Green Hope men repeat while Leesville Road women stop Hough streak in record-shattering meet
CARY, NC – The North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) 4A Swimming and Diving Championships wrapped up a fast day of action with multiple state records falling and a new champion on the women’s side. Leesville Road stopped Hough’s streak of three consecutive team titles in the women’s competition as the Pride claimed the school’s third team championship in the sport and first since 1996. On the men’s side, Green Hope repeated as champions, earning the school’s fourth state championship all-time.
Most Outstanding Performers & Sportsmanship Awards
The storyline of the day was long-time records coming down, as Max Edwards from Reagan High School broke the longest standing state meet record, winning the 50 Freestyle in 20.33 seconds. His time eclipsed the record set in 1990 by Chris Compton from T.W. Andrews who swam a 20:44 and held the state meet mark for all classifications for 29 years. Edwards also set a new all classification state meet record in the 100 Butterfly, winning the event in 47.01 seconds. That performance displaced a record set by former Olympian Ricky Berens from South Mecklenburg when Berens swam 47.33 seconds in 2006. Edwards was named the meet’s men’s Most Outstanding Performer.
In the women’s competition Claire Curzan from Cardinal Gibbons set a pair of new all classification state records as she picked up wins in the 100 Butterfly and 100 Backstroke. Curzan posted a time of 51.60 seconds in the 100 Fly, shattering the old state record set by Alyssa Marsh in 2016 when she swam the distance in 53.23 seconds. Curzan then torched the 100 Backstroke record held by Charlotte Catholic’s Nora McCullagh of 53.59 seconds set in 2014. Curzan swam a time of 51.88 seconds in the 100 Backstroke on her way to being named the women’s meet Most Outstanding Performer.
The NCHSAA is committed to outstanding sportsmanship and the North Carolina Farm Bureau partners with the Association to recognize individuals who exhibit outstanding sportsmanship throughout the season. The 2019 Women's Swimming & Diving Farm Bureau Sportsmanship Award Winners were Ashlyn Walton from Leesville Road and Amaya Hanley from Hough. The 2019 Men's Swimming & Diving Farm Bureau Sportsmanship Award Winners were Jesse Ssengonzi from Green Hope and Jack Marqardt from South Mecklenburg.
Women’s Championship Recap
Leesville Road women toppled the three-time defending champions, Hough, by a 256-241 margin with Green Hope finishing in third at 209 points. The Pride capitalized on winning two of the meet’s three relay events as well as individual event wins in the 100 Breaststroke by Ashley McCauley and the 1 meter diving event by Ashton Zuburg.
Leesville’s McCauley set a new all classification state meet record in the 100 Breaststroke posting a time of 1:01.53. Her time trimmed a few hundredths off the previous record of 1:01.57 set by Hough’s Lilly Higgs in 2018. McCauley also swam the second leg of the victorious 200 Medley Relay team. She combined with Mia Nordstrom, Amanda Ray and Samantha Muma to touch in 1:42.72 on their way to the victory. Pride diver, Zuberg, claimed the top spot in the competition yesterday at the Greensboro Aquatic Center with a total score of 440.50.
Leesville swimmers also clamed victory in the 400 Freestyle Relay as Jessica Frank, Nordstrom, Brooke Morgan and Ray combined to touch in 3:27.96 and secure the team championship for the Pride.
One other state record tumbled in the women’s competition as Brooke Zettel from Apex Friendship demolished her own all classification state record in the 200 Individual Medley. Last year Zettel set the record by winning the event in 1:58.31. This year she trimmed nearly four tenths off that time, cruising to a winning time of 1:57.93.
Men’s Championship Recap
Green Hope cruised past South Mecklenburg by a 267-192 count, capturing the Falcons fourth title all-time and consecutive titles for the second time in school history. Ardrey Kell finished third with 185 points.
Green Hope claimed the back-to-back titles on the strength of their relay teams again, winning two of the meet’s three relays. The Falcons earned victory in the 200 Freestyle Relay with Ben Prucha, Mitch Curlee, Michael Cotter and John Satterfield combining for a time of 1:25.34. Then in the 400 Freestyle Relay the Falcons used Michael Ivy, Curlee, Cotter and Satterfield to claim a win in 3:06.13.
Athens Drive’s David Wahlen started the day off fast, breaking the all classification state meet record in the 100 Backstroke in morning preliminary heats. Wahlen touched in 48.44 seconds during the morning prelims, breaking the old state meet mark set by Southeast Guilford’s Eugene Godsoe in 2006 of 48.78 seconds. Wahlen followed that performance up in the finals with a time of 48.75 seconds on his way to the title. He also led off the victorious 200 Medley Relay team for the Jaguars, combining with teammates Daniel Baldwin, Ryan Silver and Cameron Thomas to set a new all classification record at 1:32.35. That time bested the record set by Nathan Murray, Jacob Rauch, graham Cooper and Graham Weaver from South Mecklenburg in 2016 of 1:32.58.
Myers Park’s Jack Walker also brought home a pair of individual event wins while breaking state meet records in both events. Walker captured the 200 Freestyle in 1:35.34, a new all classification record. That time bettered the 1:36.99 set by Carrboro’s Will Macmillan in 2016. Walker then destroyed the 500 Freestyle record, recording a time of 4:20.67, nearly five seconds better than the previous mark. Walker takes over the 500 Freestyle record from Enloe’s Charlie Houchin who touched in 4:25.52 in 2006.
Markus Wennborg from Hopewell won a pair of events, claiming the 200 Individual Medley in 1:49.54 and the 100 Breaststroke in 55.01 seconds.