After Leesville Road graduated many of its swimmers last year, first-year swimming and diving coach Kyle Myers wasn’t sure how this year’s team would perform entering the season.
The Pride didn’t miss a beat, with the girls team repeating as conference champions Saturday at the Cap Eight championship meet at Triangle Aquatic Center. Leesville’s boys finished second to defending champion Millbrook.
“Most of our team consisted of freshmen and sophomores ... so coming in I didn’t know what the depth was like, but looking at their USA times, they’re phenomenal,” Myers said. “There’s some big hope and a bright future for this team for sure.”
The Pride girls won three events, but the team’s total of 561 points trumped second-place Enloe by more than 100. Enloe tallied 428 points and Millbrook was third with 341. Sanderson and Broughton tied for fourth place with 253 points, followed by Heritage (246), Wakefield (130) and Wake Forest (72).
Leesville Road’s Alexis Vetrano won the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 2:00.26, Monika Ronk topped the diving competition with a score of 365.20 and the Pride squad of Lauren Frank, Abigail Toburen, Rachel Stephenson and Vetrano won the 400-yard freestyle relay in 3:45.20.
Leesville placed in the top three in nine girls events, and had multiple scoring finishes in all 12 events.
“We are really like three, four, five deep in a lot of events, and I think that’s really a key component,” Myers said.
Millbrook’s 200-yard medley relay team of Elizabeth Underkoffler, Kayla Hunter, Anna-Elizabeth Rinderer and Jordan Kohut won Saturday’s first event in 1:53.35.
Underkoffler also won the 200-yard individual medley in 2:12.46 and 100-yard breaststroke in 1:08.40. Kohut won the 50-yard freestyle in 25.10 seconds.
Enloe’s Meagan Johnson won the 100-yard butterfly in 1:00.18 and the 500-yard freestyle in 5:15.46. She later joined Margaret Tobey, Milena Korobkina and Melissa Crew to win the 200-yard freestyle relay in 1:44.92.
Heritage’s Caroline Knowles won the 100-yard freestyle in 55.29 and the 100-yard backstroke in 1:00.49.
Millbrook boys repeat
Millbrook’s boys swim team had to wait nearly a week to celebrate its 2013 Cap Eight championship after leaving Triangle Aquatic Center. Last year, despite having no divers, the Wildcats’ lead ended up withstanding opponents’ diving scores that came a week later.
This year, the conference diving championship was scheduled for the day before the swimming competition, so team scores on the board at the close of Saturday’s meet were final.
Millbrook’s 454 points topped Leesville Road (423), Enloe (390.5), Sanderson (354), Broughton (319.5), Heritage (258) Wakefield (55) and Wake Forest (42).
“It’s nice having it closed,” said Millbrook coach Greg Lawless. “This year we had two divers, so we got some points in diving which was nice. ... We have some really good swimmers, but we have a lot of them, so we may not win an event, but we score points. Several of us score points in each event and that’s what helps us.”
The Wildcats won three events, finished in the top three in eight and have multiple finishes for points in 10 events.
Chris Kohut topped the 100-yard freestyle field in 47.46, and then anchored Millbrook’s winning relay teams.
Kohut joined Karl Boynton, Sammy Brinkley and Tristan Emm to win the 200-yard freestyle relay in 1:31.95. Kohut, Brinkley, Kurt Wedegaertner and Justin Staab won the 400-yard freestyle relay in 3:19.61.
“We know our free relays are really strong,” Lawless said. “Usually both our A and B free relays are pretty strong, so we were right about where we expected.”
Leesville Road’s Arthur Lamson, Sean Yeh, Zachary Nicol and William Countie won the 200-yard medley relay in 1:38.78. Yeh later won the 200-yard individual medley in 1:59.96 and 100-yard breaststroke in 56.68. Countie won the 100-yard backstroke in 53.47.
Sanderson’s Noah Franz won the 200-yard freestyle in 1:42.07 and the 100-yard butterfly in 51.93, Heritage’s Stephen Tresslar won the 50-yard freestyle in 22.30, Broughton’s Smith Moran won the 500-yard freestyle in 4:55.28 and Wakefield’s Scott Kent was the top boys diver with a score of 392.20.
Swimmers qualifying for N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A East regional meet will compete at Triangle Aquatic Center again next week in hopes of making the state championship meet.
“We’ve got a big road ahead of us against Green Hope and Cary, so those will really put us to the test, but we definitely got tested today,” Myers said. “Any time you’re swimming against a Cap Eight team, you know it’s the highest quality.”