North Carolina’s 3A state championships took place on Saturday, after the 1A/2A (small schools) and 4A (big schools) meets earlier in the week. The 3A meet saw North Ridge triumph for the girls and Chapel Hill pick up the boys state title.
One state record fell, the 500 freestyle in a dominant showing by freshman Emmaline Peterson. The Hickory 9th-grader went 4:54.42 to win the event by nearly 7 seconds and trash the old class 3A state record by two. She’s still got a ways to go to get the overall state record of 4:40.98, but with three years of high school left, Peterson is definitely one to watch within the state. She’s actually been slightly faster than her 5:54.42 as she put up a 4:53 at Winter Juniors in December.
On the girls side, a pair of Chapel Hill swimmers doubled up on event wins. Sophomore Claire DeSelm, daughter of UNC coach Rich DeSelm, won the 200 IM and 100 fly, barely missing 3A state records in both. She was 2:02.59 in the IM and 54.77 in the fly, missing that 100 fly mark by just a tenth.
Her teammate Annabelle Durham won the 100 free and 100 back for Chapel Hill, which finished second in team points. Durham brought both races down to the wire, emerging from tough competition to win both races. The 100 free saw the junior go 53.47 to top Marvin Ridge’s Lexie White and her 53.58. Then in the 100 back, Durham topped another Marvin Ridge swimmer, Caroline Hauder, 57.65 to 57.80. Chapel Hill also won the 200 medley relay in 1:49.37 with a team that presumably included both DeSelm and Durham.
Marvin Ridge won the team title despite only taking one individual event. Senior Lauren Greenberg won the 200 free in 1:52.03, a narrow touchout, and also finished second to DeSelm in the 100 fly. Marvin Ridge also swept the freestyle relays for major points late in the meet.
Other girls state champs were Corinth-Holders junior Michaela Carter in the 50 free (24.90), South Point senior Mary El Torgonski in diving (447.30) and Cedar Ridge junior Becca Churchill in the 100 breast (1:06.32).
On the men’s side, Chapel Hill won the team title by showing off even more depth than the Marvin Ridge ladies – Chapel Hill won just one event, the 400 free relay, en route to a team title by 30 over Cardinal Gibbons.
Gibbons was powered by junior Noah Cairns, who won a pair of races. He went 1:43.77 to take the 200 free and also won the 500 free in 4:33.91. That 500 free was one of two events run as timed finals with no preliminaries. (The other was the 400 free relay). In that 500, Cairns topped Asheville senior Luke Lechner, who earlier triumphed in the 200 IM, going 1:52.51.
Though they finished 4th, Concord had the most event champions – junior Tucker Wall went 21.05 to win the 50 free, senior Justus Cochran won the 100 free and the two combined to help win the 200 free relay in 1:28.74, just barely nipping Chapel Hill.
Northern Guilford flew away with the 200 medley relay, going 1:39.83. That was a full three seconds better than Chapel Hill.
Other event winners were all seniors:
- Senior Devin Hall of Aycock in 1-meter diving (374.05)
- Senior Connor Johnson of Sanford in the 100 fly (50.75)
- Senior Garrett Simpson of Crest in the 100 back (50.94)
- Senior Austin Toney of Kings Mountain in the 100 breast (59.25)
Top 5 Girls Teams
1 Marvin Ridge 366. 50
2 Chapel Hill 291. 50
3 Cardinal Gibbons 244
4 Cox Mill 130
5 Northwood 125
Top 5 Boys Teams
1 Chapel Hill 297
2 Cardinal Gibbons 267
3 Marvin Ridge 190. 50
4 Concord 169
5 Northern Guilford 161