The boys swim team at Corinth Holders had a historic night Thursday in the NCHSAA 3A state swimming championships. The Pirates placed a school best sixth in the team standings and standout Connor Blandford became the first individual state boys champion in school history.
Blandford’s performance led another memorable showing for the Pirate program in the state’s deepest pool of talent.
Blandford won the 200-yard individual medley in 1:53.95. He also finished second in the 100 backstroke (52.03) and was on a fourth-place 200 medley relay team.
“I’m very happy with how I did,” Blandford said. “I was a lot better (this year) with warming up and warming down and I was able to not psych myself out. My teammates provided a lot of support, which really helped.”
He swam the fastest backstroke leg of the event and closed quicker than anyone else as well with a 26.41 50 yards in the free.
Blandford swam the lead leg of the Pirates’ fourth-placed 200 medley relay unit. The Pirates — with Neal Quinn, Chris Carter and Bailey Blackwell joining Blandford — swam a 1:41.48.
Corinth Holders was seventh in the 200 free relay (1:34.05) with Bryce Sherrill, Chris Carter, Eric Svadeba and Jacob Stokes.
Neal Quinn took 11th in the 200 IM (2:04.46) and was 14th in the backstroke.
Other state contributors for the Pirate boys team were Sherrill (15th in the 50 free), Carter (18th in the breaststroke), Ryan Patrick (17th in the 200 free), Svadeba (18th in the 200 free) and Christian Lower (19th in the fly).
The 400 freestyle relay for boys featured three Johnston County quartets. Sherrill, Blackwell, Quinn and Blandford took fifth for Corinth Holders in 3:19.14. South Johnston was 17th with Ryan Dunn , David Norris , Zachary Bridges and Garrison McLeod at 3:37.65. Cleveland took 21st in the relay. The Rams were also 20th in the 200 free relay.
In the girls meet, Corinth Holders’ Michaela Carter was second in the 100 backstroke (57.82) and fourth in the 50 freestyle (24.66).
“Michaela and Connor were the ones we were hoping to get championships from,” said Corinth holders coach Maureen Blandford. “Michaela came up short, but she swam two really good times today. Connor went his best times today. So I can’t complain,”
The Pirates placed 12th in the girls team standings. Stephanie Grandin grabbed 12th in the individual medley (2:15.22). Corinth Holders was 15th in the 400 free relay, while Cleveland finished 22nd.
Rams’ standout Kaylee Davis was 20th in the backstroke and 22nd in the butterfly.
4A Championships: Clayton’s Dominique Quintero posted a pair of top 15 finishes in Saturday’s 4A state championships. She took 13th in the 100 freestyle in 53.19 seconds and was 15th in the 50 free (24.71)
Cara Martin had two top 20 finishes in the state. The Clayton standout was 17th in the individual medley at 2:11.06. She also notched a 20th place finish in the 500 at 5:16.33.
1A/2A State Championships: Nolan Hopkins, a Clayton resident, who attends the N.C. School of Science and Math posted two 10th place finishes at the 1A/2A state championships on Friday.
He finished with a time of 55.51 seconds in the butterfly and swam a 1:49.41 in the 200 free.
D. Clay Best contributed.