There are a lot of storylines to follow at this week’s N.C. High School Athletic Association swimming and diving championships at Cary’s Triangle Aquatic Center.
The 4A swimming title is Thursday, 3A on Friday and 1A/2A on Saturday. The diving competitions are the previous day of the swim meet at Raleigh’s Pullen Aquatic Center.
There’s also a local angle to watch at the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association title at the Greensboro Aquatic Center on Monday.
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1. Charlotte Catholic has won 14 straight girls swimming titles
When this streak started, the Cougars were in 2A. They never lost while 3A and they have yet to do so in two years of 4A. It’s the longest streak of any NCHSAA team – ever – in any sport. But Catholic’s streak will be tested on Thursday – Hough High from Cornelius, N.C. trounced the Cougars 546-354 in the 4A West regional.
2. Will Macmillan’s chance at history
The Carrboro senior, ranked as the No. 1 swimmer in the state and committed to Stanford, has two NCHSAA championship MVPs to his credit. He could become the second NCHSAA boys swimmer to win three NCHSAA MVP awards, joining Raleigh Charter’s Joe Bonk.
3. Cardinal Gibbons girls could factor in 4A
Cardinal Gibbons has won two 4A titles in its first year since moving up from 3A and the swimming teams were always strong in 3A. But of the Crusaders’ two teams, look for the girls to score high (though anyone from the Triangle getting the best of Hough will be a tough task). One common trait of teams who finish in the top five is that they have the maximum three state-qualifying relay teams. The Gibbons boys only had two of the three.
4. The Triangle has six reigning NCHSAA champions (not counting relays)
And they are: Athens Drive’s Tyler Silver (4A boys 100 backstroke); Panther Creek’s Connor Callahan (4A boys diving); Middle Creek’s Julia Poole (4A girls 200 IM); Corinth Holders’ Connor Blanford (3A boys 200 IM); Chapel Hill’s Claire DeSelm (3A girls 200 IM and 100 butterfly); and Carrboro’s Will Macmillan (1A/2A boys 200 free and 100 free).
5. It’s anyone’s guess in NCISAA 3A
The Ravenscroft girls have won three straight NCISAA 3A swimming titles and, just like last year, they enter having lost the conference title to top rival Cary Academy. The Chargers are also co-defending boys’ champs in NCISAA 3A. Ravenscroft’s girls are set up well to repeat, returning three individual champs from four events: Madeline High, Chloe Mikles and Mary Pruden.
The Triangle should make some noise in NCISAA 1A/2A as well, where defending champs like St. David’s Riley Mears, Cary Christian’s C.J. Van Vooran, Trinity Academy Raleigh’s Riley Voth and Trinity School Durham-Chapel Hill’s Abigail Lloyd return.
6. Raleigh Charter marching to six straight girls titles
Gone is Olivia Ontjes, a USC recruit, but the Phoenix girls have 13 individual qualifiers and all three relays in this year’s 1A/2A title. The only major competition appears to be Carrboro and Mooresville’s Pine Lake Prep.
7. Connor Callahan goes for 3-peat in 4A diving
Panther Creek senior Connor Callahan will go for his third 4A diving title on Wednesday. He could be the fourth NCHSAA diver to do so, joining C.B. Aycock’s Devin Hall, East Chapel Hill grad and U.S. Olympian Nick McCrory (also the state record holder) and the only four-time champ Lou Dondero of Southeast Guilford.
Callahan was third as a freshman.