Raleigh Charter girls swimming runner-up in NCHSAA 1A/2A championships – News & Observer

The sport is called “swimming and diving.” It says so on the backs of many warm-up jackets, although 11 of the 12 high school events are about racing end to end of the pool.

And because diving is part of the sport, the Triangle can claim a state record-setter from the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1A/2A state finals Thursday night at the Triangle Aquatic Center.

Overall, diving accounted for the strongest finishes among Triangle athletes.

Carrboro’s Claire McDaniels did it in style, too. It was her first state finals as a freshman. McDaniels won with 475.45 points, the most of any 1A/2A diver ever. The overall state record is 511.60 set in 2015 by Nikke Canale of Marvin Ridge. N.C. Science and Math senior Lindsey Ruderman, the defending state champion, was third (397.40).

“Swimming and diving runs in the family,” said Carrboro coach Julie Neal. “Claire is very talented, but she also works hard and is very passionate about the sport. Who knows how much better she’ll end up? We’re fortunate to have her.”

In the boys’ diving competition, Durham School of Arts junior Joshua Yueh placed second (234.40) and N.C. Science and Math senior Boyd Tisdale third (225.85). The event was won by Pine Lake Prep junior Nick Gaberina with a 1A/2A state record of 553.30.

The Raleigh Charter girls’ team depth helped the Phoenix to a runner-up finish with 241.5 points. Pine Lake Prep of Mooresville won the team title with 332.

Washington won the boys’ team title with 256 points. Durham School of Arts was fourth (148), Carrboro fifth (135) and Raleigh Charter seventh (119).

Raleigh Charter’s Sydney Willis won the girls’ 500-yard freestyle in a time of 4 minutes, 58.98 seconds. She dropped a stunning 25.20 seconds from her NCHSAA 1A/2A East Regional 5:24.18 that was a distant fifth.

“I don’t know what the difference was,” Willis said. “Maybe it was just the vibe of a big meet and the support of my teammates, coaches and friends. There was a lot of good energy here.”

Willis warmed up for her specialty with a second-place finish in the 200 free in 1:52.04. Later she also swam a leg on the 200 free relay team that took third place (1:42.42) with junior Emma Peck, freshman Hannalee Ellison and senior Marissa Deininger.

In the 200 medley relay, Raleigh Charter was third (1:52.11) behind the foursome of Peck, junior Sydney Parsons, junior Heidi Curtis and senior Lilly Whalen. Parsons added a fourth in the 100 breaststroke (1:07.38).

Carrboro had four sophomores team up to take second in the girls’ 200 free relay; Paloma Baca, Audrey Costley, Olivia Weigle and Anneliese Merry clocked a time of 1:52.06. In the 400 free, freshman Lucy Carroll joined Merry, Costley and Baca for another silver medal (3:42.39).

Baca added a pair of thirds in the 200 free (1:54.07) and the 500 free (5:04.90). Merry was a third in the 200 IM (2:09.89) and fourth in the 100 free (54.84).


The top four places earned medals. Among the girls, N.C. Science and Math junior Annamarie Eustice was fourth in the 200 free (2:03.18). River Mill Academy senior Ann Carr was second in the 50 free (24.31) and fourth in the 500 free (5:09.24).

Among boys, Durham School of Arts junior Myles Sims’ second place in the 100 breaststroke (1:01.12) topped Triangle male swimmers. He was followed in the event by Raleigh Charter freshman Jason Starbuck (third, 1:01.62) and Voyager Academy sophomore Adam Chiefetz (fourth, 1:03.04).

Two Carrboro relay teams earned fourth-place medals.

The 200 free relay team of senior Caleb Bollenbacher, junior Harrison Pletzke, freshman Lincoln Wurster and sophomore Ian Ward swam 1:32.06.

The 400 free relay foursome of Bollenbacher, Wurster, Ward and junior Harrison Pletzke clocked 3:26.58.


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