Warriors enjoy good day in pool
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on January 16, 2007 2:38 PM
Bailey Upchurch seized a pair of gold medals and helped Eastern Wayne successfully defend its team title in the Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference Swimming Championships contested at the Goldsboro Family Y pool.
Upchurch seized ECC crowns in the 100-yard butterfly and 100 breaststroke. The Warriors finished with five gold medals in the day-long event and surprisingly edged depth-ladened Wilson Hunt 90-81 in team competition.
"That was a nice surprise," said Eastern Wayne boys' coach Sidney Myers. "We knew it was going to be very close. Our girls had to hit everything with their best shot. They swam hard and the relays were perfect."
Ashley Robinson received ECC co-swimmer of the year accolades along with Hunt senior Casey Umberger. Robinson captured the 200 individual medley crown, and swam legs on the winning 200 medley and 400 free relay teams. Joining Robinson on both relays were Regan Stoneburner, Aimie Hook and Ashleigh Deal.
Eastern Wayne's Sarah Robinson earned ECC coach of the year honors.
On pace to become just the second individual state champion in Charles B. Aycock history, Garrett Forrest continued her phenomenal run against conference opposition.
Forrest capped an unbeaten ECC career in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle events, and helped the Golden Falcons place third overall in the five-team meet. Forrest swam a personal-best time of 59.26 seconds in the 100, and finished the day with three gold medals which included an ECC title in the 200-yard freestyle relay.
Freshman Carrigan Chastain emerged the ECC champion in the 100 backstroke and 200 free, and swam a leg on the winning 200 free relay. Fellow freshman Sarah Macut also participated on the 200 relay.
All three Aycock relay teams qualified for the eastern regional, scheduled for Feb. 3 at the Goldsboro Y.
On the boys' side, Eastern Wayne senior Mason Chenier picked up the ECC swimmer of the year award and helped guide the Warriors to the team title. Myers' squad accumulated 112 points, while 2006 ECC champion Hunt settled for the runner-up spot with 89. Southern Wayne placed third with 56 points, followed by Aycock (21) and Kinston (17).
Chenier claimed ECC crowns in the 50 and 100 free, and helped the Warriors secure the 200 medley and 400 free relay gold medal. Teammate Xander Robinson, who swam legs on each relay, posted championship times in the 200 individual medley and 500 free.
Melvin Shipman swam a personal-best 58.35 seconds en route to the 100 backstroke crown, and participated on the 200 medley and 400 free relays. Spenser Rouse also competed on the two winning relays.
Myers gushed over his team's success and praised the effort of senior Dustin Rhodes, a first-year swimmer. Rhodes secured the silver medal in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1 minute, 19.23 seconds.
"He's done an excellent job this year," said Myers.
Aycock's 200 free relay team took the bronze.
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