Olivia Ontjes is part of a Raleigh Charter senior class that has finished each season of its high school career holding a state championship girls swimming plaque. This year, the Phoenix are seeking their fifth consecutive N.C. High School Athletic Association 1A/2A state championship.
Ontjes, a University of Southern California signee who last year set classification records in the 200 IM and 100 breaststroke with all-America times of 2 minutes, 2.63 seconds and 1:02.73, respectively, said the team is taking more personal approach to the season.
“That’d be pretty cool to finish out my high school career having won four championships,” Ontjes said. “It’d be nice to set some new conference records and I would love to win my individual events, but this year for me is my last year with my team, so I want to make sure everyone can do really well and just enjoy the season.”
That statement sums up both Raleigh Charter’s family atmosphere and Ontjes’ attitude as a teammate and leader, Phoenix coach Matt Mosher said.
This year’s team returns 17 swimmers and boasts the most upperclassmen the program has ever had.
“We have quite a few seniors and quite a few juniors, and for them it’s a culmination of four years of really hard work,” Mosher said. “Especially our seniors have done a really good job of building a team and building an environment of teamwork and hard work and commitment to one another and the team, which has really created a culture of success.”
But the Phoenix don’t take that success for granted. Anything can happen throughout a long season, and at this point they have yet to see what other programs will bring to the competition this year.
Teams to watch
Other swimmers to watch