CBA girls repeat
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on January 25, 2012 1:48 PM
And boy, was it a dominating effort.
Focused from the first event to the last, the Charles B. Aycock girls' swim team easily claimed its third consecutive Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference championship at B.G. Darden Natatorium on Tuesday evening. The Golden Falcons secured gold medals in seven of 11 contested events and racked up 164 points -- 53 more than runner-up Triton.
Cleveland grabbed third place with 107 points, followed by a much-improved Eastern Wayne squad that piled up 93 points. Southern Wayne, which had just two swimmers, and South Johnston finished with 18 and 17 points, respectively.
Aycock senior Bryce Connolly won ECC swimmer-of-the-year honors for the second straight year. Undecided on her college future, Connolly captured the 200 individual medley (IM) in 2 minutes, 28.07 seconds and 100 breaststroke in 1:16.58.
Connolly also swam legs on two ECC champion relays -- the 200 medley and 200 free.
"I don't really know how they base (the award) because I'm the not just the best one. I know there are a lot of other girls just as good as me," said Connolly. "We did awesome (as a team). Everybody had a really good attitude and we all wanted to be here. Even if it was an event we didn't like, everybody gave it up for the team because they really wanted to win."
Savannah Sauls appeared to feel no effects of a nagging shoulder injury and collected four gold medals on the night. She triumphed in the 200 free (2:14.18) and 100 free (1:01.86), and participated on the 200 medley and 200 free relays.
Taylor Bradshaw took the ECC title in the 100 back (1:19.55), and swam the opening leg on the 200 medley relay. Kylie Robertson swam solid legs on the 200 medley and 200 free relays, while senior Jayna Beamon turned in a strong second leg on the 200 free relay.
Bradshaw, Robertson, Connolly, Sauls and Beamon each grabbed a spot on the all-conference team. Fellow Golden Falcon Alexus Lemasters took the bronze medal (third place) in the 200 free.
Eastern Wayne collected medals in six events. Freshman Tricia Malcolm surprised her teammates with a gold-medal performance in the 50 free, touching the wall in 29.7 seconds.
"I'm really competitive and saw that she (Cleveland's Kayla Dean) beat me by a second on the heat sheet, so while I was swimming I kept checking where she was," said Malcolm, who received all-ECC accolades. "I just gave it all I had the last five seconds. I'm so happy."
Malcolm returned to the pool later and swam the anchor leg on the Warriors' 200 free relay, which finished third in 2:05.71. She was joined by Ashleigh Daly, Jordan Everett and Lilly Boyette. Boyette was the ECC runner-up in the 100 backstroke, while Everett placed third in the 100 free.
The foursome of Daly, Ashley Ames, Brianna Applegarth and Emily Spengler led the Warriors' 400 free relay to a third-place finish. Spengler took third in the grueling, 20-lap 500 free earlier in the evening.