01/26/11 — Ferrell, Atwood, Sasser earn gold medals

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Ferrell, Atwood, Sasser earn gold medals

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on January 26, 2011 1:47 PM

A season of maturity led to a memorable outing for the Southern Wayne men's swimming team Tuesday evening.

Three Saints earned individual titles during the season-ending, Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference swimming/diving championships contested at the B.G. Darden Natatorium on Tuesday evening. Southern Wayne emerged victorious in the 400 free relay and finished runner-up to Triton in the team title chase, 131-113.

"We matured a lot since last year, we messed around a lot," said Saints junior Sam Ferrell, who claimed two individual crowns. "We didn't really care, but this year, we've got older people and we're getting better every meet."

Ferrell bested the competition in the 50 free and 100 free with times of 25.29 and 57.6 seconds, respectively. He swam the anchor leg on the 200 free relay, which placed third.

Southern Wayne swept the medals in the 50. Chad Davis took second, just half a second behind Ferrell, while Christian Newberry secured third.

"It was surprising," said Ferrell of the 1-2-3 finish. "I got a good push off the wall whenever I did my flip turn. I was shocked. I knew I could do it, but didn't know I would do it."

Dylan Atwood, who swam the opening leg on the 400 relay, seized the 200 free championship. Jacob Sasser captured a four-point decision over Charles B. Aycock's Devin Hall to win the 1-meter diving event. It was the reverse of last week's meet won by Hall.

Atwood was joined on the victorious 400 relay by Newberry, Davis and Sasser. The foursome touched the wall in 3:59.66.

"We had seniors working with young kids and seniors working with first-time seniors who are swimming for the first time, helping them to learn the finer points," said Saints head coach Karen O'Donnell. "Our relay teams came together and actually coached each other over the weeks, and were able to iron out a lot of their turn issues and start issues so they were able to perform at a high level.

"There was a lot more help, interaction, team support. It was a good night."

Aycock's Sam Chastain won the 100 backstroke championship, and swam the third leg on the 200 free relay, which finished runner-up to Triton. Joining Chastain were Austin Walker, Sam Pierce and Demion Creel.

Walker was the 100 breaststroke runner-up and Creel was the 100 free silver medalist.

The Golden Falcons ended up third with 91.5 team points.

Eastern Wayne's Joseph Henry posted a runner-up effort in the 200 free and placed fifth in the 100 free behind teammate Ty Schmeltzer, who took fourth. Teammate Andrew Green swam a solid third-place time in the 500 free.

The Warriors amassed 58 team points.

Triton, directed by 2011 ECC coach of the year Vince Beasley, ended Eastern Wayne's four-year stranglehold on the team championship. Triton's Sam Dunbar was named the ECC men's swimmer of the year.