North Raleigh: Sports

Millbrook boys, Leesville Road girls defend Cap Eight swimming titles

Leesville Road’s Grace Countie competes in the 200-yard IM on Saturday, Jan. 31 in the Cap Eight Conference swimming championships at the Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary, N.C.
Leesville Road’s Grace Countie competes in the 200-yard IM on Saturday, Jan. 31 in the Cap Eight Conference swimming championships at the Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary, N.C. newsobserver.com

Millbrook’s boys and Leesville Road’s girls took different paths Saturday morning to successfully defend their Cap Eight Conference swimming and diving championships.

Millbrook’s boys, who won all three relays, led after Friday’s 1-meter diving event and then captured the first event Saturday, the 200-meter medley relay. The Wildcats never trailed and went on to post 661 points to top second-place Enloe (410) and third-place Leesville (329).

Leesville’s girls trailed Enloe most of the meet before rallying late to win. The Pride girls were up just four points entering the final event and both Enloe and Leesville had two teams in the final 400 free relay. Leesville’s teams finished first and third to clinch the title with 490 points to Enloe’s 456. Heritage finished third at 343.

Millbrook coach Greg Lawless expected his boys to win.

“This is the third in a row and the boys haven’t lost all year,” Lawless said. “And we had some good times. Kevin Donnelly dropped his time in the 500 to get in the regionals and Chris Kohut dropped his time, also.”

Kohut took second in the 200 free, won the 100 free, and swam the anchor on winning 200 and 400 free relay teams.

“I came in expecting Enloe and Sanderson to keep close to us,” said Kohut, a senior who will swim at UNC Wilmington next year. “But we were hyped the whole way and had a good day.”

Hunter Pigg, Justin Staab and Kurt Wedegaertner joined Kohut on the 400 relay team and Tristan Emm, Colin Rill and Davis Payne completed the 200 free relay team. Ryan Donnelly, Emm, Pigg and Wedegaertner teamed up to win the 200 medley relay. Pigg won the 100 Fly and Emma captured the 100 breaststroke.

Other boys champions were Enloe’s Tim Gordon (200 free), Broughton’s Holt Gray (1-meter diving) and Colter Carman (500 free), Leesville’s Clay Boneham (50 free) and William Countie (100 backstroke) and Sanderson’s Stephen Lucht (200 individual medley).

Leesville first-year coach Jack Rogers, who doubles as the Pride’s athletics director, said the strength of the young Pride girls’ squad was the relay teams.

“I felt the relays were our strong suit and we needed those points,” Rogers said. “I felt confident when it went down to the relay, but I didn’t think we’d go 1-3. As defending champions we knew the target was on our back and our boys did a phenomenal job, too.”

Leesville’s girls also took first and third in the 200 free relay and finished second and fifth in the 200 medley relay. Swimmers on the 200 free relay team were Lauren Frank, Natalie Muma, Abby Toburen and Grace Countie. Rachel Stephenson and Alexis Vetrano joined Frank and Toburen on the 400 team.

Leesville also got firsts from the freshman Countie (50 free) and junior Monika Ronk (1-meter diving).

Millbrook winners were Sophia Clayton-Luce (100 free), Jordan Kohut (100 back), Kayla Hunter (100 breaststroke) and the 200 medley relay team of Kohut, Elizabeth Underkoffler, Hunter and Clayton-Luce.

Sanderson’s Catherine Allen win the 500 free, Enloe’s Lily Morrell took the 200 free and Enloe senior Meagan Johnson wrapped up her impressive Cap Eight career by winning the 200 individual medley and 100 butterfly. She also won two individual events, including the 500, her sophomore and junior years.

“I was happy how with how the day went,” Johnson said. “And as a captain, I am really proud of our team, it went down to the last relay.”

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