Hannah Moore, a Michigan recruit, helped lead Green Hope to a 4A second-place finish by setting the NCHSAA record in the 100-yard back and winning the 500 free last year.
She is back this season to help the Falcons make another state championship run.
“Hannah has an unmatched work ethic,” Green Hope coach Laura Nosal said. “It is rare, in high school, to have an athlete who can focus so well and stay so completely dedicated to her goals.”
Among the other veterans are Maddie Massey, a James Madison recruit, and sophomore Brooke Rubendall, who was runner-up in the 200 freestyle and third in the 200 individual medley.
The Falcons have at least 10 swimmers who could place in the state championship meet and only graduated one of 10 who qualified for last season’s state meet.
Senior Paige Rubendall, sophomore Jenny Nusbaum and juniors Emily Etgen, Christiana Cornea and Melissa Ortega will give Nosal lots of options when forming relays. Junior Mackenzie Michael was a state qualifier in diving.
“The girls’ team is very deep, and they are gearing up for a great season,” Nosal said. “I am excited to have our first meet to see how they do.”
J. Mike Blake contributed to this story.
Teams to watch
Apex: It was the Cougars, not Green Hope, who won the conference title. Apex, the 2011 state champion, should be strong again with Marshall recruit Emma Williams, UNC Asheville recruit Allison Snyder and South Carolina recruit Jordyn Barham. Apex is returning seven state qualifiers on top of the three college-bound seniors.
Chapel Hill: Anabelle Durham, Claire DeSelm and Kaitlin Jones return from a runner-up 400 free relay that helped the Tigers finish third in the 3A championships. DeSelm medaled four times, including third-place finishes in the 200 individual medley and 100 fly. Durham was third in the 100 backstroke and fourth in the 200 freestyle. Jones was third in the 100 breast.
Cardinal Gibbons: The Crusaders were fourth in 3A in 2012-13 and return their third-place 200 freestyle relay, junior Sierra Wombacher and sophomores Haley Allen, Sophia Lindem and Emily Dykstra. Junior Sammy Stone should be a factor.
Leesville Road: Won the Cap Eight 4A championship without a single individual champ.
Raleigh Charter: Raleigh Charter overwhelmed the field in the NCHSAA 1A/2A championships with 376 points.
Margaret Ireland was the champ in the 200 IM and runner-up in the 100 backstroke, and meet most valuable performer Olivia Ontjes set the 1A/2A record in the 100 free and won the 100 breast.
Also back are Lindsay Hatt, Tara Martin and Paige Whalen from a winning 200 medley relay squad.
Carrboro: Sophomore Mia Morrell leads the Jaguars, who were second in 1A/2A with 161 points.
Cary: Megan Owens, the 4A 100 fly champion, and junior Christine Kerr, who was third in the 100 free, lead the Imps, who were sixth in last season’s championship.
Panther Creek: The Catamounts were third last season in 4A behind Cornelius Hough and Green Hope. Carly Catella was runner-up in the 500 free and was fourth in the 200 free. Junior Haley Bishop, one of four state qualifiers returning, was fourth in the 50 free and 100 fly.
Clayton: The Comets return sophomores Dominique Quintero, Gina Joy and Katie Simpson to the Greater Neuse River 4A champs.
Swimmers to watch
Chloe Mikles, Ravenscroft, So .: Won the NCISAA 50 and 100 free and led two winning relays for NCISAA 3A champs.
Emily Surratt, Durham Trinity, Sr .: Louisville recruit won the 200 IM and 100 breaststroke in NCISAA 1A/2A championship.
Bailey Revels, Northwood, Jr .: Second in the NCHSAA 1A/2A 1-meter diving competition, helping the Chargers to a fourth-place finish.
Sara Siemens, Cedar Ridge, Sr .: Finished third in NCHSAA 1A/2A 200 individual medley.
Michaela Carter, Corinth Holders, Jr .: Second in 100 freestyle
Kayla Hunter, Millbrook, Jr .: Should score in the breaststroke.
Cameron Brown, Athens Drive, Sr: Florida State recruit returns to the Jaguars along with San Diego recruit Kiko Lamb.