Garner Cleveland: Sports

Corinth Holders’ Carter realizes state championship dream

Cleveland’s Dalton Langston finished 16th in the state in the butterfly.
Cleveland’s Dalton Langston finished 16th in the state in the butterfly. JOHNNY JOHNSON

Michaela Carter finally got what she wanted at a state championship meet Saturday. Carter, a junior at Corinth Holders, won the girls 50-yard freestyle state title during the NCHSAA 3A championships at the Cary Aquatics Center.

Carter’s finish was one of many highlights for the Pirates who finished in the top nine in both the boys (seventh) and girls (ninth) team standings.

“This was a big goal of mine,” said Carter, who finished second by one-one-hundredth of a second as a freshman. “I’ve wanted this since my freshman year.”

She won in 24.82 seconds, then went on to take fifth in the 100 freestyle (54.71).

“Having our first state champion, Michaela Carter, in our fourth year of swimming at Corinth Holders High School is a fantastic feat,” said Corinth Holders coach Maureen Blandford. “Michaela has been wanting to be a state champion since her freshman year so she was really excited.”

The Pirates also finished fourth in the 400 free relay with Skylar Potts, Stephanie Grandin, Ashley Heineman and Carter at 3:44.34. The same grouping ran eighth in the 200 free relay (1:56.46). Heineman, a freshman, finished fourth in the breaststroke at 1:07.99. Grandin was 16th in the individual medley.

Cleveland’s 200 free relay team of Kaylee Davis, Rachel Quinn, Amber Reese and Brianna Traynor were 22nd with a time of 1:55.78.

The Pirates totaled 102 team points. Marvin Ridge was the state girls champion with 366 ½ points.

Corinth Holders notched 108 points on the boys’ side where Chapel Hill (297) won the title.

Connor Blandford was third indivdiaully in the 100 backstroke (53.2) where teammate Neal Quinn took 13th. Blandford also grabbed fifth in the 200 individual medley (1:57.61) and swam on Corinth Holders’ fifth placing 200 free relay squad.

“Connor getting third in the 100 back and fifth in the 200 IM as a sophomore and at this level was a great individual accomplishment,” Coach Blandford said. “We had nine individual races in finals with six of them being personal best times. All five relays scored with four of them being top eight and one in the top 16 with four school records broken. What is truly amazing is placing in the top 10 in our first year at this level.”

Blandford, Chris Carter, Quinn and Bryce Sherrill timed in at 1:43.81. The same grouping was sixth in the 400 free relay (3:23.44).

Cleveland’s Patrick Martin, Will Hall, Zach Mefford and Dalton Langston were 20th in the 400 free relay. Langston placed 16th individually in the butterfly.

The Pirates also finished 11th in the 200 free relay (Bailey Blackwell, Jacob Stokes, Eric Svadeba and Grant Sullivan). Sherrill took 12th in the 100 free (50.55); Chris Carter was 14th in the backstroke (1:07.62).

Cleveland’s girls 200 free relay team (Kaylee Davis, Rachel Quinn, Amber Reese and Brianna Traynor) finished 22nd. South Johnston was 24th in the 200 medley relay (1:58.75) with Zachary Bridges, Garrison McLeod, Cameron Keene and Dennis Dinwiddle.

Quintero in top 10 at 4A finals

Clayton’s Dominique Quintero finished 10th in the state in the girls 100-yard freestyle in the 4A championships on Friday. Quintero had the ninth best time (53.1 seconds) in the run of finals but because she swam in the consolation finals her finish goes down as 10th.

Quintero, a sophomore, was also 12th in the 50-yard freestyle, timed in at 24.56 seconds.

“Dominique’s 50 time was off a little but the 100 was good,” said Clayton coach Marty Ringgold. “The goal now is making the top eight for finals next season.”

Charlotte Catholic won the 4A girls team title and Green Hope repeated as state boys team champion.