Prep Insider Blog

Observer-area high school swimmers to watch

Will Chan, a sophomore at Hough High School swims the breast stroke leg during the third heat of the men's 200 yard IM. Chan won the heat. The NC 4A West regional swimming & NC 3A West regional diving championships were held at Huntersville Family fitness & Aquatic Center on Saturday, Feb.6, 2016.
Will Chan, a sophomore at Hough High School swims the breast stroke leg during the third heat of the men's 200 yard IM. Chan won the heat. The NC 4A West regional swimming & NC 3A West regional diving championships were held at Huntersville Family fitness & Aquatic Center on Saturday, Feb.6, 2016. jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com

Boys’ Swimmers to Watch

Jacob Rauch, South Mecklenburg, Sr.: University of North Carolina commit can swim any event for the three-time defending 4A state champion Sabres; now looks to finish his high school career by adding an individual state title to his resume.

Robbie Epler, Concord, Sr.: University of South Carolina commit is one of the fastest swimmers in the state, and he looks to defend his 3A, 100 freestyle, while finishing one spot higher in the 200 freestyle (3A state runner-up last year)

Colson Zucker, South Iredell, Sr.: Duke University commit looks to be even better as a senior after capping his junior year by setting a 3A state record to claim state title in 100 breaststroke.

Kyle Barone, Cannon School, Sr.: Georgia Tech signee was too sick to compete in last year’ state championship meet, giving the Cougar senior a lot of motivation to finish his high school career on top in multiple events.

Curtis Wiltsey, Weddington, Sr.: N.C. State commit has finished as 3A state runner-up in the 500 freestyle the last two years, now looks to cap his Warrior by winning the elusive state title in the same event.

Jack Walker, Myers Park, Jr.: Mustang standout burst onto the scene last year winning the 4A state title in the 200 freestyle, now looks to add to his championship resume in his junior season.

Boyd Poelke, Marvin Ridge, So.: Mavericks’ standout was a major reason why the Marvin Ridge boys won their 1st (team) state championship last year as 3A state runner-up in the 50 free, 3rd-place in 100 butterfly. This year, Poelke looks to lead the Mavericks back to a title run while also swimming to an individual title.

Tim Connery, Christ the King, Fr.: The Christ the King freshman swam the 2nd fastest 200 individual medley (IM) in the 13-14 year old age group in U.S. history, surpassing 23-time, gold medalist, Michael Phelps mark at the same age. This season, Connery look to make his mark in high school swimming on a veteran, Crusder team with Alex Adams, Ben Duckworth.

Sam Mahoney, Charlotte Latin, Sr.: Hawks’ versatile standout (2nd state 200 freestyle; 3rd states 500 freestyle) will be a major part of a Charlotte Latin boys’ team, with sophomore Jackson Davis, looking to swim to their 7th straight, NCISAA 3A state championship.

Teddy Perelli, Providence, Sr.: Penn State University commit, three-time state qualifier hopes to contend for a state title in the 100 backstroke, 200 IM.

Girls’ Swimmers to Watch

Julia Menkhaus, Charlotte Catholic, Sr.: University of Virginia commit looks to three-peat as state champion in both the 100 backstroke and 100 butterfly as she attempts to help lead the Cougars to a 3A state (team) championship in her final high school season.

Lilly Higgs/Heidi Lowe, Hough, Sr.: University of North Carolina commits have a lot of motivation as they lead two-time, defending 4A state champion, Huskies, with Lowe looking to finish one spot better in 100 and 200 freestyle (state runner-up in both events), while Higgs (state runner-up in 100 breaststroke); 3rd in 200 individual medley (IM) at states) also hopes to finish her Hough career with a title.

Sophie Lindner, Covenant Day, Sr.: University of North Carolina signee won the NCISAA state title in 100 butterfly, state runner-up in the 100 backstroke as a junior, now looks to add to her championship resume, while continuing to rewrite, Covenant Day record books (owns six individual school records) as a senior.

Ellie VanNote, Marvin Ridge, Jr.: Mavericks’ standout now takes on a lead role in helping the four-time, 3A state champion, Marvin Ridge girls’ swim team to a fifth straight title as she also looks to defend her title in the 100 butterfly.

Sophie Francis, Charlotte Country Day, Jr.: Defending NCISAA 3A state champion in the 50 and 100 freestyle looks to pull of the double again.

Katie Corbi, /Maddie Flickinger, Weddington, Jr.: Weddington juniors both had big sophomore seasons as Corbi won the 3A, 50 and 100 freestyle state titles, while Flickinger won the 100 backstroke state crown; this year, both look to add to their championship resumes.

Sinclair Larson, South Mecklenburg: Sabres’ senior captain, was top five in the state in two events (100 backstroke (4th); 200 IM (5th); now looks to get on the podium in multiple events as she and teammate, Ellie Marquardt, also look to help make the South Meck girls (team) into a state contender.

Amanda Hoffman, Christ the King, Jr.: Two-time NCISAA 1A/2A, 100 butterfly state champion will be swimming for a three-peat while she also looks to help her Crusader team to repeat as state champions.

Amy Draeglin, Charlotte Latin, Jr.: Hawks’ versatile swimmer (backstroke, freestyle) back to prove she and her team can be amongst the CISAA (conference), states’ best.

Eliza Gunson, Butler, Sr.: Bulldogs’ senior leader proved she can hang with state’s fastest swimmers as a state qualifier in 50 freestyle last year, now looks to prove she can be even faster in her final high school season.

--JAY EDWARDS

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