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On Thursday in Cary, North Carolina, the NC 3A public high schools met up to compete against each other in the state championship meet.
Charlotte Catholic’s return to 3A competition ended in victory for their women’s team, as they took first with 298 points. Last year’s champions Marvin Ridge finished second with 240 points, with the East Chapel Hill women finishing third with 197 points.
On the men’s side, Marvin Ridge repeated as champions, earning 246 points to Chapel Hill’s 203. East Chapel Hill finished third with 189 points.
Charlotte Catholic won the 200 medley relay to open the meet in dominating fashion. The team of sisters Julia and Madeline Menkhaus, along with Juliet Miechkowski and Alina Stout, won by almost a second, finishing with a 1:45.46 to edge under the 3A state record of 1:45.52, set back in 2013 by another Charlotte Catholic quartet. T.C. Roberson placed second with a 1:46.33, with East Chapel Hill taking third at 1:48.22.
Charlotte Catholic continued winning, as Olwyn Bartis was victorious in the 200 free in a 1:48.64. Anna Durak of Hickory joined Bartis under 1:50 with a 1:49.81, while Marvin Ridge’s Ellie Vannote took third in a 1:50.06.
T.C. Roberson’s Grace Reeder won the women’s 200 IM, storming home in a 28.62 to overtake Weddington’s Maddy Flickinger for the gold. Reeder finished with a 2:04.51 to Flickinger’s 2:04.81. East Chapel Hill’s Sydney Morgan (2:05.55) was third.
Weddington junior Katie Corbi took the women’s 50 free with a winning time of 23.63, following up her win in the same event in 2017. Charlotte Catholic’s Alina Stout joined Corbi under 24 seconds with a 23.99, while North Gaston’s Alicia Hutchins (24.12) was third.
Future Virginia Cavalier and current Charlotte Catholic senior Julia Menkhaus won her first individual race of the night in the 100 fly, where she narrowly beat out Marvin Ridge’s Vannote to set a new 3A state record of 53.84. Vannote placed second at a 54.02, also under the previous state record. Anna Newnam of T.C. Roberson (55.48) was third.
Bartis won her second event of the evening in the 100 free, as the sole woman under 51 seconds with a time of 50.69. Weddington’s Corbi couldn’t repeat as champion, but placed second with a 51.37. Charlotte Catholic put up two swimmers on the podium, as Bartis was joined by teammate Stout who took third.
Hickory’s Durak returned to the pool, this time to take a win in the 500 free. Durak touched in a time of 4:52.87, outpacing East Chapel Hill’s Morgan, who also cracked the 5:00 barrier with a 4:58.33. Asheville’s Ashleigh Lechner (5:03.45) took third.
Weddington was victorious in the 200 free relay, just edging out Charlotte Catholic by three tenths. The team of Flickinger, Amelia Kudela, Kelsey Tolchin, and Corbi finished with a 1:36.15 to Catholic’s 1:36.45. Marvin Ridge took third with a 1:37.91.
Julia Menkhaus was victorious in her third race and second individual swim of the meet, winning the 100 back in a 53.70 to break her own 3A state record from the prelims. Flickinger took second for Weddington in a 54.99, with East Chapel Hill senior and Duquesne commit Sophie Perez taking third in a 56.18.
Parkwood freshman Kaylee Hamblin destroyed the field in the 100 breast, finishing with a winning time of 1:03.08, narrowly off her personal best. Kenzie Cresci of South Iredell took second with a 1:05.27, with Western Guilford’s Virginia Gilliland (1:05.47) finishing third.
Charlotte Catholic won their second relay of the day in the 400 free relay, touching two seconds ahead of the field in a 3:28.43. Julia Menkhaus finished her senior season four-for-four in state championships, as she led the team out in 51.50. Teammates Victoria Dichak, Madeline Menkhaus, and Bartis helped Julia reach this accomplishment. Bartis’s split of 50.60 was the fastest in the field. Weddington placed second with a 3:30.67, with Marvin Ridge (3:34.24) finishing third.
The 200 medley relay team featured a return champion, as the team from Northern Guilford took the event by a commanding two seconds. Preston Forst was the difference-maker for the champions, as his backstroke split of 23.33 was the fastest in the field by well over a second. Joined by teammates Jeremy Lalumondier, Jonathan Wachendorfer and Bryan Hill, the men broke the 3A state record set by Northern Guilford in 2017, swimming a quick time of 1:34.79 to beat out their 1:35.51 from the year prior. East Chapel Hill placed second with a 1:36.88, just edging out the team from Concord (1:36.89) by a hundredth.
Forst won his second straight event in the 200 free, returning the pool as the only man under 1:40 with a 1:38.86. That time broke a tie for the previous 3A state record between Forst and open water extraordinaire Chip Peterson of 1:40.89. Curtis Wiltsey of Weddington took second at 1:40.79, with Thomas Bretzmann of Chapel Hill (1:41.45) taking third.
Duke commit Colson Zucker comfortably won the men’s 200 IM in a new 3A state record of 1:49.20, destroying the 1:50.72 previously held by current Kentucky swimmer Connor Blandford. Chapel Hill’s Jordan Ren took second in a 1:51.15, outpacing T.C. Roberson’s Reid Arwood, who finished third in a 1:51.69.
Marvin Ridge sophomore Boyd Poelke beat out a trio of seniors in the 50 free to win, with a winning time of 21.11. Orange’s Ben Scott took second with a 21.26, while Concord’s Robbie Epler and Charlotte Catholic’s James Sullivan tied for third in a 21.70.
Noah Henderson of Western Alamance repeated as the 100 fly champion, winning in a time of 48.61. Poelke returned to the pool to place second in a 49.19, while Southwest Guilford freshman William Watson (50.34) finished third.
A year ago, Orange’s Scott didn’t even swim the 100 free at the state championships. This year, however, he ran away with the event, winning in a time of 45.95. Concord’s Epler took second with a 46.65, while Marvin Ridge’s Charles Rothenberger (47.14) was third.
The men’s 500 free proved to be one of the best races of the night, as future NC State swimmer Wiltsey and future UNC swimmer Bretzmann dueled through 20 lengths of the pool. Wiltsey ended up victorious, cracking Peterson’s 3A state record time of 4:29.73 with a winning time of 4:29.30. Bretzmann also made his way under the 4:30 barrier with a 4:29.63. Bretzmann’s Chapel Hill teammate, Beau Brauer, took third with a 4:44.42.
Marvin Ridge returned to the top of the podium in the 200 free relay, repeating their 2017 victory with a new 3A state record of 1:26.08. The team of Poelke, Nicholas Piscitelli, Josh Stablein, and Rothenberger outpaced the team from Chapel Hill, who took second with a 1:26.77. Northern Guilford finished third in a time of 1:27.10.
Henderson returned to the pool to win his second event for Western Alamance, this time in the 100 back. His time of 48.58 broke Eugene Godsoe‘s state record of 48.78 from 2006. Northern Guilford’s Forst took second in a 49.67, with Cleveland’s Mitchell Langston placing third, at 51.02.
Zucker returned to the pool for South Iredell to crack another 3A state record, this time his own. He broke his winning mark from 2017 of 56.10 by swimming a 56.02 to win the 100 breast. Cuthberson’s Gage Mayer took second with a 57.74, with East Chapel Hill’s Connor Sept taking third in a 58.25.
Marvin Ridge’s men won their second free relay of the day, taking the 400 free relay in a new 3A state record of 3:10.82. Poelke anchored the team in a 47.23, and was joined by teammates Charles Rothenberger, Matthew Shen, and Stablein. Chapel Hill placed second, with Charlotte Catholic taking third.
Full results available here.