CARY— Nora McCullagh of Charlotte Catholic helped the Cougars keep their long state championship string intact on Saturday night in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state 4-A swimming and diving championships at the Triangle Aquatic Center.
McCullagh was named the Most Outstanding Swimmer of the women’s meet as the Cougars won their 14th consecutive NCHSAA state title in three different classifications. She was the same award in 2013 in the 3-A championship and was last year’s Outstanding Swimmer in the 4-A meet.McCullagh won both the 50 free and 100 backstroke and also swam on two victorious relay teams.
Catholic tallied 298.5 points to 254 for runner-up Cornelius W.A. Hough, which had earned the 4-A title in 2012 and ’13 and was runner-up last year. Greensboro Grimsley was third with 167, followed by Cary Green Hope (160) and Asheville T.C. Roberson (131). A total of 36 schools scored in the women’s meet.
South Mecklenburg had to hold off Green Hope at the end to win the men’s team title. South had an eight-point lead entering the final event, the 400 freestyle relay, and Green Hope finished second in that race. But a fifth-place finish by the Sabres in the relay enabled them to hold on and win by two points.
South Meck accumulated 232 points to 230 for Green Hope, followed by Pfafftown Reagan (216), Cary (183) and Hough (161). There were 35 schools scoring points in the men’s meet.
Justin Ress of Cary was named the Most Outstanding Swimmer in the men’s meet. He was the only double winner in the men’s competition, taking first place in the 200 individual medley and the 500 free.
The 1-A/2-A championships were held on Friday at the Triangle Aquatics Center, and the 3-A schools competed on Thursday. The Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance is the host sponsor of the championships.