Lincoln County is brimming with talented swimmers
DENVER – Lincoln County will be well represented at the N.C. 1A/2A swimming championships.
Several swimmers from North Lincoln, East Lincoln and Lincoln Charter high schools, because of impressive performances at the Western Regional meet Feb. 1, earned a trip to the state meet Feb. 9 at the Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary.
“None of the three school teams have a permanent place to practice, as we’re all juggling different pools and different times,” North Lincoln coach Adam Fier said. “But the resilience of the kids from all the teams showed what a great group comes from our county. It’s fun to swim against those two teams, I think we bring the best out of each other, and I’m proud of how each school represented the county.
“It’s good to see kids from these schools compete with some of the bigger programs in the region and state.”
Here’s a recap each team’s regional performance:
• LINCOLN CHARTER – The Eagles claimed four regional championships – three relay teams and Christina Lappin in the girls’ 50-yard freestyle (24.39 seconds).
Lappin swam the anchor legs on Lincoln Charter’s winning relays in the 200-yard medley and 400-yard freestyle. The medley team of Sophia Bhalla, Kyndall Morrow, Mara Bhalla and Lappin won in 1:56.15. The Bhalla sisters, Shelby Smith and Lappin combined to win the freestyle relay in 3:49.76.
Sophia Bhalla was second in the 100-yard backstroke, Lappin was second in the 100-yard butterfly and Mara Bhalla fourth in the 500-yard freestyle.
The Eagles’ Dillon Carey, Taylor Powell, Andrew Lappin and Mitchell Harwood combined to win the boys’ 200-yard freestyle relay (1:33.88). The same quartet finished fourth in the 200-yard medley relay. Powell finished third in the 500-yard freestyle, and Lappin had fifth-place finishes in the 100-yard backstroke and 500-yard freestyle.
“I was very excited and proud of how well our swimmers performed at regionals,” Lincoln Charter coach Josh Williams said. “To be as young a team as we are and perform the way we did is nothing short of amazing. Our girls relay teams were composed of three freshmen and one sophomore.”
“I cannot say enough for our captains (Sophia Bhalla and Mitchell Harwood) and their leadership in keeping our team focused and the pride they have in LCS swimming.”
• NORTH LINCOLN – McKenzie Weed, a sophomore, set school records in finishing third in the girls’ 50-yard freestyle (25.83 seconds) and 100-yard freestyle (57.25).
“It was a very fast meet, it seems like every year regionals and states gets faster, and I’m proud of how these kids competed,” Coach Adam Fier said. “I’m really proud of how my two senior captains, John Biondi and Paul Regan, performed. They’ve been the leaders of this team for the past two years and their commitment to this team and this meet was a huge reason for our success. They’re natural leaders and what they do the rest of the team follows.”
North Lincoln’s Paul Regan, John Biondi, Kyle Engborg and Bennett McDonald finished third in the boys’ 200-yard medley relay. McDonald, Regan and Biondi teamed with Cody Marik to finish second in the 400-yard freestyle relay.
Regan was third in the 100-yard backstroke and fifth in the 200-yard freestyle. Biondi was third in the 100-yard freestyle and 200-yard individual medley, and McDonald was fifth in the 50-yard freestyle.
“I’m extremely happy for Tyler McBee (500-yard freestyle), who as a senior made states for the first time in his high school career,” Fier said. “If any kid deserved to make the state team, he did.”
• EAST LINCOLN – Chloe Read won the girls’ regional title in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 56.35 seconds. She also finished fourth in the 50-yard freestyle. Emily McCutchan was third in the 100-yard backstroke and fourth in the 200-yard freestyle.
In the boys’ meet, East Lincoln’s Will Krehnbrink was second in the 50-yard freestyle.