Middle Creek senior Julia Poole enters this year as arguably the best swimmer in the state after dominating last year’s N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A championships. Poole won the 200 IM and 100 breaststroke en route to MVP honors.
Teams to watch
Carrboro: The 1A/2A runners-up are bolstered by a group of sophomores: Audrey Costley (third in 100 breaststroke), Anneliese Merry (third in 100 free, fifth in 200 IM) and Paloma Baca (third in 200 free).
Cary Academy: Third in the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 3A championships are led by Emma Zayas and Isabella Barnette among others. Edged Ravenscroft for conference title.
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Chapel Hill: The 3A state runners-up return a deep group. Uma Knaven was fourth in 500 free and Marissa Tocci third in 100 free.
Green Hope: The Falcons were third in 4A and return Kate Moore (second in 100 backstroke, fourth in 200 IM) and Samantha Medlin (third in 100 free).
Leesville Road: The four-time Cap-8 Conference champs were fourth in 4A last year. Grace Countie won the 50 free and Ashley McCauley was fourth in the 100 breaststroke.
Millbrook: The Wildcats were fifth in 4A. Jordan Kohut was third in the 100 backstroke and 50 free and Sophia Clayton-Luce was fourth in 100 free and 50 free.
O’Neal School: The Falcons were second at the NCISAA 1A/2A championships and return Elizabeth Henry, Natalie Williams and Hannah Burns, who helped who broke a state record in the 200 medley relay. Henry also won the 50 free. Burns was third in the girls 200 free and second in the 100 free.
Raleigh Charter: The Phoenix saw a six-year reign end and finished fifth in the NCHSAA 1A/2A championships. Sydney Willis won the 1A/2A 500 freestyle and was second in 200 free. Sydney Parsons was third in the 100 breaststroke and Lilly Whalen was second in 50 free.
Ravenscroft: The Ravens have won four consecutive NCISAA 3A titles and look poised for another. Madeline High is the reigning 100 butterfly champ and Mary Pruden won the 200 IM. The two along with Kaitlin Ramsden and Nora Bergstrom combined with graduated Chloe Mikles (who won gold in every event she entered for four years) to win two relay as well.
Individuals to watch
Mary Jeanne Hipp, senior, St. David’s: Runner-up in NCISAA 1A/2A 50 free, third in 100 backstroke.
Kayla Miller, sophomore, Rocky Mount: Eighth in 3A 50 free.
Sophie Perez, junior, East Chapel Hill: Fourth in 4A 200 free.
Julia Poole, senior, Middle Creek: 4A MVP; won 200 IM and 100 breaststroke.
Ana Pozder, junior, Apex: Won 4A 500 freestyle and was fifth in 100 butterfly.
Madeline Ross, senior, St. David’s: Won the NCISAA 1A/2A 100 backstroke and helped the Warriors win the 200 free relay.
Lindsey Ruderman, senior, N.C. School of Science and Math: Won 1A/2A diving title.
Rachel Strickland, sophomore, Corinth Holders: Third in NCHSAA 3A 100 backstroke for the fourth-place Pirates.
Svea Torres, junior, D.H. Conley: Fifth in 4A 100 free.
Alyssa Wang, junior, East Chapel Hill: Third in 4A diving.