North Raleigh: Sports

Cary Academy sweeps TISAC swimming titles

Ravenscroft’s Matthew Youngbar competes in the boys 100-yard butterfly during the TISAC conference swimming championships .
Ravenscroft’s Matthew Youngbar competes in the boys 100-yard butterfly during the TISAC conference swimming championships .

Following several straight years of domination in girls swimming, the Ravenscroft girls were finally dethroned. Cary Academy not only repeated as the boys Triangle Independent Schools Athletic Conference champions, but also took the girls title in shocking fashion at Ravenscroft.

Ravenscroft’s girls came into the TISAC swim championships as the two-time defending state title winners. That made pulling off the sweep was a huge accomplishment for Cary Academy head coach and athletics director Kevin Jones.

“We’ve had a great run with the boys, but it’s never been easy,” Jones said. “We knew it wouldn’t be this year either. ... To come in and win it on the girls side and beat a team like Ravenscroft makes this one really special.

“They’ve got such tremendous swimmers, but our depth really helped us. We just stuck to the plan and it worked out for us today.”

That depth was crucial for Cary Academy. The Chargers tallied up points in every event despite the fact that Ravenscroft won all but one event. Melissa Hamrick won the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:10.50 to earn the nine points necessary to pull off the 10-point win at 163-153.

On the boys side, there was no questioning the Chargers domination.

Cary Academy won by a margin of 164-125 over Durham Academy with senior Michael Todd leading the way.

Todd anchored two winning relay teams along with two individual wins in the 200-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly. He shared co-MVP honors with Nathan Greeley of Durham Academy, who took the 200-yard IM, 100-yard breaststroke and the final leg of a 200-yard freestyle relay victory.

Yujian Tang, Ari Kaufman and Sebastian Kettner also won individual and team events to help distance the Chargers from the pack.

Coming away with the TISAC crown leaves Jones hungry for a state title on the boys side.

“Being the state runner-up for the last two years with the boys, our goal is to take that one step further,” Jones said. “Charlotte Latin is really tough, but we’ll see what kind of run we can make.”

After taking down the two-time defending state champions on the girls side, Jones is hoping his team can do the same at states.

“Seeing how focused our girls were today, they’ve got their eye on doing better than third this year,” he said. “This helps, but that doesn’t mean Ravenscroft won’t be there at the end. That will be a lot to overcome, but they’ll be up for the challenge.”

Despite not taking the overall win, the Ravens still boasted the girls MVP in Chloe Mikles.

The junior blistered the field in the 200-yard free and 100-yard free, but also guided the 200-yard free and 400-yard free relay teams to victories.

Along with Mikles, Madeline High and Mary Pruden also won individual and relay events.

However, the overall loss was still a tough one to swallow for coach Greg Warren.

“I knew our depth was going to be an issue,” Warren said. “We actually won every event except for the breaststroke, but the lack of points hurts. ... But anything can happen at the state level. It’s going to be a challenge to repeat. It certainly won’t be like it has been for the last two years, that’s for sure.”