CBA boys triumph
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on January 25, 2012 1:48 PM
Fueled by a desire burning deep within its collective soul, the Charles B. Aycock boys' swim team earned a long-awaited -- and well-deserved -- team victory Tuesday evening.
Yep, the Golden Falcons are bridesmaids no longer.
Senior Demion Creel claimed three gold medals, and helped Aycock seized the team crown in the season-ending 2012 Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference championship meet contested at B.G. Darden Natatorium. The Golden Falcons, who logged medals in nine of 12 events, easily dethroned defending champion Triton 179-134.
South Johnston claimed third with 63 points, followed by Cleveland (46), Eastern Wayne (31) and Southern Wayne (27).
Southern Wayne's Chad Davis grabbed the ECC swimmer-of-the-year award. The junior emerged victorious in the 200- and 500-yard freestyles, and finished unbeaten in both events for the season.
Davis looked like poetry in motion as he churned through the water. He touched the wall in 2:01.14 in the 200 and logged a time of 5:45.73 in the 500.
"They were pretty good swims, not my best but I felt good," said Davis. "I was able to start and finish with good times. (The success) is such a big change from last year and it's shocking to see how much better I've gotten.
"It's all about the work I've put in it ... practiced a lot harder."
Aycock finished behind Triton in every regular-season meet, but not this time. The Golden Falcons capitalized on their depth and earned valuable points in events where they put multiple entries in the pool.
But the confidence builder came in the opening race.
The foursome of Sam Pierce, Austin Walker, Sam Chastain and Creel touched the wall second in the 200 medley relay in 1:58.8 seconds. Not too many seconds later, their four teammates -- Travis Thaxton, Addison Vail, Devin Hall and Cade Ivey -- seized third place.
"We started getting gold, winning races that were high in points and pulled out some relays that we didn't expect, so that definitely helped us and boosted our confidence that much more," said Chastain, who captured gold in the 100 backstroke. "We were runner-up to Triton last year and we really wanted it. This year, we have a good, strong, faithful team ... the seniors were ready to get a win.
"We all put it to heart and got the work done."
Triton senior Anthony Morris false started and was disqualified, which gave the Golden Falcons' Creel and Cade Ivey a little breathing room in the 50 free. Creel posted a time of 24.86 seconds, nearly three seconds faster than Ivey.
"I was disappointed because I know that could happen to anybody, and I felt really bad because he is a great swimmer," said Creel. "I was a little bit relaxed. Everything went good ... my turn was a little shaky, but I was happy with my result."
Later in the evening, Aycock's quartet of Walker, Pierce, Chastain and Creel secured gold in the 200 free relay with a time of 1:41.71. Walker turned in a highly-spirited effort and was the ECC runner-up to Sam Dunbar by just nine-tenths of a second in the 200 individual medley.
Golden Falcons sophomore Devin Hall, in his previous two meets, competed unopposed in 1-meter diving. Eastern Wayne's Willie Sutton returned to the springboard for the championships, but couldn't match Hall, who claimed his first ECC crown with a 306.55 points.
"Diving by yourself, there is more pressure than you'd think there would be," said Hall. "Everyone is watching you, it's sped up and you don't have much time to think (between dives). It's more relaxed with someone else."
Eastern Wayne's Joseph Henry took third in the 100 free with a time of 100.15. Teammate Sean O'Connell was the ECC runner-up in the 200 free.