Brei Buzek seemed to fight back tears when she spoke about how her Enloe boys’ swimming team found success.
Every meet, every race, every stroke, the Eagles worked toward the season’s ultimate goal: a Cap-8 Conference swimming championship.
The boys reached their expectation on Saturday at the Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary, defeating all league threats for the victory with 525 points. Millbrook came in second with 492, and Leesville Road picked up third with 398.
“Every single point was deserved that we made today. These boys deserve it,” said Buzek, a swimmer embracing her with a hug as she spoke. “It’s been a long time coming back to Enloe. We’re ready to bring back the dynasty. This has been something that we wanted Day One walking into the season. Theses boys worked day in, day out through the sweat, the tears, the illnesses.
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
“They pulled it out.”
The Enloe boys held a solid lead midway through the meet, with Millbrook closely trailing. Down to the final relay event, Millbrook was behind by just two points.
Enloe finished third in the 400-yard freestyle relay in 3 minutes, 26.70 seconds.
The Eagles recognized, though, that their toughest opponent would be Millbrook because of the strength of the Wildcats relays.
But they never hung their heads.
“Just watching us being second or third the last three years in a row, first place is huge,” said Enloe captain Robby Patterson, the second leg on the 400 relay team. “We had expectations this year, nothing less than first place. There are no words to describe how I feel. We were kind of underdogs.”
Enloe’s Wallace Watkins took second in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:00.84), picking up 17 points for his team in a nail-biting race that fired up the Enloe pack outside of the water. Watkins, Millbrook’s Chase Binion and Broughton’s Jack Messenger were neck and neck after the first 50 before a crowded finish. Messenger was first with 1:00.82, and he was also the champion in the 100 free (47.78).
When the final scores were set on the board at the end of the meet, the Enloe team erupted.
“I could do the math and figure out what points were going to be,” Patterson said, “but when you see it, you don’t believe it.”
The Enloe girls came in second with 344 points behind a deep Leesville Road club. Eagles swimmer Lily Morrell picked up wins in the 100-yard butterfly (59.26) and 200-yard freestyle (1:55.50).
Pride girls use depth to dominate
The Leesville Road girls had seven first-place finishes Saturday, tallying a lopsided 720 points to claim the meet.
Behind Enloe was Sanderson with 281 for third. It was Leesville’s fourth consecutive Cap-8 win.
“We’ve been talking about the four-peat since the beginning of the season,” Pride coach Jack Rogers said. “They’ve been working hard. From top to bottom today, I think every single girls improved on their times. They picked a good day to swim their best.”
Leesville sophomore Grace Countie won in the 50-yard freestyle (23.36) and 100 back (57.30). She also anchored the 400-yard relay, which took first with a 3:39.31. The Pride swept the relays.
Ashley McCauley had victories in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:05.81) and the 200-yard IM (2:08.42). Elizabeth Gamble’s diving win added to the total.
“Teamwork is so easy with us. We all get along so well,” Countie said. “This does give us a boost of confidence. It’s kind of like a reassurance that we can do great things as a team.”
Jessika Morgan: 919-829-4538, @JessikaMorgan