CARY — For the third year in a row, East Surry’s girls’ swim team is the best team representing a traditional 1A school in North Carolina. And the Lady Cardinals didn’t do too bad even when you throw in all of the 2A schools and open enrollment schools, either.
East Surry ended up fifth overall at the NCHSAA 1A/2A state swimming and diving championships on Friday at the Cary Aquatic Center. After a day-long, two-session meet that played host to swimmers from more than 100 schools around the state, Raleigh Charter School ended up as state champion with 243.5 points, edging out Lake Norman Charter by six and a half points. Pine Lake Prep came in third, followed by 2016-17 state champ Carrboro and then East Surry in fifth, with 178 points. Lincoln Charter had an outside chance to knock East out of the top five with a strong performance in the final event of the night, the 400 freestyle relay, but Julie Hicks, Hadly Tucker, Anne-Louise Tunstall and Avery Tucker finished one spot ahead of Lincoln in the race and therefore extended its lead in the final tally.
The second-highest finisher among traditional 1A teams was another Surry County team. Elkin finished 18th overall with 32 points.
Raleigh Charter made it a clean sweep of the event by edging out Croatan High School 203.5-201 in the boys’ half of the meet. Northwest 1A champion Bishop McGuinness placed fifth, but the highest-finishing local school was Elkin, in 19th place. However, the Buckin’ Elks were second only to East Carteret among traditional 1A boys teams.
No individual swimmer for any local team earned a medal in this year’s finals, but consistent high finishes by the East Surry girls moved them up the leaderboard as the meet moved along. The Lady Cardinals were in ninth place overall after seven events, but had moved into the top five with two events left to swim.
See Sunday’s issue of the Mount Airy News for a full report on the meet.
Reach John via Twitter at @johncate73.