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Published Wed, Jan 30, 2013 02:30 PM
Modified Wed, Jan 30, 2013 02:32 PM

Corinth Holders dominates conference meet

- newsobserver.com
Corinth Holders swept the Northern Carolina 2A Conference boys and girls swimming championships Thursday at the Aycock Recreation Center in Henderson. The Pirates won nine of 11 events in both divisions.
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- cbest@newsbserver.com

HENDERSON -- Corinth Holders swept the Northern Carolina 2A Conference boys and girls swimming championships winning nine of 11 events in both competitions at the Aycock Recreation Center in Henderson.

Pirates’ swimmers Michaela Carter and Nolan Hopkins were named the meet MVPs after winning multiple events.

“I feel the team did an excellent job in their races,” said Corinth Holders coach Maureen Blandford. “I saw the competitive side come out of some of the swimmers which was nice to see.”

The Pirate boys’ team totaled 170 points, 28 ahead of Roanoke Rapids. The Pirates won the 200-yard medley relay in 1:55.64 with Connor Blandford, Chris Carter, Nolan Hopkins and Cody Beamer.

Corinth Holders topped the 400 free relay field at 3:44.85 with a lineup featuring Blandford, Hopkins, Beamer and Eric Svadeba.

Blandford won the 200 individual medley at 2:07.99 and was the champion in the 100 free as well at 51.73 seconds.

Hopkins (2:01.49) and Brach Gordon (2:06.62) went 1-2 in the 200 individual free to claim the top two finishes. Hopkins also won the 500 free in 5:19.36. Gordon swam second in the same event.

Neal Quinn won the 100 butterfly in 1:04.75 with teammate Dallas Vann the runner-up at 1:14.40, nipping Dylan Farrow of Roanoke Rapids by less than half a second. Quinn also picked up the gold in the backstroke at 1:05.72. Elliot Hunt took second at 1:06.09.

“Sophomore Neal Quinn, freshman Chris Carter, and Brach Gordon all had the two best times in their individual races,” Blandford said. “They really did a great job racing and exerting all efforts to finish strong at the end.”

Corinth Holders’ teammates Beamer and Chris Carter put on a great race in the 100 breaststroke. Beamer took the title in 1:14.04, a quarter of a second ahead of Carter (1:14.30).

The Pirates’ 200 free relay team was second in 1:41.14 featuring Bryce Sherrill, Gordon, Bailey Blackwell and Dalton Beamer.

On the girls’ side, Corinth Holders took a 23-point victory over Roanoke Rapids, 167-144.

The Pirates won the 200 medley and 400 free relays. Amanda Knickerbocker, Stephanie Grandin, Michaela Carter, Lauren Bunting took the medley relay title in 2:09.26. The 400 relay team featured Knickerbocker, Bunting, Grandin and Micheala Carter winning in 4:11.79.

Individually, Grandin won the individual medley championship (2:28.37) for the Pirates. Sara Kockan was second in the race. Grandin was also the champion in the breaststroke in 1:17.17.

Michaela Carter earned the 50 free gold medal for Corinth Holders in 25.57 seconds. She also led the way in the 100 free at 55.43.

Bunting took the butterfly league title at 1:17.65. The Pirates’ Alyssa Rackley earned the silver medal in the butterfly.

Gabbie Carter rolled to the 500 free gold medal in 6:25.32. Knickerbocker made her way to the gold in the backstroke in 1:11.04 and also finished second in the 200 free.

“Gabbie Carter had her best race of the season and probably showed the most determination in a race in the last three years,” Blandford said. “She had been struggling this season but she knew that this would be her last opportunity to make a big impact.

“Stephanie Grandin and Amanda Knickerbocker also did a fantastic job swimming a different event and qualifying for regionals.”

Corinth Holders’ 200 freestyle relay team finished second with Alyssa Rackley, Ariel Fricke, Alyssa Stevens and Taylor Stevens competing.

“We had a couple of swimmers that have been sick so they didn't perform like I had hoped so I am looking forward to having four healthy swimmers for our relays,” Blandford said. “I think we can place fairly well at regionals and at states if all goes well.”

Pirate swimmers will compete in the eastern 1A/2A regional championships Friday at the Triangle Aquatics Center in Cary. Regionals for area 3A swimmers are on Saturday morning with the 4A regionals following Saturday night.

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