Lady Cards seek to rule the pool again

By John Cate - jcate@mtairynews.com
From left, Hadly Tucker, Sydney Beck, Anne-Louise Tunstall, and Avery Tucker of East Surry finished third in the 200 freestyle relay at the West Regional last week. The Lady Cardinals will compete in the 1A/2A state championships in Cary on Friday night. - Contributed photo
From left, Avery Tucker, Julie Hicks, Anne-Louise Tunstall, and Hadly Tucker finished third in the 400 freestyle relay at the West Regional last week. - Contributed photo

When it comes to girls’ swimming, there’s no better 1A traditional school in the state than East Surry. For each of the last two seasons, the Lady Cardinals have finished first in the state among 1A traditionals at the NCHSAA 1A/2A state swimming championships at the Cary Aquatic Center.

The only schools which have finished ahead of East Surry, which placed seventh overall in 2016 and fourth last year, have been a handful of 2A schools and 1A charter and private schools with open enrollment. The 2017 team’s fourth-place finish was the best by an East Surry swim team since 2000.

When her team won a sixth straight Northwest 1A Conference title late last month, Lady Cardinals head coach Courtney Tunstall said that she thought this East Surry team could be the best of the mini-dynasty that has ruled area women’s swimming for many years. On Friday, the Lady Cardinals, along with individual swimmers from several schools around the region, will head back to Cary and try to top last year’s performance. Preliminary round competition will begin at 9 a.m., with the final rounds beginning at 4:45 p.m.

At last week’s NCHSAA West Regionals, held in Charlotte and hosted by Pine Lake Prep, East Surry’s girls were in their customary spot as the top traditional school in attendance. The Lady Cardinals placed third overall with 256 points, behind Lake Norman Charter (304) and the host school (280). The second-highest finishing traditional school was 2A Salisbury, fifth with 165, and the second-best 1A traditional was Elkin, ninth overall with 69. Forbush finished 13th, followed by Surry Central in 17th and Mount Airy in 18th place.

The boys’ half of the regional went much the same way. Pine Lake won it, and Salisbury was again the highest-finishing traditional school, in fifth. Elkin, in eighth place, was the top traditional 1A school. North Surry came in 17th, followed by East in 22nd, and Mount Airy in 31st place.

When the regions unite for the state championships on Saturday, eastern powerhouses such as Raleigh Charter and Carrboro will also be part of the mix. However, East Surry’s girls have more than held their own in the past few years. An overall state title is not likely, but finishing as the top traditional 1A for a third year in a row is a realistic goal.

At the regional, no Surry County individual or relay team won an individual event, but many of them had high finishes and qualified for states. The full list of competing teams in Charlotte is as follows:

Relay Events

Women’s 200 Yard Medley Relay

5. East Surry (Sydney Beck, Gracie Pruitt, Mikki Nunn, Julie Hicks)

11. Elkin (Bianka Soos, Kenley Wells, Harper Libbert, Maia Schweikert)

13. Surry Central (Abby Bruce, Brooke Mosley, Sarah Southard, Sara Collins)

Men’s 200 Yard Medley Relay

5. Elkin (Alex Duncan, Brady Shugart, Cameron Burleson, Dockery Sloop)

16. East Surry (Jakwon Thompson, Christain Lane, Nolan Gilliam, Cade Williams)

20. Mount Airy (Simon Cawley, Brock Heck, Bobby Cox, Chandler Gammons)

23. North Surry (Drew Jones, Chris Smith, Luke Holder, Garyn Bender)

Women’s 200 Yard Freestyle Relay

3. East Surry (Avery Tucker, Sydney Beck, Anne-Louise Tunstall, Hadly Tucker)

7. Elkin (Bianka Soos, Katie Sidden, Harper Libbert, Maia Schweikert)

17. Mount Airy (Oshyn Bryant, Gilleyn Bunting, Elizabeth Marion, Sierra Best)

24. Surry Central (Gracie Brindle, Hannah Mitchell, CiCi Roman, Brooke Mosley)

Men’s 200 Yard Freestyle Relay

5. Elkin (Alex Duncan, Cameron Burleson, Brady Shugart, Dockery Sloop)

12. North Surry (Hunter York, Drew Jones, Nick Bryant, Caleb Isaacs)

17. Mount Airy (Brock Heck, Chandler Gammons, Simon Cawley, Bobby Cox)

Women’s 400 Yard Freestyle Relay

3. East Surry (Julie Hicks, Hadly Tucker, Anne-Louise Tunstall, Avery Tucker)

7. Elkin (Bianka Soos, Katie Sidden, Harper Libbert, Maia Schweikert)

11. Mount Airy (Oshyn Bryant, Gilleyn Bunting, Lindley Williams, Sierra Best)

16. Surry Central (Abby Bruce, Gracie Brindle, Sarah Southard, Sara Collins)

Men’s 400 Yard Freestyle Relay

10. Elkin (Brady Shugart, Cason Baker, Cameron Burleson, Dockery Sloop)

13. North Surry (Hunter York, Drew Jones, Caleb Isaccs, Nick Bryant)

19. East Surry (Nolan Gilliam, Jacob Gates, Cade Williams, Jakwon Thompson)

Individual Events

Womens 200 Yard Freestyle

3. Avery Tucker – East Surry

5. Julie Hicks – East Surry

Mens 200 Yard Freestyle

8. Nick Bryant – North Surry

17. Caleb Isaacs – North Surry

Womens 200 Yard IM

7. Anne-Louise Tunstall – East Surry

10. Gracie Pruitt – East Surry

11. Abby Bruce – Surry Central

21. Bailey Singleton – North Surry

Mens 200 Yard IM

5. Nolan Gilliam – East Surry

20. Hunter York – North Surry

Womens 50 Yard Freestyle

9. Maia Schweikert – Elkin

19. Bianka Soos – Elkin

Mens 50 Yard Freestyle

19. Dockery Sloop – Elkin

Womens 100 Yard Butterfly

6. Hadly Tucker – East Surry

9. Sydney Beck – East Surry

10. Mikki Nunn – East Surry

12. Sara Collins – Surry Central

13. Sarah Southard – Surry Central

15. Carly Bullington – East Surry

Mens 100 Yard Butterfly

6. Alex Duncan – Elkin

8. Nolan Gilliam – East Surry

13. Cameron Burleson – Elkin

19. Bobby Cox – Mount Airy

23. Hunter York – North Surry

Womens 100 Yard Freestyle

11. Anne-Louise Tunstall – East Surry

17. Heather Libbert – Elkin

Womens 500 Yard Freestyle

4. Hadly Tucker – East Surry

14. Oshyn Bryant – Mount Airy

16. Lindley Williams – Mount Airy

21. Carly Bullington – East Surry

Mens 500 Yard Freestyle

11. Nick Bryant – North Surry

Womens 100 Yard Backstroke

4. Avery Tucker – East Surry

5. Sydney Beck – East Surry

7. Julie Hicks – East Surry

9. Abby Bruce – Surry Central

12. Lindley Williams – Mount Airy

17. Sarah Southard – Surry Central

Men 100 Yard Backstroke

16. Jakwon Thompson

21. Caleb Isaacs

Womens 100 Yard Breaststroke

4. Mikki Nunn – East Surry

9. Sierra Best – Mount Airy

10. Gracie Pruitt – East Surry

16. Sara Collins – Surry Central

Mens 100 Yard Breaststroke

4. Alex Duncan – Elkin

9. Bobby Cox – Mount Airy

19. Brock Heck – Mount Airy

From left, Hadly Tucker, Sydney Beck, Anne-Louise Tunstall, and Avery Tucker of East Surry finished third in the 200 freestyle relay at the West Regional last week. The Lady Cardinals will compete in the 1A/2A state championships in Cary on Friday night.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/web1_2018WesternRegionalBronze200Free.jpgFrom left, Hadly Tucker, Sydney Beck, Anne-Louise Tunstall, and Avery Tucker of East Surry finished third in the 200 freestyle relay at the West Regional last week. The Lady Cardinals will compete in the 1A/2A state championships in Cary on Friday night. Contributed photo

From left, Avery Tucker, Julie Hicks, Anne-Louise Tunstall, and Hadly Tucker finished third in the 400 freestyle relay at the West Regional last week.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/web1_2018WesternRegionalBronze400Free.jpgFrom left, Avery Tucker, Julie Hicks, Anne-Louise Tunstall, and Hadly Tucker finished third in the 400 freestyle relay at the West Regional last week. Contributed photo
East Surry girls leading local contingent to Friday’s state swim finals

By John Cate

jcate@mtairynews.com

Reach John via Twitter at @johncate73.

Reach John via Twitter at @johncate73.