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South Meck coasts to South Meck 8 swimming title

By Jay Edwards
Correspondent
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/01/24/23/54/1jIaLJ.Em.138.jpeg|382
    Jeff Siner - jsiner@charlotteobserver.com
    Nicole Emery of Charlotte Catholic swims the backstroke during the women’s 200 medley relay on Friday in the SoMeck 8 swim championship at the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/01/24/23/54/1jzmB6.Em.138.jpeg|125
    Jeff Siner - jsiner@charlotteobserver.com
    Connor Long of Ardrey Kell competes in the first heat of the men’s 100 butterfly on Fridayat the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center. Long won the heat with a time of 52.33.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/01/24/23/54/1l6rXS.Em.138.jpeg|161
    Jeff Siner - jsiner@charlotteobserver.com
    Elsa Welshofer of Charlotte Catholic competes in Heat 1 of the Women's 100 Yard Butterfly on Friday. Swimmers competed in the SoMeck 8 swim championship at the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center. Welshofer won the heat with a time of 55.68.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/01/24/23/54/UITdG.Em.138.jpeg|415
    Jeff Siner - jsiner@charlotteobserver.com
    Brandon Keller of Olympic High School competes in Heat 1 of the Men's 100 Yard Breaststroke on Friday. Swimmers competed in the SoMeck 8 swim championship at the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center. Keller won the heat with a time of 1:01.33.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/01/24/23/54/151fYF.Em.138.jpeg|402
    Jeff Siner - jsiner@charlotteobserver.com
    Nathan Murray of South Meck High School competes in Heat 1 of the Men's 100 Yard Backstroke on Friday. Swimmers competed in the SoMeck 8 swim championship at the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center. Murray won the heat with a time of 52.59.

The South Mecklenburg boys swim team has gone a perfect 14-0 in conference swim meets over the past two seasons.

But for the first time in that span, they officially got to compete for the South Meck 8 conference title Friday night, and they took full advantage, winning the league championship match by 59 points over Ardrey Kell.

After going 7-0 in the regular season last year, the Southwestern 4A conference meet was cancelled because of winter weather.

Then, after a repeat 7-0 performance in the regular season, the South Meck 8 conference meet was delayed a week when it was discovered a noncertified official was used in several meets this season.

But South Meck swimming coach Leslie Berens said the waiting was worth it.

“It feels good to finally get in this environment and finally win it (conference title),” said Berens, whose team last won a conference title in 2007. “We feel like it will also prepare our kids for what’s to come at regionals and states (meets).

The Sabres were led by Graham Weaver, who won the individual conference titles in both the 50 and 100 freestyle, while also anchoring the 400-freestyle relay team to a league title with Matthew Cooper, Noah Cahan and Nathan Murray.

Murray (100 backstroke) and Brendan Schaffer (diving) also won their respective conference titles for South Meck.

Olympic’s Brandon Keller (200 IM, 100 breaststroke) and Providence’s Pierce Bradshaw (200 and 500 freestyle) both won two individual titles.

The Ardrey Kell boys also won two relay conference championships. The Knights’ first relay title came in the 200 medley with Grant Murchison, Jack Eudy, David Chang and Connor Long taking the win. Ardrey Kell’s Spencer Tully, Nick Spina, Eudy and Long won the 200 freestyle relay.

Long also won the 100 butterfly conference title.

The 12-time defending state champion Charlotte Catholic girls swim team took the inaugural South Meck 8 conference title in their first year in class 4A, winning 10 of the 12 events and beating the field by 56.5 points.

Seven different Cougars won individual conference championships, including Nicole Emery (100 backstroke), Nora McCullagh (200 freestyle), Rebecca Postoll (50 freestyle), Lauren Rhodes (100 freestyle, also swimmer of the meet), Sara Stranick (200 individual medley), Christine Sullivan (500 freestyle) and Elsa Welshofer (100 butterfly).

Catholic also swept the relays with Emery, Maria Sheridan, Stranick and Welshofer taking the 200 individual medley relay title, while Postoll, Rhodes, Sheridan and McCullagh won the 200 freestyle relay title. McCullagh, Postoll, Rhodes and Welshofer also won the 400 freestyle relay championship.

“I say this every year – we don’t look at our competition. I put together a lineup that works best for us,” said Charlotte Catholic swimming coach Brian Gross. “We try to go out and race our best no matter what every else is doing. It was great to come out and do that and win our first 4A conference title.”

South Meck’s Alexandra Martelle (100 breaststroke) and Providence’s Hannah Croxton (diving) were the only other two girls individual conference champions.

Team Scores

Boys

South Mecklenburg 614, Ardrey Kell 545, Providence 471.5, Charlotte Catholic 368.5, Olympic 116, West Mecklenburg 44, Berry 24.

Girls

Charlotte Catholic 594.5, Ardrey Kell 537, Providence 516, South Mecklenburg 442.5, West Mecklenburg 81, Olympic 58, Rocky River 18.

Conference Champions By Event

Boys

Swimmer of the Meet: Brandon Keller, Olympic

Coach of the Year: Leslie Berens, South Mecklenburg

200 Medley Relay: Ardrey Kell (Grant Murchison, Jack Eudy, David Chang, Connor Long)

200 Freestyle: Pierce Bradshaw, Providence

200 Individual Medley: Brandon Keller, Olympic

50 Freestyle: Graham Weaver, South Mecklenburg

100 Butterfly: Connor Long, Ardrey Kell

100 Freestyle: Graham Weaver, South Mecklenburg

500 Freestyle: Pierce Bradshaw, Providence

200 Freestyle Relay: Ardrey Kell (Spencer Tully,m Nick Spina, Jack Eudy, Connor Long)

100 Backstroke: Nathan Murray, South Mecklenburg

100 Breaststroke: Brandon Keller, Olympic

400 Freestyle Relay: South Mecklenburg (Matthew Cooper, Noah Cahan, Nathan Murray, Graham Weaver) –

Diving – Brendan Schaffer, South Mecklenburg

Girls

Swimmer of the Meet: Lauren Rhodes, Charlotte Catholic

Coach of the Year: Brian Gross, Charlotte Catholic

200 Medley Relay: Charlotte Catholic (Nicole Emery, Elsa Welshofer, Sara Stranick, Maria Sheridan)

200 Freestyle: Nora McCullagh, Charlotte Catholic

200 Individual Medley: Sara Stranick, Charlotte Catholic

50 Freestyle: Rebecca Postoll, Charlotte Catholic

100 Butterfly: Elsa Welshofer, Charlotte Catholic

100 Freestyle: Lauren Rhodes, Charlotte Catholic

500 Freestyle: Christine Sullivan, Charlotte Catholic

200 Freestyle Relay: Charlotte Catholic (Rebecca Postoll, Maria Sheridan, Lauren Rhodes, Nora McCullagh)

100 Backstroke: Nicole Emery, Charlotte Catholic

100 Breaststroke: Alexandra Martelle, South Mecklenburg

400 Freestyle Relay: Charlotte Catholic (Nora McCullagh, Rebecca Postoll, Elsa Welshofer, Lauren Rhodes)

Diving: Hannah Croxton, Providence

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