Garner Cleveland: Sports

Pirates remain at the head of the class

The swim teams from Corinth Holders High School are setting the bar high in the first season of the newly aligned Two Rivers 3A Conference.

The Pirates continued their dominance in the third conference meet of the year, winning 19 of 22 events at the Smithfield Recreation and Aquatics Center. The performance left the Pirates atop both the boys’ and girls’ standings.

Through the three conference meets, the Pirates have won 59 of the 66 total events.

On the girls’ side, Michaela Carter (100-yard fly and 100 back), Stephanie Grandin (100 and 200 free) and Ashley Heinemann (individual medley and 100 breast) each won a pair of events to help hold off yet another strong showing by the Cleveland girls’ team, which finished second.

The Rams’ Kaylee Davis, Rachel Quinn, Amber Reese and Brianna Traynor, who finished runner-up in the 200-medley relay, won the 200 free relay, the only race not claimed by the Pirates’ girls’ team.

Amanda Knickerbocker, Skylar Potts, Amanda Rackley and Grandin teamed up to win the 200 medley relay, while Heinemann joined Carter, Alyssa Stevens and Gabby Terrill to capture the 400 free relay in 4:26.86.

Potts placed first in the 50 free in 27:49. Gabbie Carter won the 500 free in 6:42.34.

Smithfield-Selma finished in third place. Kara Harrison took third in the 100 back and joined fellow Spartans Kaitlyn Dacey, Haley Dalton and Kate Davis for a third-place finish in the 400 free relay.

In the boys’ competition, the Pirates won seven of the eight individual races en route to another decisive team victory. Connor Blandford was the class of the field in the 50 and 100 free, Chris Carter won the 100 breast and 200 free, Neal Quinn won the 100 back and individual medley, and Bryce Sherrill cruised to the 500 free title.

South Johnston came in second place thanks to several solid performances.

Garrison McLeod took second place in the 100 breast. Zachary Bridges and David Norris finished second and third, respectively, in the 50 free, while Norris placed third in the 100 free.

The Trojans’ strong second-place showing was highlighted in the 200 free relay, which saw John Cuppett, Ryan Dunn, Cameron Keene and Evan Raynor combine forces to take first place.

Cleveland’s Patrick Martin outpaced Sherrill by a second to win the 100 fly and finished second place in the 200 free to lead the Rams to a fourth-place finish, one point behind Western Harnett.

Jake Craddock was the runner-up in the 100 backstroke.