Eight Elks qualify for swimming state championships
by Matthew Gorry
CHARLOTTE - At this weekend’s 1A/2A North Carolina High School Athletic Association Swimming State Championships in Cary, eight Buckin’ Elks will be competing for medals across five events.
Elkin qualified for three relay events and two individual races at Saturday’s 1A/2A West Regional at Mecklenburg Aquatic Club in Charlotte.
The boys will head to the state meet to compete in two events - the 200 yard freestyle and 200 yard medley relays - while the girls will be swimming in the 200 yard freestyle relay. Coley McCulloch (50 yard freestyle) and Tyler Eaton (100 yard butterfly) will compete for an individual title.
At Saturday’s regional, the Elkin boys finished fourth and 12th in their two events to qualify for states.
McCulloch, Eaton, Ashton Gant and David Morton swam to a fourth-place finish in the 200 yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:35.97. The team finished 12th in the 200 yard medley relay in a time of 1:53.97, becoming the final team to qualify.
The Lady Elks finished 12th and 13th in their two races, just missing out on qualifying for a second event with the top 12 reaching the state meet.
The relay team of Lakan and Kirstan Beaver, Payton Nicholson and Palmer Duncan swam to a 12th-place finish in the 200 yard freestyle relay in a time of 1:53.77 to punch their ticket. But the team missed out on the final spot in the 200 yard medley relay, coming in 13th with a time of 2:08.97, finished less than one second behind East Lincoln.
Individually, McCulloch tied for 10th in the 50 yard freestyle in a time of 23.59 to qualify. Eaton followed that up with a 12th-place finish in the 100 yard butterfly with a time of 1:01.07 to reach states.
The second boys relay team of Eaton, Gant, Morton and Austin Coley nearly qualified, falling just short in the 400 yard freestyle relay, finishing 13th (3:44.73). The girls squad missed the cut in the same race, touching the wall in 17th-place (4:25.17).
Other Elkin swimmers nearly qualified in individual events.
Duncan finished 15th in the 100 yard backstroke (1:11.28), while Morton came in 21st in the 50 yard freestyle (24.36). The Beaver sisters finished 21st and 22nd in the 100 yard backstroke - Lakan (1:22.89), Kirstan (1:23.89). Nicholson rounded out Elkin’s swimmers with a 23rd-place finish in the 50 yard freestyle with a time of 29.05.
The Elks will compete Saturday at the Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary in the dual 1A/2A championships. According to the NCSHAA, swimming will commence each day with preliminaries starting after the coaches’ meeting, which is scheduled to end at around 8:45 am. Finals are slated to begin at 5:00 pm each day.
Reach Matthew Gorry at 835-1513 or email@example.com.
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