CARY — With the door left open for the N.C. High School Athletic Association 3A swimming and diving championships, Chapel Hill broke through to win the men’s team championship Saturday night at the Triangle Aquatic Center.
Marvin Ridge took advantage of eight-time defending champion Charlotte Catholic’s move up to 4A to grab the women’s trophy Saturday night, finishing ahead of second-place Chapel Hill and third-place Cardinal Gibbons.
Cardinal Gibbons, which had a string of six straight boys titles, had its 200-yard medley relay team disqualified in the previous week’s regionals. With the potential 40 points unavailable, the Crusaders swam well but came up short. Chapel Hill’s boys took the title with 297 points to the Crusaders’ 267. Waxhaw Marvin Ridge was third at 190.50, followed by Concord (169) and Northern Guilford (161).
The finals went about like Chapel Hill coach Steve Riegler had figured, after qualifying heats earlier in the day.
“We struggled a little in the morning, but we were able to hold on to our seeds tonight,” Riegler said. “The girls expected to finish where we did. We don’t have any divers. Marvin Ridge has two divers, so that put us in a hole a little bit. Marvin Ridge beat us last year, too, so they were probably the favorites going in. Claire DeSelm and Anabelle Durham both won both of their individual events, which is awesome.”
DeSelm, a sophomore, was named the NCHSAA meet’s Most Outstanding Swimmer; she won the 200 individual medley and the 100 butterfly. Durham, a junior, won the 100 free and 100 backstroke.
Chapel Hill also got top-3 finishes from all three girls relay teams. The 200 medley relay (DeSelm, Kaitlin Jones, Rachel Samuelson and Paige Jones) finished first, the 200 free relay (Kaitlin Jones, Sophie Pudik, Paige Jones and Durham) finished third, and the 400 free (DeSelm, Pudik, Jaylyn Forrest and Durham) finished second.
Marvin Ridge totaled 366.5 points in the women’s meet to the Tigers’ 291.5. Cardinal Gibbons scored 244.
The Chapel Hill boys took the title without taking a first place until the final relay, the 400 free team of Jake Pudik, C.J. Eron, Josh Tackman and Emery Harwell.
Pudik took a third in the 50 free and Patrick O’Donell finished third in the 100 fly. The Tigers’ 200 medley relay and 200 free relay teams both took second place.
“We’ve finished ahead of Gibbons now for the last three weeks, so it’s good to do it here,” Riegler said.
“We were motivated and put some pressure on Chapel Hill, but they rose to the occasion,” Gibbons coach Jonah Turner said.
Osada, East relay win
In the NCHSAA 4A championships at the Triangle Aquatic Center, East Chapel Hill’s Koya Osada was a double winner – taking first in the 200 individual medley (1:48.52 and the 100 backstroke (49.78).
He was also part of a winning 200 medley team with Liam McCullough, Michael Wohl and Oliver Hudgins (1:34.55).
Wildcats teammate Wohl was third in the 100 freestyle.
“I would say it really hasn’t set in yet. This is an amazing way to go out on top – it’s icing on the cake on the four years I had in high school,” said Osada, a Harvard recruit. “More than anything I was happy with winning the first relay. Being able to start that off and get the guys pumped up and ready to go was exciting.”