they’d begun it: with a decisive relay win. Morse, Hovart, Kabas, and Barker went 3:17.51 in the 400 free relay to claim the gold. Hilton Head (Tristan Cummings, Ryan Naddy, Clayton North, and Elliott Gayken-3:20.39) touched second; Academic Magnet (Jack Kulp, Owen Navarro, Brzezinski, and Cooper-3:22.87), third.
1 Christ Church 365
2 Academic Magnet 331.50
3 Eastside 251.50
4 Dreher 248
5 Hilton Head 218
6 Waccamaw 212
7 Aiken 210
8 St Josephs 181
9 A C Flora 165
10 North Myrtle Beach 147