GREENSBORO — For the second straight season, the University Christian High School girls swim team was the state's top squad in Division III (1A/2A) of the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association. The Barracudas took first place during the state championship meet on Feb. 10 at the Greensboro Aquatic Center.
The University Christian girls defended their state title against 22 other teams and won by a close margin of 30 points. Additionally, the Barracudas' boys swim team finished in fifth place, an improvement over last year's seventh-place finish.
The University Christian girls were led by Emma Edwards, who took two individual gold medals (200-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly), and Rachel Little (fourth in both the 100-yard backstroke and 100-yard breaststroke events). The relay team of Alyssa Drendel, Edwards, Margaret Johnson and Little added first-place finishes in the 200-yard medley and 400-yard freestyle events, while the Barracudas also got points from Ava Blair, Karina Olvera-Rojo, Raegan Priola and Virginia Young.
As for the Barracudas' boys squad, its fifth-place finish was driven by sophomore Sean Kelty, who took gold in both the 100-yard breaststroke and the 200-yard individual medley. The relay team of Jackson Behmer, Noah Thompson, Phillip Watson and Kelty placed fourth in the 400-yard freestyle, while other swimmers earning points included Ben Simmons, Sawyer Thompson and Yates Johnson.
The wins are especially significant this year as the Barracudas had to overcome many adversities to compete at the sate meet. After a delayed start to the season, the team had to change practice pools twice and all scheduled meets were canceled. Two intrasquad meets were held at the end of January for swimmers to achieve state qualifying times.
The squad was coached by Meaghan Texer, and each swimmer achieved personal best times and contributed points both individually and through relays.