South Charlotte

Charlotte Catholic wins again, team takes 11th straight title

The Charlotte Catholic girls swimming and diving team won its 11th straight state title in dominant fashion, winning eight of 12 events to claim the title by more than 200 points over their closest competition.

The Ardrey Kell girls' swim team didn't win a state championship, but it did win its second straight Southwestern 4A conference title while also finishing second at the 4A West Regional and sixth at the state meet.

The Charlotte Latin girls finished two points behind conference champion Charlotte Country Day and four points behind state champion Forsyth Country Day to earn second at states.

Swim Coach of the Year: Brian Gross, Charlotte Catholic - For most teams, winning a state title is something they dream of doing. For Brian Gross and his Charlotte Catholic girls' swim team, it's an annual February tradition.

This year, Gross led his girls' team to their seventh straight 3A state title after winning four 1A/2A championships before that.

Gross won with young talent, with freshmen and sophomores making big contributions.

Swimmer of the Year: Lauren Rhodes, Charlotte Catholic - Lauren Rhodes had a storybook freshman season a year ago, winning the 50-yard freestyle in state record time and earning most valuable player honors as the Catholic girls won their 10th straight title.

This year, Rhodes was the MVP of the state meet again, winning four events.

Rhodes set state records in both the 100 (50.55) and 200-yard freestyle events (1:50.22) while guiding her two relay teams to class 3A records.

All-South Charlotte News girls' swimming

200 IM relay: Charlotte Catholic (Maria Sheridan, Allison McDonough, Elsa Welshofer, Ashlyn Koletic): Set the tone in state championships with win in first event at 1:46.56.

200 freestyle: Lauren Rhodes, Charlotte Catholic: Sophomore swam a 3A state record 1:50.22 to win.

200 IM: Nicole Emery, Charlotte Catholic: Won state title with 2:03.63.

50 freestyle: Shannon Foreman, Ardrey Kell and Nora McCullagh, Charlotte Catholic: Foreman, a Rice University signee, won 4A West Regionals and was fifth in state (23.86), while McCullagh won it all 3A states with 23.85.

100 butterfly: Elsa Welshofer, Charlotte Catholic: Won state title at 56.09 seconds.

100 freestyle: Lauren Rhodes, Charlotte Catholic: Another 3A state record fell when Rhodes swam a 50.55.

500 freestyle: Christine Sullivan, Charlotte Catholic: First Cougar to break five-minute barrier as 3A state runner-up at 4:59.62.

200 freestyle relay: Ardrey Kell (Sam Benson, Katie Erickson, Christina Villarasa, Shannon Foreman): 4A state champions with a 1:38.60.

100 backstroke: Christine Sullivan, Charlotte Catholic: 3A state runner-up with a 57.69.

100 breaststroke: Anne Settlemyre, South Mecklenburg: 4A West Regional runner-up with a 1:07.76.

400 freestyle relay: Charlotte Catholic (McCullagh, Koletic, Welshofer, Rhodes): Set another state record with 3:26.68.

Diving: Madeline Keeley, Providence: SW4A Champion, regional runner-up, fourth at states.

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