Garner is largely known for football and basketball, but the Trojans are good in the water, too.
Garner’s girls and boys swim teams swept the Greater Neuse River Conference finals in dominating fashion Saturday at the Triangle Aquatic Center. It was the second straight year for a girls-boys sweep and the boys’ fourth straight title.
“We’re proud of our program,” said senior Noel Buitrago, who swept the 200 individual medley and the 100 breaststroke. “We’ve seen a lot of growth. The boys have won my whole high school career and the girls are winning, too. There is lot of team spirit.”
Buitrago won the 200 IM in 2 minutes, 05.79 seconds and the 100 breaststroke in 1:06.75. He also swam a leg on the winning 200 medley relay (1:52.31).
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Garner rolled up 601 points to runner-up Clayton’s 293. The girls competition was closer, but Garner still won by a comfortable margin with 612 points to Rolesville’s 513.
Carrington Clack led the Garner girls, sweeping the 50 (25.93) and the 100 (57.29) freestyle races with times of 25.93 seconds and 57.29. She now has three individual GRNC titles in two seasons. Last year she won the 100 free but was second in the 200 free.
“I like the sprints,” said Clack on entering on the 50 free this year over the 200 free. “I’ve been working on my speed with my stroke rate.”
Clack’s winning times were slower than her seed times, but she feels good about her training entering the N.C. High School Athletic Association regional and state completion. The increased work has come with maturity from a freshman to a sophomore.
Clayton’s Martin sisters also doubled. Senior Cara, who is committed to Marshall, won the 200 IM (2:21.75) and the 500 free (5:31.48), and sophomore Reagan won the 100 butterfly (1:03.96) and the 100 backstroke (1:03.57).
Cara’s double was her fourth straight, the last three years in the 200 IM and 500 free.
“I’ve worked hard at those events and kept getting better,” Martin said. “I’ve been swimming a long time, but I didn’t start getting faster until I was 14 years old (the summer before her freshman year). I love to win, and I’m better at the longer distances.
Naturally, with the Martins doubles covering four distinct events, Clayton won the 200 medley relay. They were joined by sophomore Faith Raynor and Mikayla Shaffer for a winning time of 2:07.22.
Rolesville’s runner-up finish was led by two freshmen. Genny Hausser won the 200 free (2:06.36) and Avalon Uveges the 100 breast (1:21.41.). In the relays, they teamed with two more freshmen, Maegan Moody and Madorie Cao, to win the 200 medley relay (1:47.99) and the 400 free relay (3:53.99).
The only boys double besides Buitrago’s was by sophomore Hunter Young. It came in the unique combination of the 50 free (23.01) and 500 free (5:00.87).
Swimmers are usually split between sprint events and distance races, but Young said he learned at an early age he was quick and enjoys the endurance work.
“I love the quick sprints to beat the clock in practice and I like repeat sprints (for endurance),” Young said. “The best part of the day is practice.”
With the exception of Buitrago, all the boys individual champions return next year.
Garner freshman Andrew Young won the 100 backstroke (1:03.71), Harnett Central junior Luke Bryan the 200 free (2:03.60) Knightdale sophomore Liam Givins-Keatley the 100 butterfly (57.33) and Rolesville junior Ronin Gomez the 100 free (53.31).
Garner’s Dennis Parker won the boys diving title with 181.50 points, but there was no girls diving competition.
1. Garner 612
2. Rolesville 513
3. Clayton 318
4. West Johnston 151.5
5. East Wake, 117
6. Harnett Central 106.0
7. Knightdale 67.5
8. Southeast Raleigh 36.
1. Garner 601
2. Rolesville 346
3. Clayton 293
4. Harnett Central 260
5. Knightdale 251
6. East Wake 100
7. West Johnston 97
8. Southeast Raleigh 3