Avery Gambill was the exception to Hough High’s swimming and diving rule.
Gambill, a North Mecklenburg sophomore, won the boys’ 500-meter freestyle Thursday at the MECKA 4A championships at Huntersville Fitness & Aquatics to break up a Huskies sweep. Gambill’s time of 4 minutes, 49.39 seconds outpaced Hopewell’s Allison Chase (5:04.80) and Hough’s Griffin Sansbury (5:15.07).
“I know a lot of the kids I swim with and looking into it, I thought I’d win by a lot,” Gambill said. “I took it out easy, brought it home and it was a good race. I’m excited for regionals and then hopefully states.”
Hough did the expected in sweeping the boys’ and girls’ championships for the sixth straight season and nearly locking down the field. Two of the more dominant swims were turned in by Huskies freestyle sprinters Harrison Snyder and Erika Brown. Snyder won the boys’ 50 freestyle in 22.98 seconds, beating Hopewell’s Chase Allison (23.18) and Hough’s Adam Calero (23.35). Brown’s clocking of 23.94 in the girls’ 50 bested Emma Wennborg of Hopewell (25.79) and Hough’s Fallon Brown (26.31).
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“When you come to these meets, it’s always about the kids and watching them perform and work together as a team,” Hough coach Tim Queen said. “It doesn’t get old.”
Gambill is accustomed to winning, too, racking up his second 500-meter freestyle title in as many years. His goal, though, is to duplicate that success against tougher competition.
“It’s cool I’m a conference champion and stuff, I guess, but looking forward, the regional and states are a lot bigger for me, so I’m looking forward to those,” he said.
Queen shares the same sentiments after Hough swam away from the field. The Huskies scored 695 points in the girls’ competition, 375 better than runner-up Hopewell. The boys’ tally of 647 points topped Hopewell by 326 and Mallard Creek by 334.
“We’re deeper than we’ve been in the past, so, we’re looking to see how we stack up against the southern half of the county,” Queen said. “The two defending state champions reside in the south; for the girls it was (Charlotte) Catholic and for the guys it was South Mecklenburg. So we’re looking forward to seeing them next week.”