South Charlotte has long produced some of the state's best swimming, and the 2010-11 season was no different, as the Providence High boys and Charlotte Catholic girls repeated as state champions in their respective classifications.
The Providence boys, led by Sandy Martin and brothers Kip and Kyle Darmody, were dominant all season and beat their closest competition in the state championship in Raleigh by more than 70 points.
Meanwhile, the Catholic girls' swim team won its 10th straight state championship in 3A as well as the 10th consecutive regional title .
Cougars head coach Brian Gross led a relatively young team sparked by freshmen Lauren Rhodes and Maria Sheridan and junior Ashlyn Koletic.
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The standards for being among the best in South Charlotte are high.
Boys Swimmer of the Year: Kip Darmody, Providence - Darmody did just about everything in his career at Providence. This year, the senior went out on top, winning four different events in the state meet including the 200-yard freestyle, 100 backstroke and the 200- and 400-yard relays, which he led. Darmody, who has signed with Texas, should continue to get better as he joins one of the elite NCAA swimming programs.
Boys Coach of the Year: Sandy Martin, Providence - This year, Providence's 14-year veteran leader added her 14th state championship overall (boys and girls) as the Panthers boys' swim team won its second consecutive 4A state title. Martin, who now has four boys state championships (10 girls state titles) also has 25 SW4A conference titles and 26 regional titles.
Girls Swimmer of the Year: Lauren Rhodes, Charlotte Catholic - The freshman sensation swam well beyond her years, leading the Cougars to their 10th straight state title. Rhodes not only won a state championship in the 50-yard freestyle - setting a 3A state record - but anchored both the champion 200- and 400-freestyle relay squads. Rhodes pulled off a similar feat at the 3A West Regional meet in Huntersville, winning the individual title in the 50 and 200 freestyle while leading both the 200- and 400-freestyle relay squads to wins as Catholic also won its 10th straight regional crown.
Girls Coach of the Year: Brian Gross, Charlotte Catholic -This year, the Catholic girls won their 10th straight 3A state championship by 121 points. Gross and company also won the 3A West Regional meet for the 10th straight time and will have a great shot at 11 in a row in both meets with a team littered with young talent.