Saturday’s N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A girls’ swimming championships turned into a parade of records and winners from Charlotte Catholic and Cornelius Hough.
Green Hope’s Hannah Moore was the lone exception. And in her win, she stole the show.
Moore maintained a blistering pace to break the NCHSAA record in the 500 freestyle (4 minutes, 40.98 seconds) by almost six seconds.
West Johnston graduate Sarah Henry, who Moore has looked up to, had held the record. The moment Moore saw her time on the board, her mouth gaped open.
“I did not expect that at all.” she said. “Last year I was 4:47 and the record was 4:46,” which was set by Henry. “That’s faster than I went at winter junior nationals.”
The joy of shattering a state record kept Moore happy even after her NCHSAA record in the 100 backstroke was broken by a Charlotte Catholic swimmer. Moore finished second.
“It totally overshadowed that. After (the 500), it was OK,” Moore said.
Moore will swim at Michigan next season. She won five individual golds in NCHSAA competition.
Boys’ team swimming: Even in high school, thinking of swimming as a team sport can be difficult at times.
At a school like Green Hope, developing a togetherness from one swimmer to the next can be difficult. In their year-round competitions, they compete against one another.
“Coach (Lauren) Nosal has done a great job of making us one,” said senior Stephen Hollinshead, who won an NCHSAA sportsmanship award. “We’re working toward a common goal, and I think that had a big affect on how we swam today.”
Most valuable performer again: Holly Springs senior Colin Ellington repeated his title in the 50 free (20.76 seconds), then he broke his NCHSAA record in the 100 freestyle by one-hundredth of a second (44.86) to earn MVP honors for the second straight year.
But he had two records on his mind.
“I did pretty good. I was upset with the 50 because I wanted to go for the record,” said Ellington, an N.C. State recruit. “It feels good to repeat” MVP honors.
Osada impresses: Ellington’s top competition for the MVP was East Chapel Hill’s Koya Osada.
Osada won the 200 individual medley (1:48.52) and 100 backstroke (49.78). He also was part of a winning 200 medley team with Liam McCullough, Michael Wohl and Oliver Hudgins (1:34.55).
“I would say it really hasn’t set in yet. This is an amazing way to go out on top – it’s icing on the cake on the four years I had in high school,” said Osada, a Harvard recruit. “More than anything I was happy with winning the first relay. Being able to start that off and get the guys pumped up and ready to go was exciting.”
Ress surprises from Lane 7: Cary junior Justin Ress won the 500 freestyle (4:32.69) from Lane 7, beating defending champ Jamison Hauser of Panther Creek and cutting almost 11 seconds off his seeded time from regionals.
“Confidence is the key. Last week I was not confident, and I knew I had to improve on that,” Ress said. “I knew I’ve done it before, so I could do it again.”
Yeh bounces back: Leesville Road’s Sean Yeh wanted a state record, but after coming back from injury, a state title in the 100 breaststroke (55.56) wasn’t so bad.
“It was bittersweet,” Yeh said. “I was hoping to get a state record today, but it just didn’t work out. I went out pretty fast. … I’ve been injured for a while, so I’m proud for going this fast today.”
Blake: 919-460-2606; Twitter: @JMBpreps