The Cardinal Gibbons girls and the East Chapel Hill boys swimming programs once again reclaimed their thrones atop of the PAC-6 4A Conference on Saturday night at the Triangle Aquatic Center.
For the second straight year, Cardinal Gibbons and East Chapel Hill won the conference swimming championship. The Cardinal Gibbons girls held off ECH 637-609 while the ECH boys led wire to wire and closed out Cardinal Gibbons 654.5-596.5.
“Looking at the heat sheet, we knew this would be a close competition,” Cardinal Gibbons head coach Jonah Turner said. “I told the girls that this meet was about depth, scoring ten through sixteen, and out-touching the people next to you because that could be a two point swing.”
The East Chapel Hill girls led after seven events, but Jacqi Rocque’s victory and Adelaide Cairns’ second-place finish, for Cardinal Gibbons in the 500-meter freestyle, gave the Crusaders the lead. They never looked back.
“That was a big swim,” Turner said. “At the 200 mark, East Chapel Hill’s swimmer (Olivia Kayye) was out in front, but Jacqi and Adelaide came up from behind and went one-two. Going first-second in that event got the momentum going into the final events.”
Cardinal Gibbons’ only other victory on the girls side came in the 200 freestyle relay, where East Chapel Hill’s “A” team was disqualified. That DQ was a huge blow for East Chapel Hill and its quest for the title.
Connor Sept and Daniel Wohl helped push the East Chapel Hill boys to victory. Sept won the 100 breaststroke, while Wohl outpaced the competition for a victory in the 200 freestyle. Both swimmers also took part in the 200 medley relay and 200 freestyle relay, which were both won by the Wildcats.
The East Chapel Hill girls were led by Sophie Perez, winner of two individual events, the 200 IM and 100 butterfly. She was also part of the girls 200 medley relay and 400 freestyle relay victory. Her 200 medley relay teammate, Ashley Slocum, took first in the 100 backstroke.
The Jordan Falcons may have finished in third on both sides, but Jordan junior Sadie Schumann won the 100 and 200 freestyle.
Riverside, who finished fourth on the boys side and fifth in girls, didn’t have the depth to compete with the two top schools, but senior UNCW commit Josh Rigsbee took first in the 100 freestyle and 200 individual relay.
1. Cardinal Gibbons 637
2. East Chapel Hill 609
3. Jordan 451
4. Northern Durham 203
5. Riverside 164
1. East Chapel Hill 654.5
2. Cardinal Gibbons 596.5
3. Jordan 356
4. Riverside 254
5. Northern Durham 179