11/16/10 — Chargers host first swim meet

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Chargers host first swim meet

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on November 16, 2010 1:47 PM

Thomas Elmore smile as he emerged from the rippling water.

He exchanged high-fives with a parent.

A teammate greeted him with a fist bump.

Yep, this swim was definitely better.

Elmore touched the wall first in the 100-yard freestyle in a state-qualifying time of 58.96 seconds. Just 15 minutes earlier, the Wayne Country Day senior advanced to the state meet with a fifth-place effort of 26.34 seconds in the 50 free.

A wobbly block on lane six hampered Elmore's start in the 50.

"I lost my momentum," said Elmore. "The swim felt good, except for the start. (But) a big improvement in the 100. It was a better start and I kept all of my momentum."

Elmore completed the first two laps of the 100 in less than 28 seconds. With eight swimmers in the event, the water became a little choppy on the final two laps and Elmore edged Parrott's Hayden Tarver by a body length at the finish.

"I just had to dig deep and try to pull it out," said Elmore, a four-time state qualifier in the 50 and 100 free. "It was one of the best times I've done in this swim."

Teammate Oliver Reimer advanced to the state meet with a top-10 finish in the 50 free. He just missed qualifying in the 100 free by 0.12 seconds.

A team captain along with Elmore, fellow senior Ama Zbarcea posted a state-qualifying time in the 100 breaststroke. Zbarcea ended up third in 1 minute, 34.91 seconds.

"Thomas, I'm excited for him to start the season with such a great swim," said WCDS head coach Bonnie Hunter. "Thomas sets goals and consistently works hard at practice. Ama is a valuable leader and often a coaching assistant."

Zbarcea recorded the Chargers' fastest time (32.95) in the 50 free. Teammate Dalton Kennedy placed two spots behind Zbarcea. Charlotte Yarboro, Elizabeth Schappell, Bethany Stoutamire, Kate Thompson and Anna Rains also competed in the event.

The 200 free relay of Dalton, Yarboro, Schappell and Zbarcea rallied from behind to finish fifth out of 10 teams.

"With the unique dynamics of a co-ed group of seventh- through 12th-grade swimmers, it pleased me to see the energy and enthusiasm the team showed at our first meet," said Hunter. "Though we do not aspire to win meets with only a dozen swimmers, we are excited to have three qualify for the state championships.

"Young swimmers Glass, Buchanan, Stoutamire, Thompson and Rains show great promise for a successful swimming season."

Parrott Academy won the boys' and girls' team portions of the event, which was contested at the B.G. Darden Natatorium inside the Goldsboro Family Y.