The women of William Amos Hough High School and the men of South Mecklenburg won the North Carolina High School Athletics Association’s 4A State Championships this weekend. State records fell in both the men’s and women’s competitions.
The William Amos Hough women proved a dominant force, taking the titles in all three relays. The team lowered their own 2014 4A state record in the 200 medley when Heidi Lowe, Lillian Higgs, Margaret Higgs, and Jessica Merritt came together for 1:43.21, winning the event by three seconds and taking down the record by .2. Megan Dupay, Higgs, Mackenzie Westaway, and Erika Brown won the 200 free relay for W.A. Hough in 1:35.79, edging ahead of Leesville Road’s 1:35.90. To round out their relay sweep, Brown, Lowe, Dupay, and Merritt won the 400 free relay in 3:23.49.
Brown, a Tennessee commit and junior national teamer who also competes for SwimMAC, defended her 200 free title from last season, winning the event in 1:48.05. She also had a runner-up finish in the 50 free, swimming 22.84.
Julia Poole, a junior from Middle Creek who has swam multiple championship finals at Speedo Junior Nationals, set a new state record and 4A state record in the 200 IM, finishing in 1:59.76, just ahead of NAG record-holder Merritt, an Auburn commit, who finished in 1:59.95. Poole also took the championship in the 100 breast, finishing in 1:02.62.
Merritt came back to win the 100 free in a blazing 50.18 to finish off her individual high school career.
Leesville Road sophomore and Olympic Trials qualifier Grace Countie won the 50 free in 22.75, setting a new state and 4A state record, and edging out Brown.
Hough junior Jocelyn Porter won the 1 meter event with 477.65 points.
Speedo Junior Nationals finalist sophomore Julia Menkhaus of Charlotte Catholic won the 100 fly in 54.12, the only swimmer to break 55. She also took the 100 back, edging out Green Hope’s Kate Moore to finish in 53.84. Moore hit just behind in 53.99.
Apex’s junior nationals championship finalist sophomore Ana Pozder won the 500 free in 4:50.66
Top five women’s teams:
1. Hough, W.A. 387
2. Green Hope 222
3. Charlotte Catholic 176.5
4. Leesville Road 151.5
5. Apex 142.5
The men of South Mecklenburg dominated the relays, taking the wins in two out of three. In the 200 medley, the team of Nathan Murray, Jacob Rauch, Graham Cooper, and Graham Weaver edged out the W.A. Hough team’s, clocking 1:32.58 to W.A. Hough’s 1:32.71 and setting a new state and 4A state record. Noah Cahan, Rauch, Luke Johnson, and Weaver won the 200 free relay with 1:24.89.
The W.A. Hough men outswam the South Mecklenburg team in the 400 free relay, when Hernan Gonzales, Coleman Manchester, Connor McCourt, and Will Chan teamed up for 3:07.97 to South Mecklenburg’s 3:08.49.
Reagan High School took its first win of the day in the 200 free, when Levente Bathory, a junior nationals finalist, swam the event in 1:40.49, just outtouching Manchester’s 1:40.69 and Reynolds senior Josh Slater‘s 1:40.80. Bathory was also the runner up in the 50 free, coming in at 21.08.
Chan, a Speedo Junior Nationals-East gold-medalist and sophomore, won the 200 IM in 1:49.86. He doubled up his individual wins in the 100 breast, where he finished first with 55.21 in the final. In prelims, Chan set a new state and 4A state record 55.14.
Weaver, a UNC commit, took the win in the 50 free with 20.76, the only swimmer under 21. He also took second in the 100 free with 45.57. Jack Messenger of Broughton just outswam him to win the 100 free in 45.45.
Andrew Capobianco of Holly Springs won the men’s 1-meter diving event with 593.85 points.
Athens Drive’s Zach Brown won the 100 fly in 49.14, dropping over half a second from his prelims swim.
Murray, another Tennessee commit, won the 500 free in 4:30.38 to score big points for South Mecklenburg.
Future Florida Gator Tyler Silver, a two-time USA Swimming Scholastic All-American, won the 100 backstroke in 49.49 for his Athens Drive team. South Carolina commit Will Countie of Leesville Road was a close second in 49.78.
Top five men’s teams:
1. South Mecklenburg 378
2. Hough, W.A. 242
3. Green Hope 159
4. Athens Drive 157
5. Reagan 125