The Corinth Holders swim team capped off its impressive inaugural season in the Two Rivers 3A Conference by winning both the boys and girls conference championships Friday night at the Smithfield Recreation and Aquatics Center.
The only thing lacking in the pool for the Pirates so far this season has been senior leadership as Corinth Holders won each conference meet this season despite having just four seniors on the team, and only two of those were able to compete Friday night due to injury.
But no matter, as the Pirates won 19 of 22 events.
“Everybody contributed, every class was good,” said Corinth Holders coach Maureen Blandford. “I was lacking a little bit of leadership but those underclassmen have had to kind of pick it up. They’ve had to come as leaders to begin with.”
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The girls team totaled 459 points to finish ahead of second-place Cleveland (365) and Smithfield-Selma (198).
Corinth Holders’ Stephanie Grandin won a pair of individual races, the 200-yard individual medley and 100 breaststroke. Skyler Potts claimed victories in both the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke while Michaela Carter triumphed in the 50 and 100 frees.
Freshman Gabby Terrell dropped time in both the 200 and 500 free, winning the former, and the Pirates swept the relays.
A young Cleveland team took second place to the Pirates, but the Rams saw a lot of swimmers drop times and set personal bests.
“From last year to this year, it’s been really great to see the team come together and to bond, push one another and encourage one another,” said Cleveland coach Amy Pearce-Reas. “I feel like that’s going to help our overall program in the long run; we’re starting something.”
Kaylee Davis finished second in the 100 butterfly and third place in the 200 IM while Brianna Traynor earned a second-place finish in the 100 freestyle and third place in the 50 free.
For Smithfield-Selma, Kara Harrison placed second in the 50 free and third in the 100 backstroke and the Spartans finished in third place in both the 200 and 400 freestyle relays.
For the boys, Bailey Blackwell, Chris Carter and Eric Svedaba were highlights for Corinth Holders as the Pirates accumulated 578 points en route to the conference title.
Carter won the 100 breaststroke, Svedaba the 500 freestyle and Blackwell set several personal best times on the night including his legs as part of the teams that swept the relay races.
Connor Blandford won the 200 IM and 100 backstroke and Bryce Sherill outpaced the field in both the 50 and 100 free.
“I sent out an email today saying that we’re racing against the clock, we’re racing against each other and we’re racing against other people,” Blandford said. “Winning’s just icing on the cake.”
South Johnston finished in second place with 301 points thanks to strong showings by Zachary Bridges and Garrison McLeod. Bridges finished in third place in the 50 and 100 free while McLeod settled for second place in the 100 breaststroke, finishing just half a second behind the Pirates’ Carter.
Cleveland’s Dalton Langston claimed the only two victories on the night that did not go to the Pirates in the 200 freestyle and 100 butterfly to help the Rams finish in third place with 225 points.