Sam Hoover Crushes NC State Record with 43.1 100 Free at NCHSAA 3A States


  • February 8, 2020
  • Defending champs: Charlotte Catholic girls & Marvin Ridge boys
  • Psych Sheets
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  • Hosted by Patriot Athletic Conference
  • Results


  1. Charlotte Catholic 372
  2. Marvin Ridge 220.5
  3. Weddington 204
  4. Cuthbertson 192
  5. JH Rose 154


  1. Chapel Hill 266
  2. Marvin Ridge 254
  3. Charlotte Catholic 213
  4. East Chapel Hill 190
  5. DH Conley 137.5

The Charlotte Catholic girls defended their state title last weekend at the 2020 North Carolina High School 3A State Championships. A new champion was crowned for the boys, however, as Chapel Hill narrowly defeated 2019 champion Marvin Ridge. Several 3A State Records were set both individually and in the relays.

Chapel Hill’s Sam Hoover blew away the overall State Record and 3A Record in the 100 free. Hoover, an NC State commit who came into the meet with a best of 44.43, took almost a second and a half off his best to break his own former 3A Record and the State Record set by Tim Connery earlier in the week at the 1A-2A state meet. He lowered the overall State Record by a full second in 43.10. Hoover will have another year to lower the record further.

Hoover also dropped a full 2 seconds in the 200 free, taking down the 3A State Record in 1:35.57. He crushed the former record set by Northern Guilford’s Preston Forst last season, which stood at a 1:38.86, and was just 2 tenths shy of Jack Walker’s overall State Record.

Forst was also far under the old record as he took 2nd in 1:37.29, just a tenth short of his lifetime best. Forst, a Stanford commit, then went on to break the 3A State Record in the 500 free with a 4:27.29, lowering the record by 2 seconds.

In addition to his individual accomplishments, Hoover was a member of the 3A Record-setting 200 free relay and 400 free relay for Chapel Hill. In the 200 free relay, he swam a 19.33 anchor split, teaming up with Sebastian Gerz-Escandon (leadoff- 21.98), Ayden Xu (21.71), and Michael Volpe (22.21) as they set the record in 1:25.23. Hoover was sub-20 in the morning as well with a 19.81 anchor in prelims.

In the 400 free relay, Hoover pushed the team ahead of Marvin Ridge on the final leg, splitting a 42.81. Xu led them off in 48.23, while Peter Bretzmann (47.85) and Austin Chang (48.90) took on the middle legs. They won the event in a new record time of 3:07.79.

Marvin Ridge’s Boyd Poelke was the only other man to win an individual double. Poelke was just a few hundredths short of his best with a 20.80 in the 50 free. He also won the 100 fly in 48.14. Another boys’ 3A Record nearly fell at the hands of  Concord’s Matthew Lucky. He was 2 tenths shy of his best to win it in 56.49, less than half a second from the record.

On the girls’ side, the 100 breast record was also narrowly missed. Parkwood’s Kaylee Hamblin won the final in 1:02.33, just a tenth slower than her prelims swim. With her morning swim, she was just hundredths away from the 3A Record.

Charlotte Catholic’s Madeline Menkhaus was also close to a 3A Record. She dropped a few tenths off her 100 fly to win in 54.42. Menkhaus is about half a second away from the record now, which is held by older sister Julia Menkhaus. Now in her sophomore year at Virginia, Julia is an ACC finalist and NCAA qualifier. Madeline has one more year to go after that 100 fly record.

JH Rose freshman Madeline Smith was the only woman to win multiple races. She was within a few tenths of her best in the 200 free, winning in 1:49.38. Smith clipped a tenth off her best in the 100 free as she won in 50.10. She anchored the team’s free relays with a 23.80 in the 50 fand a 50.91 in the 100.

There were 2 relay 3A Records set for the girls. Cuthbertson’s Jordan Browning (back- 26.72), Alison Thome (breast- 29.19), Avery Murray (fly- 25.28), and Leah Sandock (free- 24.11) took down the record with a 1:45.30 in the 200 medley relay. The next record fell in the 200 free relay, where Charlotte Catholic’s Olivia Rhodes (leadoff- 23.60), Hope Borders (24.02), Abigail Parks (23.33), and Alina Stout (23.35) set the record in 1:34.30.

Additional Event Winners

  • Boys 200 medley relay: Concord, 1:35.90
  • Girls 200 IM: Alison Thome, Cuthbertson, 2:02.64
  • Boys 200 IM: Joseph Moore, South Iredell, 1:51.57
  • Girls 50 free: Olivia Rhodes, Charlotte Catholic, 23.44
  • Girls 500 free: Emma Hastings, JH Rose, 4:53.14
  • Girls 100 back: Maura Schoppa, Northern Guilford, 55.85
  • Boys 100 back: Jack Meehan, Central Catholic, 51.07
  • Girls 400 free relay: Charlotte Catholic, 3:27.08

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Go Pack!
1 year ago

Future is bright in Raleigh. Way to go baby-Wolfpackers Hoover and Hamblin. Get used to winning in the 919.

1 year ago

I was at the meet and Sam Hoover’s swims were amazing to see in person. Lots of fast swimming all around!

Go Pack!
Reply to  Swimmer0883
1 year ago

Just watched the local media on deck video of the final 400 relay and Hoover wasn’t even in the picture until the 50 meter mark. What a comeback!

Reply to  Go Pack!
1 year ago

He was at least 3 seconds behind 2 other teams when he hit the water in the 400 free relay and blew past both of them.

Eddie Rowe
Reply to  Go Pack!
1 year ago

Marvin Ridge trailed the team race to Chapel Hill by 6 points going into the 400 Free Relay. They led both Chapel Hill and Charlotte Catholic going into the anchor leg with a chance to tie Chapel Hill for the team title (or win if Charlotte Catholic held on for second in the relay). Marvin Ridge had used their best guy as lead to get them some clean water so there was only so much their anchor could do against Hoover’s 42.80. It was exciting to watch.

1 year ago

That is AWESOME!

The Man Himself
1 year ago

Not related, but when is Texas high school championships preview coming out, if one is in the works? They are also this weekend and feature many of the top high schoolers in the state.

Justin Lloyd
1 year ago

Absolute Unit

1 year ago

Speedy class for the Pack between Hoover, Hayes, Bustos, and Curtis. I think all of them have been 43 in the 100 Free

Reply to  Swimfan
1 year ago

Hoover: 43.10
Bustos: 43.62
Hayes: 44.01
Boone: 44.05
Curtis’s: 44.08

All in the same class and I’d bet they’re all 43 low at worst by the end of their senior seasons.

Go Pack!
Reply to  Swimfan
1 year ago

And Boone is almost there at 44.05 and may have joined the 43 club this weekend if he hadn’t gotten sick and had to scratch 4A states

1 year ago

Dang! Hoover is just a junior? 42 before he even gets on campus

Reply to  Austinpoolboy
1 year ago

Hoover turned 16 in October. He skipped a grade when he was younger. He’s sophomore age. Makes his times a little more remarkable, I think.

Reply to  AAAA
1 year ago


1 year ago

Adam Hoover

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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