Local swimmers and divers have plenty of motivation for wanting to do well in this weekend’s N.C. High School Athletics Association regionals.
For Chapel Hill, there’s even a bit more of an incentive than just wanting to advance to states.
“The women are looking to repeat as regional champs, coming off a close loss to Gibbons at conference,” Chapel Hill head coach Steve Riegler said this week. “I think you will see a motivated squad to get as many as possible to states, as well as to compete for the team title.”
The Chapel Hill-Gibbons feud in swimming, fueled by each program’s excellence over the years, only escalates as the season progresses from dual meets to conference championship and onto regional and state meets.
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The NCHSAA Eastern 3A meet – including Chapel Hill, Gibbons and other Big Eight schools – will have diving Friday at Raleigh’s Pullen Aquatic Center and swimming Saturday afternoon at the Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary. The 1A/2A meet also will have diving Friday at Pullen and then swimming Saturday morning in the TAC. East Chapel Hill and other PAC-6 teams will compete in the Greensboro Aquatic Center, with diving on Friday and swimming Saturday.
CHHS and Gibbons raced last week in the Triangle Aquatic Center, where they split the Big Eight championships. Chapel Hill, the 2014 NCHSAA state boys’ champion, won this year’s Big Eight boys’ meet, and Gibbons won the girls’ title in a meet that came down to the last relay before being decided.
“The men are also looking to repeat as regional champs, as well as qualify as many of those 19 qualifiers to states, and to defend the title from last season,” Riegler said. “We know the challenges ahead and are looking forward to some great competition.”