Caroline Hauder has accomplished a lot in her three years with the Marvin Ridge swim team.
The 6-foot, Marvin Ridge senior has helped lead the Mavericks girls’ team to three straight, 3A state championships, she’s won five individual state titles and she’s been a part of six more relays that have N.C. titles.
Hauder, 17, has improved each season, as she has earned the 3A state championship’s most outstanding swimmer each of the last two seasons.
In 2015, she won state titles in the 100 backstroke, the 100 breaststroke and the 200 medley and 400-freestyle relays.
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In 2016, she won the state championships in the 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke, as well as the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays. At that meet, Hauder set the N.C. state record in the 200 IM (1:58.15) and the 3A state record in the 100 breaststroke (1:02.15).
Hauder, who is also one of the top swimmers on her SwimMAC Carolinas’ club team, also competed in U.S. Olympic Trials this summer (July), qualifying in the 100 backstroke, 100 breaststroke and 200 individual medley.
"Every time I achieve something, I know there’s always more, there’s always something bigger and better that I can do," said Hauder, a North Carolina recruit who started swimming competitively when she was six years old. "Sometimes, I look at the world class swimmers times, and I think about going that fast. In high school swimming, you have to take on the mental challenge that there are times when you are racing yourself. At the end of the day, you are in your lane trying to swim as fast as you can.
…Right now, what’s driving is the thought of winning an NCAA championship, an ACC title and swimming against Olympians."
Marvin Ridge coach, Melissa King-Pierce, is she motivated every time she gets in the pool.
"Caroline is extremely self-driven, she doesn’t need any extra motivation, because she wants to break records every time she gets in the pool," said King-Pierce, in her 5th year as Marvin Ridge swim coach. "…She has accomplished so much already (at Marvin Ridge/SwimMAC), but she doesn’t think about she’s done, she thinks about what she hasn’t done. Caroline is really determined to break two (individual) state records this year."
Hauder is so versatile in the pool she hasn’t even determined which strokes she will swim this year for Marvin Ridge.
Whatever strokes she decides to swim, Hauder is determined to etch her name in the state records book, again.
Hauder also wants to help her Marvin Ridge team to a fourth state championship in four years.
"To walk away (from Marvin Ridge) with four team, state championships would mean a lot to all of us, especially the senior class," Hauder said.
Hauder will attend the National Select camp at the USA Swimming training center in Colorado Springs this January, where she will learn from some of the nation’s best. Then, this summer, she will report to the University of North Carolina, where "she is eager to challenge herself against the best of the best in college."
But if you think Hauder is going to be satisfied any time soon, think again.
"When I left (U.S) Olympic Trials this summer, all I could think about was how I have to make this team one day," said Hauder, who next chance will be in 2020 Summer Olympic games in Tokyo, Japan. "I was talking to (former SwimMAC standout), Kathleen Baker (who won a silver in 100 backstroke, gold in 4 X 100 medley relay at the 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), and she really inspired me. She (Baker) put a vision in my head for the future."
Charlotte Observer girls swimmers to watch
Julia Menkhaus, Charlotte Catholic, Jr.: Defending 4A state champion in the 100 backstroke and 100 butterfly (set state record, 54.12) part of a loaded, Catholic team, including Erin McCullagh and Katy Miller, looking to get back on top.
Stephanie Nelson, Charlotte Country Day, Sr.: Three-time defending NCISAA 3A 100 backstroke champion, Princeton University-bound standout looks to contend in 200 individual medley. She was NCISAA 3A state runner-up last year.
Lillian Higgs/Heidi Lowe, Hough: Hough juniors were both a big part of 4A state title run in 2016, and now take on lead roles for Huskies in 2016-2017.
Elizabeth Lancaster, Charlotte Latin, Sr.: Auburn commit back to lead Hawks after winning 200 freestyle state, 400 freestyle relay (anchored) state titles; now looks to add to her championship resume.
Jane Donahue, Christ the King, Sr.: Penn State bound standout looks to defend her NCISAA 1A/2A state titles in both the 100 breaststroke and 200 IM.
Nikki Canale, Marvin Ridge, Sr.: Two-time defending state diving champion (3A state record holder) and University of Michigan commit made the semfinals at U.S. Olympic Trials this summer. She looks for a state championship 3-peat this winter.
Abbie Cochell, Providence, Sr.: Two-time, defending NCISAA 3A state champion in the 100 breaststroke (owns school record) looking to finish off her Charger career with a three-peat.
Sophie Linder, Covenant Day, Jr.: NCISAA 3A state runner-up in the 100 butterfly and 200 IM also competed at U.S. Olympic Trials this summer (100 fly long course) and looks to carry that momentum to a state title this winter.
Madison Holland, Cox Mill, Sr.: Florida State signee, defending 3A state champion in the 100 backstroke looks to contend in both 100 back/100 butterfly this year.
Katie Corbi, Weddington, So.: Warriors’ standout proved to be one of state’s fastest swimmers as freshman winning the 3A state title in the 50 freestyle, now she looks to be even better as a sophomore.
Madeline MacPhail, Providence, Sr.: East Carolina commit, a three-year state qualifier in 100 backstroke/200 IM, looks to contend in her final high school season.
Girls’ Swim Teams To Watch
Hough: The defending 4A state champions lost a lot from a dominant team (won state championship by 165) points, but have the talent in Higgs, Lowe and divers, Jocelyn Porter and Jennifer Giacalone, to make another title run.
Charlotte Catholic: The Charlotte Catholic girls’ 14 straight state-championship run came to an end last year. This year, Coach Tim Berens and company will look to back on top with Menkhaus, McCullagh and Miller leading a talented team.
Marvin Ridge: The Mavericks are loaded with talent once again -- led by seniors, Ashley Baum, Nikki Canale, Hauder, Cayla Hashe, Kate Marshall, Katie Rivers and Mary Agnes Rothenberger – they believe they will win their fourth N.C. 3A state championship in a row.
Weddington: The Warriors finished third in the state last year, and while they have a tough task within their own conference in Marvin Ridge, they look to be a major factor at regionals and states again in 2017.
Charlotte Latin/Charlotte Country Day: The arch rivals were within a point of each other at the NCISAA 3A state meet last year (Latin 201-200), and both the Hawks, led by Lancaster, and Bucs, led by Nelson have the talent to contend for conference and state bragging rights again this season.
Boys’ Swimmers To Watch
Luke Johnson, South Mecklenburg, Sr.: South Meck’s head captain and Naval Academy bound swimmer was top five in the state in both 100 breaststroke (5th) and 200 IM (4th) last season. Now, he looks to play a lead role in a state championship 3-peat.
Kellen Stillman, South Mecklenburg, Sr.: Stillman and teammates Johnson, Christopher Pfuhl, Jacob Rauch and Weston Youngblood all finished in the top 10 of two different individual events, giving the Sabres the depth, experience and talent to make another state championship run.
Will Chan, Hough, Jr.: The 4A state championship’s most outstanding swimmer looks to defend his 100 breaststroke and 200 IM titles, while looking to help the Huskies contend for a 4A state (team) championship.
Coleman Manchester, Hough, Sr.: 4A state runner-up in the 200 freestyle will also be a major factor as the Huskies battle to conference, regional and state bragging rights.
Jeffrey Murray, Marvin Ridge, Sr.: Georgia Tech commit is defending 3A state champion in the 200 freestyle; also looks to contend in 50 free (4th states); will be a potent 1-2 combination with teammate, Peter Dwyer, as the Mavericks to battle for 3A state (team) title.
Ikenna Eruchalu, Charlotte Latin, Sr.: Latin standout won the 100 backstroke and 100 butterfly, NCISAA 3A state titles last year, while leading the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays to state championships as well. Now, looks for a repeat performance as he hopes to lead the Latin boys to their fifth straight, NCISAA 3A state championship.
Avery Gambill, North Mecklenburg, Jr.: Defending 4A state runner-up in the 500 freestyle, also finished sixh in the state in 200 freestyle; now the major Division I recruit looks to be a state champion.
Nathan Hartley, Gaston Day, Sr.: Duke signee broke the NCISAA 1A/2A state records in both the 200 freestyle and 100 backstroke on his way to two state titles last year. Now, Hartley looks to finish his high school career with another record-breaking season.
Robbie Epler, Concord, Jr.: Proved to be one of the fastest 3A swimmers in the state, winning the state title in the 50 freestyle, while finishing third in the 100 freestyle, now wants to be even faster in 2017.
Colson Zucker, South Iredell, Jr.: Two-time, 3A state runner-up in the 100 freestyle looks is eager to breakthrough and win his first individual state title. The South Iredell junior believes he contend in both the 100 freestyle and the 100 breaststroke this season.
Boys’ Swim Teams To Watch
South Mecklenburg: The Sabres lost several key swimmers who made up the core of their back-to-back, 4A state championship teams. But Coach Leslie Berens has the experience and talent back -- led by seniors Luke Johnson, Christopher Pfuhl, Kellen Stillman and Weston Youngblood and junior, Jacob Rauch – to make a serious run at a three-peat.
Hough: The Huskies were a distant second at states to South Meck last year (by 136 points). But Hough returns nearly their entire team, led by all-state, junior Will Chan (Co-Observer swimmer of the year), seniors Coleman Manchester, Connor McCourt, Alexander McMurry, and Hernan Gonzalez
Charlotte Latin: Coach Patty Waldron and the Hawks have won four straight, NCISAA 3A state championships. This year, they have the talent, led by Ikenna Eruchalu, Tyler D’Allaird and Will Egan and Sam Mahoney to make it a five-peat.
Marvin Ridge: The 3A state runner-up, Mavericks have been on the verge of winning a state title. This year, Coach King-Pierce believes her Marvin Ridge boys can win it all too (like the Marvin Ridge girls) with seniors, Dwyer, Murray and freshman, Boyd Poelke, leading the charge.
Christ the King: In only their fourth year as a program, the Christ the King boys won the NCISAA 1A/2A state title, led by junior, Alex Adams (200 IM state champion), and sophomore, Ben Duckworth (100 breaststroke state champion), who are both back to help the Crusaders repeat.