Chapel Hill boys take NCHSAA 3A swimming championship

CorrespondentFebruary 8, 2014 

— With the doors left open for the N.C. High School Athletic Association 3A swimming and diving championships, Marvin Ridge and Chapel Hill took advantage to grab the trophies Saturday night.

Charlotte Catholic won the past eight consecutive 3A girls titles, but moved up to 4A this year. Marvin Ridge captured the title this year, finishing ahead of second-place Chapel Hill and third-place Cardinal Gibbons.

Cardinal Gibbons, which had a string of six straight boys titles, had its 200-yard medley relay team disqualified in the regionals. With the potential 40 points unavailable, the Crusaders swam well but came up short. Chapel Hill’s boys took the title with 297 points to the Crusaders’ 267.

The finals went about like Chapel Hill coach Steve Riegler had figured.

“We struggled a little in the morning, but we were able to hold on to our seeds tonight,” Riegler said. “The girls expected to finish where we did. We don’t have any divers. Marvin Ridge has two divers, so that put us in a hole a little bit. Marvin Ridge beat us last year, too, so they were probably the favorites going in. Claire DeSelm and Anabelle Durham both won both of their individual events, which is awesome.”

DeSelm, a sophomore who was named the meet’s outstanding swimmer, won the 200 individual medley and the 100 butterfly. Durham, a junior, won the 100 free and 100 backstroke.

Marvin Ridge totaled 366.5 points to the Tigers’ 291.5. Cardinal Gibbons scored 244.

Chapel Hill also got top-3 finishes from all three girls relay teams. The 200 medley relay (DeSelm, Kaitlin Jones, Rachel Samuelson and Paige Jones) finished first, the 200 free relay (Kaitlin Jones, Sophie Pudik, Paige Jones and Durham) finished third, and the 400 free (DeSelm, Pudik, Jaylyn Forrest and Durham) finished second.

The Chapel Hill boys took the title without taking a first place until the final relay, the 400 free team of Jake Pudik, C.J. Eron, Josh Tackman and Emery Harwell.

Pudik took a third in the 50 free and Patrick O’Donell finished third in the 100 fly. The Tigers’ 200 medley relay and 200 free relay teams both took second place.

“We’ve finished ahead of Gibbons now for the last three weeks, so it’s good to do it here,” Riegler said.

Gibbons junior Noah Cairns was named the boys’ outstanding swimmer with wins in the 200 and 500 free. The Crusaders also picked up two third-place finishes in the boys’ 200 and 400 free relays.

“We were motivated and put some pressure on Chapel Hill, but they rose to the occasion,” Gibbons coach Jonah Turner said. “The girls also did well and every girls who scored for us will be back next year, which is good.”

The Crusaders got a second in the 200 free from Emily Dykstra, and Haley Allen took third in the 100 fly.

Another local, Corinth-Holders junior Michaela Carter, won the 50.

“This was a big goal of mine,” said Carter, who finished second by 1/100th of a second as a freshman. “I’ve wanted this since my freshman year.”

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