CHARLOTTE — Surry County will send swimmers from East Surry, Mount Airy, and North Surry to Thursday’s North Carolina High School Athletic Association state swimming championships in Cary based off of their performances and qualifying times from Saturday’s regionals at the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center.
The East Surry girls claimed third overall with 273 points, Forbush sixth with 122, Mount Airy eighth with 84 points, Elkin 10th with 65 points, West Stokes 17th with 42 points and Surry Central 27th with four points. For the boys, Elkin placed eighth overall with 128 points, East Surry 15th with 39 points, West Stokes 17th with 34 points, Forbush 20th with 26 points, North Surry 21st with 25 points and Mount Airy 29th place with eight points.
During the first event of the day, East Surry’s Women 200 medley relay team (Sydney Beck, Gracie Pruitt, Mikki Nunn and Julie Hicks) finished in fifth with a time of 1:58.73, earning the Cardinals an initial 28 points. Forbush finished close behind at sixth place, earning 26 points, with a time of 1:59.65. The Falcons’ swimmers were Gina Myers, Sierra Winters, Samantha Wooten and Sarah Hayden. Mount Airy came in ninth, earning 18 points behind Lindley Williams, Sierra Best, Lisa Omuro and Gilleyn Bunting. Elkin came in 10th and gained 14 points. Elkin’s swimmers were Bianka Soos, Annie Douglas, Katie Sidden and Maia Schweikert. Surry Central grabbed 19th from CiCi Roman, Sara Collins, Sarah Southard and Hannah Mitchell.
For the boys, Elkin added its initial 26 points while finishing sixth in the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:47.79. Elkin swimmers were Alex Duncan, Jarrett Petterson, Dockery Sloop and Daniel Soos. East Surry’s Jakwon Thompson, Christian Lane, Nolan Gilliam and Brad Snow came in 13th, adding eight points with their time of 2:02.12. Forbush claimed 14th from Jacob Kepley, Hunter Kepley, Jamie Beamguard and Tyler Sprague. Mount Airy 16th from Jay Hunter, Brock Heck, Bobby Cox and Simon Cawley. North Surry’s team came in 20th from Chris Smith, Alston Elliot, Bailey Gwyn and Luke Holder.
In the girls’ 200 freestyle, West Stokes’ Laura Pulliam finished sixth with a time of 2:11.09 for 13 points. For the boys, North Surry’s Caleb Isaacs came in 18th.
In the girls 200 individual medley, East Surry’s Anne-Louise Tunstall (2:21.31) and Nunn (2:22.05) claimed sixth and seventh. Also for the Cardinals, Pruitt finished 12th with her time of 2:30.94. Mount Airy’s Best finished with a time of 2:22.45 for an eighth-place finish. The 200 free relay saw East Surry’s Nolan Gilliam claimed sixth place and 13 points with his time of 2:13.97. Forbush’s Jamie Beamguard was eighth with his 2:18.06 for 11 points, and Hunter Kepley was 14th for three points.
Event seven was the girls’ 50 free. East Surry added seven points from Hicks’ 10th place finish. Elkin’s Maia Schweikert and Bianka Soos collectively added eight points from their 12th and 14th place finishes. For the boys, West Stokes’ Jacob Johnson claimed 11th and six points with his 24.33 mark.
In the girls’ 100 butterfly, East Surry claimed fourth, seventh, and 24th places. Avery Tucker posted a time of 1:00.80 and 15 points for her fourth-place finish. Beck finished in seventh 1:02.78 for 12 points. Destini Hudson finished 24th. Gina Myers for Forbush claimed 6th with a time of 1:02.64 for 13 points. Teammate Sierra Winters collected a point for her 16th place finish. Surry Central’s Sarah Southard finished 13th with a time of 1:05.54 for four points. For the boys, Elkin’s Alex Duncan claimed a top-three finish and added 16 points with his third place time of 54.94. Cameron Burleson finished 14th with a time of 1:03.20 and added three points. East Surry’s Nolan Gilliam pulled seventh and earned 12 points with a time of 58.04.
In the girls’ 100 free, Tunstall claimed seventh and added 12 points with her time of 57.40. Teammate Hicks followed close behind with an eighth-place finish and 11 points with her time of 57.44. Forbush’s Sarah Hayden claimed 15th and added two points with a time of 1:00.44. For the boys, Elkin had a 10th place finish from Dockery Sloop and seven points.
East Surry and Mount Airy each grabbed a top-three finish in the girls’ 500 free. Julie Hicks, a freshman for East Surry, finished first in the event with a time of 5:31.62 and added a first-place 20 points. Mount Airy junior Lindley Williams finished third with her time of 5:45.81 for 16 points. Gilleyn Bunting also for Mount Airy claimed 16th and gathered a point. Forbush’s Suzie Beamguard came in sixth with her time of 5:53.93 and earned 13 points. The Falcons’ Samantha Wooten held 12th place and five points from her 6:07.22 time. For the boys, North Surry’s Nick Bryant made a top-ten finish. Bryant’s time of 5:35.05 added nine points for his ninth-place finish. Forbush’s Beamguard took 11th with a time of 5:39.52 and added six points.
Hicks, Beck, Tunstall and Avery Tucker earned East Surry’s third-place finish and 32 points with their 1:45.52 time in the 200 free relay. Bianka Soos, Katie Sidden, Harper Libbert and Maia Schweikert held seventh place and 24 points with their time of 1:49.23 for Elkin. Forbush claimed eighth and 22 points with their time of 1:49.53 from Sarah Hayden, Beamguard, Wooten and Sierra Winters. West Stokes’ Bethany Memola, Allison Pridgen, Laura Pulliam and Anna McGhee earned two points for their 15th place finish. For the boys, Elkin claimed a sixth place finish with a time of 1:38.01 and twenty-six points from Jarrett Petterson, Daniel Soos, Cameron Burleson, and Sloop. West Stokes’ relay team grabbed 11th place from Omnie Grabs, Cameron Heath, Michael Madigan and Jacob Johnson, and 12 points. North Surry boys held 14th and the Mount Airy 15th. North Surry claimed six points from Nick Bryant, Austin York, Drew Jones and Caleb Isaacs. Mount Airy added four points from Kyle Epperson, Chandler Gammons, Matthew Dowell and Bobby Cox.
In the girls’ 100 backstroke, East Surry claimed three top-ten finishes and Mount Airy and Forbush one each. For the Cardinals, Tucker picked up a second place finish and 17 points with her time of 1:00.09. Hicks held fourth and 15 points from her time of 1:01.71, and Beck sixth and 13 points with her 1:02.12 finish. Mount Airy’s Lindley Williams grabbed eighth and 11 points for the Granite Bears from her 1:03.54 finish. Forbush’s Gina Myers finished 10th with her time of 1:04.15 and posted seven points. For the boys, Elkin’s Alex Duncan computed twelve points for his team with his seventh=place finish and a time of 58.97. Isaacs finished 13th for North Surry and added four points with his 1:06.03, and teammate Bryant 17th. West Stokes’ Michael Madigan finished 14th for three points with his time of 1:06.28. East Surry’s Thompson grabbed 15th for two points.
Mount Airy and East Surry had top-ten finishes in the girls’ 100 breaststroke. Mount Airy’s Best picked up fourth place and added 15 points with her time of 1:10.54. Gracie Pruitt (1:11.55) grabbed fifth and Mikki Nunn (1:11.96) sixth for a compiled total of 27 points for East. Elkin’s Annie Douglas (1:21.09) finished 16th and added a point. For the boys, Elkin’s Petterson picked up fifth and 14 points with his time of 1:08.08.
The final women’s event of the night was the girls’ 400 free relay. East Surry claimed second place and earned 34 points with a time of 3:46.50 from Ashley Hicks, Tunstall, Julie Hicks and Tucker. Forbush came in fourth with a time of 4:03.08 and participation from Sarah Hayden, Samantha Wooten, Sierra Winters and Gina Myers. The Elkin girls posted a ninth-place finish with a time of 4:11.79 from Bianka Soos, Libbert, Sidden and Schweikert. Soon behind Elkin was 10th place West Stokes and 11th place Mount Airy. West Stokes’ swimmers were Anna McGhee, Allison Pridgen, Laura Pulliam and Bethany Memola. Williams, Bunting, Omuro and Best posted the 4:15.21 for Mount Airy. Surry Central finished 18th from Sara Collins, CiCi Roman, Hannah Mitchell and Sarah Southard, whom claimed a time of 4:40.03. North Surry’s Bailey Singleton, Cassie Barker, Greta East and Kendahl Schroeder grabbed 22nd.
East Surry’s girls will be represented by their 200 medley and 400 freestyle relay teams, Tunstall and Nunn in the 200 IM, Ashley Hicks 50 free, Beck and Tucker for the 100- butterfly, Tunstall and Ashley Hicks for the 100-Yard Freestyle, Julie Hicks in the 500 free, Tucker, Julie Hicks and Beck in the 100 backstroke and Pruitt and Nunn in the 100 breaststroke. All will swim on Thursday in Cary.
The male swimmer for East Surry traveling on Thursday is Nolan Gilliam in the 200 IM and 100 butterfly.
“On Saturday, we had seven girls finish top-twelve in two individual events and one boy,” said East Surry coach Leah Tunstall. “We had great swims and great finishes on Saturday. States are on Thursday and it is a quick turnaround, but our main focus has always been on the sate meet, and we just need to make sure we stay sharp. The state environment is not easily duplicated, and they are are up a level from the regional level, but the continuous high energy is what we are looking for. When you are finally there, the excitement just fills the air. This is my 16th year and it doesn’t change for me. Each experience takes on more importance each time. The stakes are high and everyone wants one another to perform well and for everything to come together at the right time.”
Mount Airy’s girls’ 200 medley and 400 freestyle relay teams will compete in Cary, along with Sierra Best individually participating in the 200 IM and 100 breaststrone, and Williams in both the 500 free and 100 back.
Nick Bryant will represent the Greyhounds on Thursday in the 500 free.