High School Sports

Southwest Wake Athletic Conference boys and girls swimming preview

Panther Creek’s Connor Callahan competes during the NCHSAA 4A East Regional boys diving championships, which were held in Raleigh on Friday, February 6, 2015.
Panther Creek’s Connor Callahan competes during the NCHSAA 4A East Regional boys diving championships, which were held in Raleigh on Friday, February 6, 2015. newsobserver.com

The Southwest Wake Athletic Conference had a stellar year in boys and girls swimming, winning eight of the 24 events at the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A championships.

Though some of those champions and parts of winning relay teams have graduated, four individual champs return, including both 4A diving champions. The Green Hope boys were runner-up and the Green Hope girls were fourth.

Apex Friendship will be in its first season of play this year. The Patriots are led by coach Morgan Rutledge.

Boys swimming

Green Hope returns Towson recruit Chris Daniels and Georgetown recruit Henry Hollinshead from a state championship 200 freestyle relay team. Sophomore John Healy and senior Jethro Ssengonzi, as well as senior diver Connor Slater, also return.

Green Hope has won seven straight SWAC titles.

SWAC runner-up Apex brings back seniors Brandon Medins, Caleb Totten and Hunter Wright from last year’s state meet.

Cary loses 4A MVP Justin Ress but returns juniors Rhys Kawaguchi and Garrett Troxler.

Panther Creek junior Connor Callahan was the 4A diving champ last season.

Athens Drive, fifth in the SWAC last year, brings back senior Tyler Silver, a Florida recruit who won the 4A 100 backstroke (50.27). Zach Brown, a sophomore, is a state qualifier.

Middle Creek’s Jordan Mintz is a Gardner-Webb recruit who was fifth in 4A 100 breaststroke.

Holly Springs diver Andrew Capobianco was fourth in 4A diving but won the SWAC title in the event, edging Callahan.

Fuquay-Varina was eighth in the SWAC last year.

Girls swimming

Green Hope, winners of the last two SWAC titles and the last three East regional titles, The Falcons, fourth in 4A, return junior Kate Moore, who was third in the 100 backstroke. N.C. State recruit Brooke Rubendall and senior Jenny Nusbaum provide experience, along with sophomore Hannah Kota, junior Samantha Medlin and sophomore Rebecca Ssengonzi.

Apex, second in the SWAC last year, is led by Katie Godlewski, a St. Bonaventure recruit, and UMass recruit Ashlyn Butkowski. Senior Hannah Day and junior Madison Deters also return. Ana Pozder, a sophomore transfer from Holly Springs, was the regional champ in 200 freestyle.

Panther Creek brings back sophomore Lauren Soleo and junior 4A diving champ Kristen Hayden.

Middle Creek is coming off its best season. The Mustangs are led by senior Sarah Giamber, third in the 4A 500 freestyle, and junior Julia Poole, the school’s first state champ after she won the 4A 200 IM (2:00.75). Junior Charlotte Watts also qualified for the state meet.

Cary junior Elena Adcock is the only state qualifier returning for the always-strong Imps.

Holly Springs was sixth in the SWAC, followed by seventh-place Athens Drive and eighth-place Fuquay-Varina.

J. Mike Blake: 919-460-2606, @JMBpreps

Last 10 conference champions

2015: Green Hope boys and girls

2014: Green Hope boys and girls

2013: Green Hope boys, Apex girls

2012: Green Hope boys and girls

2011: Green Hope boys, Apex girls

2010: Green Hope boys, Apex girls

2009: Green Hope boys and girls

2008: Apex boys and girls

2007: Cary boys, Green Hope girls

2006: Cary boys, Green Hope girls

State championships among all SWAC teams

Apex girls (1991, 2001)

Green Hope boys (2013, 2014)

Winter sports preview schedule

Nov. 22: gymnastics, indoor track, area private schools

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