Local swimmers prepare for I-MECK 4A meet
by Staff Writer
The high school swimming season is hitting its high points.
After dual-team meets and other events, most area schools are approaching their conference meets. Individual and team champions will be crowned, along with determining which swimmers will advance to regional, and potentially, state meets.
The I-MECK 4A conference meet will be hosted by Hough High, at the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center on Saturday, Jan. 21. The finals are at 6:15 p.m.
A preview of area I-MECK 4A teams:
HOUGH: Coach Tim Queen has two strong senior captains in Payton Schrum and Peter Brumm. Schrum will swim in the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard breast stroke. She was second at the state Class 4A meet in the 100 breast last year. Brumm will swim in the 100 butterfly (he’s the Class 4A reigning champion) and 100 backstroke.
“We are looking forward to the meet and hope that we can keep everyone healthy as the cold and flu season begins to take its toll on our kids,” Queen said.
NORTH MECKLENBURG: The Vikings boys are led by senior Sean Corcoran (100 butterfly and 100 backstroke) and Chris Jackson (100 and 200 freestyle), who both swim on the 200 and 400 freestyle relay teams.
The top girls are senior Molly
Sanborn (200 and 500 freestyle) and junior Rahcel Bennett (100 butterfly and 200 IM). They’re both key components on the 200 medley relay and 200 freestyle relay.
“We have a really young team this year, with over half of the team graduating last year,” coach Erin Burns said. “A lot of swimmers that were previously shadowed by the powerhouse seniors last year have had a chance to shine on the team this year. The young swimmers bring a refreshing energy and desire to constantly lower their times.
“The underclassmen have some really great senior role models to look up to and strive to swim like them. There is a real sense of community. Swimmers meet at CiCi’s Pizza after every meet just to enjoy one another’s company. Although many of them are fairly new to swimming, their times have dropped dramatically and I hope we can carry that momentum into future years.”
Burns said juniors Drew Touchton, Abigail Auerbach and Sydney Foil have dramatically improved their times this year and will be leaders in the future.
“The swimmers just have to continue focusing on doing everything they can to lower times,” Burns said. “Quick starts, tight streamlines, fast flip turns. Since our team is not large we focus on individual successes at the larger meets.”
MOORESVILLE: The Blue Devils’ top boys are freshmen Adrian Jarding (200 IM, 100 butterfly) and John Donelson (100 freestyle and 100 breast), who have set several individual school records. They’re also part of strong relay teams with Chase Brisendine and Taylor Pechuekonis.
The top girls are Kristyn Tuzeo (100 freestyle), Hayley Fowler (50 freestyle), Justice Montgomery (50 freestyle) and Christina Wytko (200 IM).
“I like our team’s drive,” coach Heidi Williams said. “We have such a small team, but we bring some power to the pool. We have tons of experienced swimmers and with our young standouts, we have been performing well. We have held our own in events with some of the bigger teams and will have a good shot at states this year with our boys team.”
LAKE NORMAN: Veteran coach David Tucker has talent on both his teams. The boys squad is led by senior Logan Heck (50 freestyle and 100 breast), who has made three Olympic Trials cuts. Tucker said Heck “is very humble and is very instrumental in motivating the team.”
The other top boys are seniors Casey Jones (100 freestyle and 100 breast) and Eduardo Kielmanowicz (100 butterfly and 100 backstroke), freshman Austin Hill (100 backstroke and 100 butterfly), and juniors Charles Blinn (200 and 500 freestyle) and Austin Tucker (200 IM and 500 freestyle).
The top girls are seniors Heather Isetts (50 and 100 freestyle) and Sierra Johnson (200 IM and 100 breast), juniors Erin Dickerman (100 butterfly and 100 backstroke), Morgan Holbrook (200 and 500 freestyle) and Courtney Fulton (200 and 500 freestyle), sophomores Taylor Stamm (50 and 100 freestyle) and Christine Wirt (50 and 100 freestyle) and freshman Ellie Tucker (50 and 100 freestyle).
“I like the way they’ve come together as a team,” Tucker said. “We’ve had great leadership and mentoring from the captains. They also are working hard. Input equals output.”