For more photos from the swim meet, click here: http://portal.havenews.com/photogallery/?CatID=6&AlbumID=2240
Many of the swimmers at Friday’s Craven County meet know each other through various competitions in the summer, or they are teammates on the Twin Rivers YMCA swim squad.
So when they faced one another in a school-related event, bragging rights were on the table.
New Bern’s girls took first, followed by Epiphany and Havelock. Epiphany won the boys’ meet with New Bern and Havelock finishing behind.
“It’s a great way for these kids to swim against kids they may not always get to swim against,” Epiphany coach David Wang said. “Most of these kids know each other, swim with each other in the summer leagues, and it is great competition and a lot of school pride.”
This was the first year for the Craven County meet. The schools tried to have it last year, but weather issues forced a cancellation.
“It was for bragging rights in Craven County,” said Havelock coach Jeremiah Johnson. “Being the fact that we are going against New Bern and Epiphany, we want to do better, but we want to have fun and be good sports about it.”
In a fun, non-conference meet, the expectations are to lower the times.
New Bern had 19 personal-bests. Havelock and Epiphany also had a bunch.
“That’s a lot of personal-bests,” New Bern coach Adrienne Bykowicz said. “Every event, I saw lots of hand-shaking and it was nice to see.”
Havelock sophomore Emily Bess and New Bern’s Kim O’Connor scored 18 points – the most of any female swimmers.
Bess claimed first in the 200-yard individual medley (2:51.33) and 100 freestyle (1:04.75). O’Connor won the 100 butterfly (1:10.12) and 500 free (6:03.83).
“I had a lot of personal-best times,” Johnson said. “Emily Bess really improved. She is only a couple seconds off her automatic for regionals.
“She finished first in the IM, first in the 100 and did really well in her relays.”
New Bern’s Grace Kirby was the best in the 100 backstroke, and helped the 200 medley relay, with O’Connor, Madison Cromer and Sienna Sawyer, and 400 free relay, with Devan Corcoran, Sienna Sawyer and Morgan Webster, to victories.
Webster won the 100 breaststroke (1:32.43).
Epiphany received first-place finishes from Ashton Smith (200 free) and Lake Hoard (50 free).
“For the girls’ squad, we have a couple young swimmers who really lead the way for us,” Wang said. “We have 15 girls, which is the most we’ve ever had, and getting their numbers up is helpful in their development.”
While Havelock’s girls had just one first-place finisher, Ashley Buffa (100 breaststroke), Savannah Buday (500 free) came in second.
Epiphany’s boys were led by wins from Pablo Fulbrook (500 free), Andrew Maune (100 back), Robert Coles (100 free) and Jake Oros (200 IM).
“For the boys, they have been working really hard in practice on finishing strong,” Wang said. “It was big for them finishing their individual races.”
New Bern’s Seth Schneider (50 free), Liam Bradford (100 butterfly) and Jonathan Barlow won their respective events.
“I was very proud of all of them,” Bykowicz said. “John Barlow dropped two seconds in his 100 breast, which made him a consideration time for regionals.”
Wang felt Friday’s swim meet was a success, and hopes the three Craven County programs can continue it in future seasons.
“We are all pulling from the same feeder programs that swim. The kids that swim for the YMCA, the YMCA program is phenomenal in developing swimmers,” he said.
“It’s an excellent test of the quality of swimmers we are going to see at the state meet. If really shows what they have to work toward if they want to be successful.”
Adam Thompson is a reporter for the Sun Journal.