High School Swimming:
Published: Jan 01, 2013 07:00 PM
Modified: Jan 02, 2013 05:03 PM
CHAPEL HILL - Regional and state meets are more than a month away, but local high school swimmers will get a sense of those post-season events this week in the Orange County Championships.
Swimmers from all of the high schools in Orange County are invited to the (almost) annual meet, including Emerson Waldorf, Woods Charter and Carolina Friends, although the smaller private schools rarely attend.
But even just the five N.C. High School Athletic Association members provide plenty of excitement. Carrboro, Chapel Hill and East Chapel Hill have all won state championships in recent years and each has at least one current state champion on its roster.
Carrboro is the defending 2A / 1A mens champion.
This meet definitely raises the level of swimming, said East Chapel Hills Koya Osada. Knowing that youre racing a rival, youre definitely motivated, and you know a lot of these people, too. You want to get yourself up and beat them.
This years Orange County Championships will be held Friday at Koury Natatorium on the UNC campus. Events start at 6 p.m.
The O.C. as its been called wasnt held last year because of conflicts with Carolina basketball, which consumes all the area parking on game nights.
The meet has been held some years at the Sportsplex in Hillsborough, but its much tighter than Koury for a multi-team meet, and The O.C. has outgrown its earlier venues.
Koury is one of those pools where people think theyre going to get their best times, Osada said. Koury is kind of like playing in the Super Bowl or any big arena. Its great for spectators, and it makes it more exciting.
The thing is that were all preparing for states, so its great to have a big meet that has a sort of regional environment and atmosphere, he said. It helps us get ready.
Osada was one of five swimmers who won two individual events at last months duel in Homestead Aquatic Center between East Chapel Hill and Chapel Hill.
Osada won the 200 individual medley and the 100 backstroke. Teammate Max Howes won the 200 and 500 freestyle, helping East Chapel Hill win the boys meet by a score of 171.5-114.5.
Morgan Smith of East won the 200 and 500 free in the girls meet, helping the Wildcats win that one 144-142.
Two Tigers were double-winners in that meet, which came down to the last relay before it was decided. Chapel Hill ninth grader Claire DeSelm, undefeated in her individual events so far this season, won the 200 IM and the 100 butterfly. Also undefeated, junior Kaitlin Jones of CHHS won the 50 free and 100 breaststroke.
We have some very talented kids, CHHS coach Steve Riegler said. East is a bigger school and has a deeper team than we do, but we won two of the three relays and were able to make it close.
Chapel Hill has a great team with some really great freshmen, East coach Lyn Smith said. I was nervous going into that meet, anyway, and we never could relax all the way to the end.
Smith said her swimmers were looking forward to seeing the Tigers again, along with Carrboro and the other teams.
We dont ever get to swim against teams like Carrboro unless its in a special meet like this, Smith said. It comes in the middle of the season, but its still one of our biggest meets every year.