Roses & raspberriesROSES to the Chapel Hill High School swim teams, which pulled off an absolute stunner in sweeping the state 4-A championships last week at Koury Natatorium.The Tigers knocked off perennial champs Enloe and Charlotte Providence to bring home the trophies. Enloe had won nine straight boys state titles before CHHS took the crown away last weekend. Providence had taken nine of the last 10 girls championships before Chapel Hill grabbed that one, too."No way I expected this," said CHHS coach Greg Cain afterward. He had good reason to be surprised, considering that he had lost 35 percent of his swimmers -- including fully half the boys team -- to the new Carrboro High School at the beginning of the season. Chapel Hill had just 12 swimmers on the boys team.Senior Chris Gunnels was named the MVP after winning the boys 100-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke, both in All-America times. Carly Smith, a junior, broke her own state record to win the 100-yard backstroke, and she swam a leg on two winning relay teams: the 200 medley and the 400 freestyle.And lest we forget, the school just down the road turned in a terrific showing, as well. East Chapel Hill High finished third in the girls championships and fourth in the boys event. East's Dania Marinshaw won the girls 100 freestyle, and Nick McCrory won the boys diving title.Come on in, the water's great.
ROSES, while we're on the high school sports beat, to the Orange High School wrestling team, which solidified its reputation as one of the state's top wrestling programs by winning the 2-A dual-team championship last weekend.The Tigers won their second dual-team title in the last four years (they won the 3-A crown in 2005). They wound up 30-1 in dual team matches.
ROSES to the winners of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce business of the year awards. A Better Image Printing was named the small business of the year, S.H. Basnight and Sons Inc. was the midsize business of the year, and the Siena Hotel was the large business of the year. The chamber makes those selections based on criteria that include growth, innovation, customer service, response to adversity and contributions to the community. The chamber named the Franklin Hotel the business newcomer of the year. That award goes to a chamber member business less than three years old that shows innovation, creativity, likelihood of long-term success and contribution to the community.The chamber presented UNC Chapel Hill Chancellor James Moeser the Duke Energy Citizenship and Service Award, the Chamber's highest honor.It's worth mentioning the other finalists in the business categories, too: Great Earth Vitamins at Meadowmont, and Market Street Books at Arts & Letters Community Center, The Home Team, Weaver Street Realty and Auction Company, Chapel Hill Tire Car Care Center, Harrington Bank, Town Planner Community Calendar and Kidzu Children's Museum.Kidzus -- er, kudos -- to all.