CARY — First-year Green Hope coach Lauren Nosal loves how close and unified her swimming teams have become.
“They’re cheering for each other, they’re supporting each other. You can just tell from their interactions and the way they support, lean on (each other) in good races and bad,” Nosal said. “That can totally make a better team.”
Both teams were all smiles on Saturday.
Green Hope swept the boys’ and girls’ 4A East regional swim championships, which included teams from the Cap-8, Tri-9, Greater Neuse River and Mideastern conferences, in commanding fashion.
The Falcons girls racked up 343.5 points, ahead of fellow Tri-9 teams Panther Creek (259), Apex (257.5) and Cary (252). Leesville Road (137) was fifth.
The Green Hope boys totaled 400.5 points, far ahead of runner-up Millbrook (195), as well as Apex (194) and Leesville Road (184). Greenville Rose and Panther Creek tied for fifth with 155 points each.
A swimming state championship isn’t won by one standout swimmer or even two or three. It takes depth to put together three strong relay teams while also making sure no swimmers compete in more than four events.
It’s a challenge to find such a strong collection of talent. Green Hope had that on the regional level and will only have to wait until Thursday to see if it can bring home either state title.
“We had people step up from all over,” Nosal said.
The top eight finishers in each event qualified for Thursday’s state championship, which will likewise be hosted by the Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary.
Green Hope girls win five events
The Falcons’ girls were led by junior Hannah Moore, who won the 500-yard freestyle (4:56.42) and the 100-yard backstroke (58.19) and also competed on a winning 400-yard freestyle relay team – along with Shannon Scovel, Jenny Nusbaum and Brooke Rubendall (3:32.97) that out-touched Panther Creek by four one-hundredths of a second.
Green Hope’s Christiana Cornea, Emily Etgen, Nusbaum and Rubendall won the 200-yard freestyle relay with a 1:38.76 – which was one one-hundredth of a second ahead of Cary.
Rubendall, a freshman, won the girls’ 200-yard IM (2:08.34).
Panther Creek’s Haley Bishop won two events, taking the 50-yard freestyle (23.84) and the 100-yard butterfly (55.74).
Cary’s Lillie Smith, Basira Knight, Megan Owens and Carson Steidinger won a close 200-yard medley relay (1:48.84) in which 1.1 seconds separated first and third.
Broughton’s Kesley Moore took the 200-yard freestyle (1:51.83) by two one-hundredths of a second.
Cary sophomore Christine Kerr took first in the 100-yard freestyle (52.42), while Apex senior Kathryn Williams won the 100-yard breaststroke (1:06.25).
On Friday, Apex junior Shauna Hines took first in 1-meter diving.
Falcons boys sweep relays
Each relay is worth 40 points, and Green Hope’s boys took first place in all three.
Green Hope’s Tad Spence, Ryan Cade, Chris Daniels and Seth Maslowski combined to win the boys’ 200-yard medley relay (1:35.71), while Spence, Maslowski, Daniels and Stephen Hollinshead won the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:27.90).
The 400-yard freestyle relay team of Daniels, Hollinshead and freshmen Jonathan Glavich and Henry Hollinshead finished first in a time of 3:13.54.
Glavich also won the 200-yard freestyle (1:42.10).
Holly Springs junior Colin Ellington was a two-time winner on the day, taking the 200-yard IM (1:50.84) and the 100-yard freestyle (45.82).
Wilmington Laney’s Christian Caveness (50.93) won the 100-yard butterfly, and his teammate Travis Johns won the 100-yard backstroke (51.96).
Leesville Road had two individual winners with Scott Johnson in the 50-yard freestyle (21.40) and Sean Yeh in the 100-yard breaststroke (56.33).
Panther Creek sophomore Jamison Hauser won the 500-yard freestyle (4:38.90).
Athens Drive senior Anthony Galante won the 1-meter boys’ diving competition on Friday.
Blake: 919-460-2606; Twitter: @JMBpreps