CARY Raleigh Charter’s girls did just about everything right Saturday which left a lot of teams battling for second place in the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 1A/2A Swimming and Diving state championships.
The Phoenix won their third straight state title with a whopping 376 points to second-place Carrboro (161), followed by Lincoln Charter (154), and Northwood and Lake Norman, both with 148 points.
Carrboro’s bid for a fourth straight boys’ title came up short, but the championship stayed in the Triangle with North Carolina Science and Math winning. The Unicorns garnered 281 points, while the Jaguars scored 237.5. Lake Norman Charter (214) took third and Shelby (168) rounded out the top four.
Coach Matt Mosher’s Raleigh Charter’s team was just too talented, too deep and too determined.
“I really didn’t anticipate scoring as many points as we did,” Mosher said. “All I can chalk that up to is they really stepped up to the challenge. We knew if we wanted another state championship we were going to have to earn it and they did it. It was more than just finishing first in events, like taking second and third in the 50-freestyle and placing in other events.”
The Phoenix won six events, including all three relays. Sophomore Olivia Ontjes, the meet MVP, won the 100-free, the 100-breastroke and was on the winning 200-free relay and 400-free relay.
Margaret Ireland won the 200-IM. In the 200-medley relay, Lindsay Hatt, Ireland, Tara Marrtin and Paige Whalen got the Phoenix off to a winning start. The 200-free team was Ontjes, Ireland, Alexandra van Dorsten and Rachel Hatt and the 400-free relay was Martin, Dorsten, Rachel Hatt and Ontjes.
“We’re fortunate to have a bigger team with a lot of depth that compliments the top-end talent,” Mosher said. “I’m a very fortunate coach they’re fortunate as teammates to have each other.”
Also locally, Carrboro’s 200-medley team finished second, as did Cedar Ridge’s Becca Churchill in the 100-breaststroke and Corinth Holders’ Michaela Carter in the 100-free.
Science and Math coach Mike Newbauer knew the path to the state title ran though rival Carrboro.
“This was our goal, our dream,” Newbauer said of the title. “We had in our mind we were going to win states. The first thing is we were trying to beat Carrboro. We had never beaten Carrboro in a dual meet, but we beat them in Regionals and knew we could win.”
Science and Math’s Jacob Vosburgh was not the meet’s MVP, but he was the Unicorns’ star. The junior won the 200-yard freestyle and then the 500-free in meet record time. He also swam on the winning 200-free relay team, which also set a meet record, and the second-place 400-free relay team.
“Jacob provided a strong foundation for us, but everyone was the MVP, we needed all the points,” Newbauer said. Matt Weaver also took a third for the Unicorns in the 50-free.
The 200-free team consisted Jack Wilson, Weaver, Daniel Birmingham and Vosburgh. Weaver, Allen and Gabe Shepherd joined Vosburgh on the 400-relay.
Carrboro battled by taking four firsts, including two relays, the 200-medley with Justin Morrell, Aidan Marshall, Tom Bilden and Sam Strosnider, and the 400-free with Will McMillan, Tanner Roach, Connor Murphy and Jake Barnes. Morrell also won the 50-free and Bilden took the 100-fly.
Durham School of the Arts had a champion in Matt Jacobs in the 100-breast.