Great things come to the Ravenscroft girls’ swimming team in fours.
The Ravens captured a fourth-straight N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 3A swimming championship thanks in no small way to Chloe Mikles’ unprecedented four-peat in two events.
Mikles, who will swim at Cornell next year, became the first NCISAA swimmer to win four straight individual titles in two events. She has claimed the 50 free (23.94) and 100 freestyle (51.57) every year since she was a freshman.
She has also won every relay she’s been in, giving her 16 wooden championship plaques the NCISAA gives in lieu of gold medals – and has the four team titles to boot.
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“It’s so difficult (to put into words),” Mikles said. “This whole season has been bittersweet because it’s over, but I’m so excited to pull it off. I have so much faith in these girls, all four years.”
Mikles was joined atop the podium by Madeline High, who set a state record in the 100 butterfly (55.26) to win for the third straight year. She was also runner-up in the 100 backstroke.
“Last year was a tenth off of (the butterfly state record) so ever since that I’ve been set on it until I got it,” High said.
Mary Pruden won the 200 IM (2:04.95) for the second straight year.
“I wasn’t thinking I was going to win (the 200 IM) to be honest,” she said.
The Ravens won the 200 medley relay (1:48.19) thanks to Kaitlin Ramsden, Pruden, High and Mikles, and also won the 200 free relay (1:40.16 with Nora and Grace Bergstrom, Ramsden and Mikles) and took second in the 400 free relay. Grace Bergstrom was third in the 200 IM.
Team scores: Cary Academy’s boys, co-defending champions, were third and the girls – back-to-back conference champions over Ravenscroft – were runner-up. The Ravens girls clipped the Chargers 306-275. The Saint Mary’s girls were sixth. Charlotte Latin won the boys’ competition.
The champs: Cary Academy’s Sebastian Kettner won the 100 free (48.09) and the 50 free (21.92).
“It feels surreal honestly. I didn’t think I would do this well,” Kettner said. “I’m just happy I can put more points on the board for my team.”
The placers: North Raleigh Christian’s Jaden Kring was third in the boys’ 200 IM and 100 butterfly.
Cary Academy’s girls were third in the 200 medley relay while the boys were second. The boys were also second in the 200 free relay and third in the 400 free relay. The girls were third in the 400 free relay.
Cary Academy’s Melissa Hamrick was third in the 100 breaststroke.
Team scores: Asheville’s Carolina Day School claimed the girls title, and Huntersville’s Christ the King took home the boys’, but the Triangle made waves in the individual races.
Grace Christian Raleigh was the boys runner-up. Southern Pines’ O’Neal School, the defending champion in both, was second in the girls’ competition and fourth in the boys. Trinity School Durham-Chapel Hill took third in both races. St. David’s was fourth in the girls’ race.
The champs: The O’Neal School quartet of Elizabeth Henry, Natalie Williams, Hannah Burns and Fiona Duffy broke a state record in the 200 medley relay (1:52.91). Henry also won the 50 free (24.81).
The boys’ 200 free relay went to O’Neal’s Kyle McClelland, Chase Osorio, Hans Johnson and William Cooper (1:34.01).
St. David’s Madeline Ross, Tiffany Bartholomew, Mary Jeanne Hipp and Sarah Spencer Ball won the girls’ 200 free relay (1:43.87). Ross added a win in the 100 backstroke (1:01.19), which surprised even her, having given up year-round swimming three weeks ago.
“I’ve just been swimming on my own, and I’ve enjoyed coming up with my own workouts and working on what I want to,” Ross said. “I did not expect to win. I think I was ranked about fifth or sixth.”
Trinity Durham-Chapel Hill’s Abigail Lloyd won the 500 free (5:09.86) for the second straight year and was runner-up in the 200 free. And, for the second straight year, she sang the National Anthem.
“Maybe that’s my good luck charm,” she said.
Lloyd wants to go to college for music instead of swimming.
“If I can get on a club team somewhere I’d really love to, but music comes first,” Lloyd said.
The Lions had two winners as Dowdy Sarvis won the boys’ 50 free and was second in the 100 butterfly.
“This was what I was hoping for,” Sarvis said. “I wasn’t very fast last year – I’ve had a lot of improvement.”
St. Thomas Moore’s Collier Cobb became the school’s first champion by setting a new state record in the 100 butterfly (50.40) and winning the 500 freestyle (4:36.32) with only one boys’ event in between.
“It was really challenging, but I was grateful to have a warm-up and warm-down pool,” Cobb said. “Most people try to do one (race) before the break and one after it, but I enjoy those races.”
The Chancellors, located in northeast Raleigh, didn’t have a team before this year, just in time for Cobb’s senior year.
“We have six swimmers,” Cobb said. “It’s really interesting. Everything we do is trying something new for the first time. It’s awesome to be pioneering in new areas.”
Cary Christian junior C.J. Van Vooren won the 100 free and was runner-up in the 200 free, giving him two titles in two years in two different events.
“I thought I did a pretty good job,” Van Vooren said. “The competition’s always there.”
The placers: O’Neal’s Burns was third in the girls 200 free and second in the 100 free. Duffy took third in the 200 IM and second in the 100 butterfly.
The O’Neal boys were second in the 200 medley relay and Trinity Durham-Chapel Hill, which added a runner-up finish in the 400 free relay, was third. O’Neal’s McClelland and Osorio went 2-3 in the 50 free. McClelland added a third-place finish in the 100 free. Johnson was third in the 500 free.
St. David’s Hipp was runner-up in the girls’ 50 free and third in the 100 backstroke.
Grace Christian Raleigh’s Justin Wahlers was second in the boys’ 100 free and third in the 100 breaststroke; teammate Christian Lauffer was third in the 100 backstroke. The Eagles were third in the 400 free relay.
Corbin Gillespie of Erwin’s Cape Fear Christian was runner-up in the 200 IM.
St. David’s Riley Mears was third in the boys’ 200 free and second in the 500 free. Trinity Academy Raleigh’s Riley Voth was second in the 100 breaststroke.