It took just three seasons for the Lake Norman Charter girls swim team to capture the school’s first 1A/2A Western Regional swimming and diving championship.
Lake Norman Charter swallowed up the competition, winning the inaugural 1A/2A regional swimming event by scoring 262.5 points at the Huntersville Fitness and Aquatic Center on Feb. 4.
East Lincoln (188 points), Cuthbertson (180), Salisbury (147) and Bishop McGuiness (140) rounded out the top five. Last week’s 1A/2A Western Regional meet was the first in state history after last year’s initial attempt was canceled because of inclement weather.
“It was one heck of a celebration,” said Lake Norman Charter coach Alison Pick. “Winning regionals was one of our goals this year as a team, and to perform so well was outstanding. To be the first regional meet held by 1A/2A, and to win, was amazing.”
Powered by its team depth, Lake Norman Charter finished first in two of the meet’s three relay events. The Knights’ Emily Hunt, Lauren Davis, Meaghan Noble and Rina Leonidas won the 200-yard medley relay, while Tia Fish, Gabi Osterholz, Abbey Joiner and Davis secured first place in the 400 freestyle relay. A second-place effort in the 200 freestyle relay by Leonidas, Fish, Osterholz and Joiner also amassed a large amount of points toward the Knight’s championship.
“To win two out of three relays definitely helped, and it got everyone fired up even more, especially since they were very close races,” said Pick. “We are excited about going to states and making a statement.”
Individually, Joiner came in third in the 200 free, Osterholz was third in the 200 individual medley, and Joiner and Davis finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the 100 breaststroke.
The Lake Norman Charter boys also won two relay races, but came up just short of a regional team title. Knights Grayson Spittel, Matt Wronsky, Chris Cardwell and Brian Piccirilli triumphed in the 200 freestyle relay, and Spittel, Cardwell and Piccirilli, along with Brian Davis, came out on top in the 400 freestyle relay. But that was not enough, as Kernersville’s Bishop McGuiness Catholic High School scored 255 points, holding off the Knights by just four points. North Lincoln (191 points), East Lincoln (189) and West Davidson (176) closed out the top five.
Piccirilli added a victory in the 100 backstroke and a third-place finish in the 100 butterfly. Cardwell was the next-closest Knight to an individual championship; he finished second in the 100 freestyle, while Spittel also took fourth in the 50 freestyle.
“To have the boys come so close was exciting as well,” added Pick. “Everyone stepped up and swam fast.”
This weekend, the Lake Norman Charter swim team will compete in the 1A/2A state championship meet at the Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary. Last season, the Knights boys and girls both finished third in the state competition.