Swimming

Clayton girls, Garner boys show they’re ready to contend for titles again

cbest@newsobserver.comDecember 17, 2013 

— Greater Neuse River 4A swimming rivals Clayton and Garner knew Tuesday’s meet at Campbell University would show the two teams where they stood against each other.

What did they learn? Simply that come January they’ll be eyeing each other in the race for the conference swimming championship.

Clayton, which swept the league’s team titles last season, won the girls’ meet by 40 points (135-95). Garner topped the boys’ side by 45 points (145-100). Fuquay-Varina’s teams were third in both competitions. Garner was second at the GNRC championships last season in boys and girls.

The winning formulas by both sides looked similar. Garner’s boys won nine individual events; Clayton’s girls won eight. The Comets held a 14-10 advantage in top-three finishes for girls’ teams; on the boys’ side, Garner was 19-12.

Garner’s boys swept all three relays, taking the 200-yard medley relay in 1:54.9, the 200 free in 1:42.59 and the 400 free in 3:45.77.

Matt Smothers won two events for the Trojans. He led the way in the 200 free (1:58.76) and the backstroke (59.91).

Other Garner winners were Andrew Green (50 free in 25.97), Corbin Hodges (butterfly in 1:01.25), Zack Leischner (100 free in 52.75) and Noel Buitrago (breaststroke in 1:13.78).

Clayton standout Alex Duff had the other two individual wins. He came in at 2:23.6 in his individual medley relay victory and at 5:50.83 in the 500.

Five other Garner swimmers registered top-three finishes: Alec Ward, William Campbell, Andrew Squires, Hunter Sims and William Coghill. Clayton’s Miles Usrey, Drew Boumenot, Colton Lippert, James Ferez, Andrew Drda and Vance Lanier posted top-three swims.

Clayton’s girls’ team posted three swimmers with two wins each. Gina Joy won the 200 free in 2:11.33 and the 500 in 5:40.64. Cara Martin led the way in the individual medley (2:26.13) and posted a 1:05.3 in the butterfly. Katie Simpson won the 50 (28.03) and the backstroke (1:11.53).

The Comet girls won the medley relay (2:07.52) and the 400 free (4:19.01). Garner won up the 200 freestyle relay in 1:57.66.

Emily Martin won the breaststroke for the Trojans in 1:16.3. Fuquay-Varina’s Ryley Miller won the 100 freestyle for the Bengals’ only win of the night.

Chelsey Neptune, Meribeth Lambert, Kayli Watson and Carmen Tormey added to Clayton’s winning score with top-three individual finishes.

Five Garner swimmers placed in the top five: Alexa Britt, Ashley Little, Mackenzie Mensch, Natalie Buitrago and Beverly Hartgrove.

Best: 919-524-8895; Twitter: @dclaybest

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