PILOT MOUNTAIN — The Northwest Conference Championships were held at Armfield Civic Center on Saturday, in Pilot Mountain, and the East Surry Cardinals harnessed a multitude of hardware.
In swimming, the Northwest 1A Conference is composed of Atkins, Bishop McGuinness, East Surry, Mount Airy, and Walkertown.
For the girls, East Surry took home first place, Bishop McGuinness were runners-up, Mount Airy third, Atkins fourth and Walkertown fifth.
“We are a small group, but we were able to come together at this time and bring it all today at conference. I like for everyone to work together and bring what they can to the table when it counts, and I think everyone did that today,” said East Surry Head Coach Leah Tunstall.
For the boys, East Surry claimed third place and Mount Airy took fourth.
In the first event for the girls, East Surry’s 200 yard Medley Relay captured the initial victory for the Cardinals. Sydney Beck, Gracie Pruitt, Avery Tucker and Julie Hicks finished first with a time of 2:00.18 to claim 18 points. East’s B team of Mikki Nunn, Carley Elliot, Destini Hudson and Madison Ramey came in fifth. Mount Airy’s A team of Lindley Williams, Sierra Best, Lisa Omuro and Gilleyn Bunting placed third for 12 points, while the Lady Bears’ B team of Olivia Hunter, Meredith Marion, Anna Kate Tucker, and Catherine Sawyers, claimed six points from their sixth-place finish.
For the boys, in the 200 yard Relay Medley, East Surry’s teams came in second and fifth. Swimmers who came in runners-up were Alex Butner, Christian Lane, Nolan Gilliam and Brad Snow. Cardinals who placed fifth were Cade Williams, Eston Crabill, JaKwon Thompson and Devin Hill. The Mount Airy boys came in fourth during their first event, with Jay Hunter, Brock Heck, Will Cox and Simon Cawley doing the work.
In the girls’ 200 free, East Surry owned first and third place finishes. Julie Hicks won with a time of 2:07.86 and Hudson was third with a time of 2:23.95. Mount Airy owned a fourth and seventh place finish from Bunting and Abigail Gilley.
East Surry’s Brad Snow and Alex Butner claimed fourth and fifth place as they swam in the boys’ 200 freestyle. Mount Airy had a sixth place finish from Chandler Gammons.
In the girls 200 yard Individual Medley, Tucker and Gracie Pruitt claimed second and third for the Cardinals, while Best owned fourth and Hunter seventh for Mount Airy. Thompson finished fourth for East Surry boys during the 200 yard Individual Medley with a time of 2:46.10.
Ashley Hicks won the girls’ 50 freestyle for East with a time of 27.41, and added nine first-place points, while Anne-Louise Tunstall (27.70) was close behind in second. Mount Airy held sixth- and eighth-place finishes from Omuro and Elizabeth Marion.
Nolan Gilliam collected a first place finish for the Cardinals in the boys’ 50 free with a time of 25.61, and teammate Tucker Mackie finished eighth with a time of 29.35. Fifth and seventh place finishes were claimed by Mount Airy’s Cox and Cawley.
East Surry’s Beck and Hudson picked up second and third place finishes swimming in the girls’ 100 butterfly. Mount Airy’s Tucker was right behind claiming fourth for the Granite Bears. East Surry’s Nolan Gilliam added six points with his third place finish in the boys’ 100 butterfly.
In the girls’ 100 free, 16 points were added to East Surry’s total, courtesy of first and second place finishes from Ashley Hicks and Tunstall. Mount Airy’s Gilley placed sixth with 1:10.93, with Omuro eighth.
In heat three for the boys’ 100 free, Brad Snow collected a win for the Cardinals in a time of 59.26. Snow’s time was the only one under a minute. Crabill also contributed with two points as he brought in an eighth place finish. Mount Airy’s Chandler Gammons and Jay Hunter posted a fifth and sixth place finish.
Julie Hicks picked up her third first-place finish as she competed in the 13th event of the day, the girls’ 500 yard freestyle, adding to the ones from the 200 medley relay and the 200 free. Nunn added a fourth place for East. Mount Airy’s Williams and Bunting claimed third and fifth place finishes and added a total of 10 points.
East Surry’s Elyjah Thomas owned second place and Thompson fourth place in the boys’ 500 free. Mount Airy’s Matthew Davis claimed seventh.
Similarly to the 200 yard medley, the Lady Cardinals claimed victory in the 200 yard Freestyle Relay. Participants included Beck, Nunn, Tunstall and Ashley Hicks. East Surry also had a fourth place finish from Diana Hernandez, Ramey, Elliot and Gracie Pruitt. Mount Airy’s two 200 yard Freestyle Relay teams finished sixth and eighth. The Granite Bear team who finished sixth included Sawyers, Gilley, Hunter and Marion, and eighth, Chloe Cave, Hannah Judd, Ellie Martin and Emily Martin.
East Surry earned a fourth place finish in the boys’ version from Crabill, Christian Lane, Cade Williams and Tucker Mackie. East Surry’s Relay Team B finished sixth with a time of 2:13.30 and from Luke Mabe, Mark Calderon, Devin Hill and Robert Hawks. Mount Airy’s Boys 200 yard Freestyle Relay time from Cawley, Dustin York, Matthew Dowell and Gammons took fifth.
Tuckee finished first in the girls’ 100 backstroke for the Cardinals with a time of 1:02.22, with teammate Sydney Beck second, her time of 1:04.56 and seven points. Mount Airy’s Williams finished close behind Beck with a time of 1:05.17 and claimed third. Another Granite Bear that placed was Hunter in seventh.
For the boys in the 100 yard Backstroke, Alex Butner and Devin Hill for East Surry, picked up third and seventh place finishes, and a total of eight points. Mount Airy claimed fourth and eighth, from Hunter and Cawley, and added six points.
The first Mount Airy swimmer who claimed a first place finish was Sierra Best, who did so during a tight girls’ 100 yard breaststroke race. Best’s time was 1:14.04. Also for Mount Airy, Marion picked up sixth with a time of 1:40.64. East Surry held a second-place finish from Pruitt, whose time was slightly behind Best’s at 1:14.36. Nunn collected third at 1:14.90.
The boys’ 100-yard breaststroke saw the Mount Airy boys placed fourth from Will Cox and seventh from Brock Heck. A sixth place Cardinal finish belonged to Christian Lane.
During the last even, the 400 free relay, East Surry’s Relay team A that consisted of Ashley Hicks, Tunstall, Julie Hicks and Tucker outswam their competition once again, in 3:58.19. A second-place finish was record for Mount Airy’s Relay Team A that featured Bunting, Omuro, Williams and Best. A fourth place finish was also picked up for the Granite Bears from Meredith Marion, Elizabeth Marion, Tucker and Gilley. Performances from Hernandez, Ramey, Elliot and Hudson earned fifth.
East Surry had two finishes, third and seventh, in the boys’ version. The third place finish was a result of Butner, Thompson, Snow and Gilliam, while a seventh place finish was made Mackie, Thomas, Robert Hawks, and Cade Williams.
East Surry’s girls won their half of the meet with 196 points, followed by Bishop McGuinness with 129, Mount Airy 110, Atkins 37 and Walkertown 25.
The boy’s scores saw Bishop McGuinness win another title with 148 points. followed by Atkins with 126, East Surry 118, Mount Airy 61 and Walkertown 28.
The Northwest 1A Girls Coach of the Year was Courtney Tunstall from the Lady Cardinals, and the Boys Coach of the Year was Dana St. Claire from Bishop.
For the first time ever, the Northwest 1A Conference adopted a new change with the process of electing MVPs. This change included points from performances during relay races. The Northwest 1A Swimmer of the Year, was determined even before Saturday’s meet, was Ashley Hicks. The boys’ winner was Dylan Fore of Atkins.
There was a tie for Swimmer of the Meet for the girls, between Ashley and Julie Hicks, both from East Surry. Fore won the boys’ award.