In a close meet that came down to the climatic 4x100 relay, Carrboro High School won another N.C. High School Athletics Association 1A/2A swimming championship Friday night at the Triangle Aquatic Center
The Jaguars won the 400-yard freestyle relay, but they also needed Shelby to finish no better than fifth in order to make up a 12-point deficit.
“We’ve done the math,” said Carrboro junior Will Macmillan as he and senior Thomas Bilden studied the scoreboard.
The Carrboro team of junior Simon Deshusses, senior Justin Laatz, Bilden and Macmillan did their part with a winning margin of more than two seconds.
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Carrboro’s quick math meant 40 team points for Carrboro and a total of 249 to match Shelby’s 12 points for fifth and a 249.
It was Carrboro’s first state championship in swimming and diving since 2012.
“They knew the pressure of the meet coming down to the 400 relay,” Carrboro boys and girls coach Julie Neal said. “I’m super proud of them.”
Macmillan and North Carolina-bound Bilden both won two individual events in addition to legs on two winning relay teams.
They opened the meet by teaming with Deshusses and Connor Murphy to win the 200 medley relay.
Macmillan followed with wins in the 200 freestyle (in 1 minute, 38.85 seconds) and the 100 free (in 45.59). Bilden won the 100 butterfly (49.92) and 500 free (4:43.92).
In a strategic move, Macmillan didn’t defend his state title in the 200 individual medley that he won in a state record of 1:52.53 last year. The Jaguars were confident Deshusses could score high team points in the event and the move paid off. He was second in both the 200 IM and 100 breaststroke in addition to his two relay legs.
Macmillan ended up with a state record anyway. His 1:38.85 in the 200 freestyle bettered the three-year-old A/AA state record of 1:40.96.
Bilden’s win in the 100 butterfly was his third straight, but the most rewarding against tougher competition.
“I had two guys who were real close to me this year,” he said. “I saw (Goldsboro’s Zach Darden) was ahead of me at the final turn and knew I had to finish strong underwater.”
In other boys events, Raleigh Charter senior Zach Lewis won his first career state title in the 50 free (21.50).
“It feels fantastic,” he said. “I owe it all to my coaches and my teammates. This is my senior year and I knew I had to step up to win it. I had to lay it on the line, win or not.”
Raleigh’s Ontjes breaks her own state record
Powered by its relay teams, Carrboro placed seventh, with 116 points, in the 1A/2A girls championships Saturday.
All three of Carrboro’s relays in the girls’ meet scored points.
The Jaguars’ 200 medley relay (Maddie Macmillan, Mia Morrell, Leah Abrams, Katie Spang) placed sixth; the 200 free relay (Abrams, Rebecca Sullenger, Emine Arcasoy, Macmillan ) placed 11th; and the 400 free relay (Abrams, Chloe Turner, Spang, Morrell) earned fifth place.
The Carrboro boys’ 200 free relay (Caleb Bollenbacher , Justin Laatz , Jack Dozier , Connor Murphy) also placed fifth.
Individually, Morrell was runnerup (2:07.07) behind, Jane Donahue of Christ the King (2:05.07) in the girls’ 200 IM, and she took fourth in the 100 butterfly in 56.57 seconds.
Other individual scorers for Carrboro included Connor Murphy (9th, 100 free, and 12th, 50 free); Justin Laatz (9th, 200 free); and Abrams, (10th, 200 IM).
Raleigh Charter senior Olivia Ontjes won her third straight 100 breaststroke and established a state record for the second year in a row to lead the Phoenix swimmers to their fifth straight NCHSAA 1A/2A swimming state title.
The Phoenix won primarily with depth as they piled up a 62-point winning margin with a 284 total despite Ontjes’ gold medal being their the only individual event victory.
The University of Southern California-bound Ontjes won in 1:02.64 to better last year’s record of 1:02.73, but all she wanted to talk about was the state team title.
“We’ve won five straight years and we never lost in my four years here,” she said. “That’s a cool thing to say.”
Relays lead East Chapel Hill’s scoring in 4A meet
East Chapel Hill’s girls placed 11th and the East boys 13th in last Saturday’s N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A swimming and diving championships at the Triangle Aquatic Center.
Michael Wohl was East’s top points winner with his runner-up finish (46.24 seconds) in the 100 freestyle behind Green Hope’s Alexander Carson (45.54). Wohl, headed next year to Johns Hopkins, also placed third in the 200 free.
“I’m definitely happy with medaling. I didn’t do it last year,” Wohl said. “My high school swimming is coming to a close, and I could not be more happy with how it ended.”
Charlotte Catholic won the girls’ meet, while South Mecklenburg won the boys’ championship.
East senior Morgan Smith paced East’s girls with her ninth place in the 200 individual medley plus a 12th place in the 100 butterfly. She also swam on two relays that scored points; East’s 200 medley relay (Sophie Perez, Annie Huang, Anne Whitsel, Smith) placed 12th, and the 400 free relay (Whitsel, Celia Marzinsky, Perez, Smith) placed ninth.
Perez also swam to eighth place individually in the 200 free.
Alyssa Wang had the East girls’ best individual finish with her third place in the 1-meter diving event. James Brady of East Chapel Hill placed seventh in the boys’ 1-meter diving.
W.E. Warnock of Chapel Hill and J. Mike Blake of the Cary News contributed to this report.