Northern sweeps final meet before regionals

Jan. 28, 2014 @ 06:32 PM

Northern Vance gained some much-needed momentum on Monday at Aycock Recreation Center with the state regionals awaiting on Friday.

The Northern girls team won its first meet of the season, marking the first girls and boys sweep of the season for the Vikings. 

Northern is sending each of its six relay teams to the N.C. High School Athletic Association 3-A regional in Cary and Madison Bobbitt, Stanton Parham and Dakota Parrish each qualified individually.

Southern Vance ended its season at Monday’s meet. Kyle Furlow and Matthew Woodlief earned regional consideration times for the Raiders, but didn’t make the final cut in their respective swims.

The Vikings celebrated Senior Night by tossing their coach, Natasha Rubin, into the Aycock pool.

“To come back and be this strong, I’m really proud of this team,” Rubin said of losing 11 seniors from last season. “They really pulled together and encouraged each other. They haven’t made excuses. Anything I’ve asked them to do, they’ve done it. They’ve worked hard and really just tried to do their best all season long and it’s paid off for us in the end.”

Bobbitt is the only senior on either of the girls relay teams that made regionals. She clinched an individual regional berth for the fourth consecutive season, but for the first time in the 200 freestyle.

Bobbitt leads the 200 relay team that also includes Megan Andrews, Amanda Moseley and Holly Hilliard. The 400 squad features Bobbitt, Andrews, Hilliard, and Sarah Hull. The medley grouping of Hilliard, Hull, Andrews, and Moseley also qualified.

“For them to make it in all three relays, that’s pretty exciting,” said Rubin. “And we have a lot of room to grow in the future.”

Rubin said the 200 medley boys relay team of Parham, Julian Perry, Evan Lowery, and Clayton Harris has looked especially strong along with the 200 free relay grouping of Lowery, Perry, Harris, and Tom McKoon.

The 3-A state championships will also be held in Cary, slated for Feb. 8.

“I know what they can do and what their potential is,” said Rubin. “What they actually do and if it all comes together that day, is on them. Even if we don’t make it, I’m so proud of this team.”

Also qualifying for the boys was the 400 free relay squad featuring Parrish, Charlie Chiem, Brooks Falkner, and Todd McKoon.

Parham and Parrish, both juniors, earned their first trip to regionals by qualifying in the 200 individual medley.

Northern’s boys finished fifth at last Friday’s Big Eight Conference meet at Aycock and the Vikings girls took sixth. Chapel Hill won both the boys and girls competitions, besting second-place Cardinal Gibbons. Chapel Hill and Cardinal Gibbons annually feature some of the state’s best swimmers and the Gibbons boys are the reigning 3-A champions.

Northern and Southern no longer compete in the same league. The Raiders dropped to the 2-A Northern Carolina Conference that features the reigning 2-A boys team champion, N.C. School of Science and Math and another strong program in Durham School of the Arts.

Southern Vance coach Jack Long had six swimmers available for Monday’s meet. And the Raiders are expected to return six for next season.

“We had a core group that worked through,” said Long. “We saw improvement in times. We saw a lot of hard work and I’m looking forward to next year.”

Boys results (1-27 meet)
1. Northern Vance, 157 points
2. Franklinton, 46
3. Louisburg, 35
4. Southern Vance, 34

Girls results (1-27 meet)
1. Northern Vance, 106 points
2. Franklinton, 91
3. Louisburg, 55
4. Southern Vance, 10

Boys event winners (1-27 meet)
— 200 medley relay: Northern Vance
— 200 freestyle: Matthew Woodlief, Southern Vance
— 100 free: Todd McKoon, Northern Vance
— 500 free: Clayton Harris, Northern Vance
— 200 free relay: Northern Vance
— 100 breaststroke: Stanton Parham, Northern Vance
— 400 free relay: Northern Vance

Girls event winners (1-27 meet)
— 50 free: Megan Andrews, Northern Vance
— 100 free: Megan Andrews, Northern Vance
— 500 free: Madison Bobbitt, Northern Vance
— 100 backstroke: Madison Bobbitt, Northern Vance
— 400 free relay: Northern Vance

Northern Vance boys at Big Eight Conference meet
— 200 medley relay, 6th (Julian Perry, Stanton Parham, Dakota Parrish, Evan Lowery)
— 200 medley Relay, 9th (Zachary Stevenson, Charlie Chiem, Brooks Falkner, Tom McKoon)
— Zachary Stevenson, 16th 200 free, 15th 500 free
— Todd McKoon, 13th 200 free
— Dakota Parrish, 10th 200 IM, 15th 100 fly
— Stanton Parham, 11th 200 IM, 10th 100 breast
— Julian Perry, 16th 100 fly, 10th 100 back
— Evan Lowery, 15th 100 free
— Clayton Harris, 16th 100 free
— Charlie Chiem, 14th 500 free
— 200 free relay, 5th (Evan Lowery, Julian Perry, Tom McKoon, Clayton Harris)
— 200 free relay, 8th (Todd McKoon, Brooks Falkner, Charlie Chiem, Dakota Parrish)
— 400 free relay, 4th (Tom McKoon, Todd McKoon, Evan Lowery, Clayton Harris)

Northern Vance girls at Big Eight Conference meet
— 200 medley relay, 9th (Holly Hillard, Sarah Hull, Madison Bobbitt, Megan Andrews)
— Madison Bobbitt, 12th 200 free, 13th 500 free
— Gracie Mason, 14th 200 free
— Sarah Hull, 16th 200 IM
— Megan Andrews, 15th 100 fly
— 200 free relay-7th (Megan Andrews, Holly Hillard, Alyson Moseley, Sarah Hull)
— 200 free relay-8th (Gracie Mason, Susana Garcia, Sarah Mason, RaShawnna Blackwell)
— 400 free relay-8th (Madison Bobbitt, Holly Hillard, Alyson Moseley, Megan Andrews)
— 400 free relay-9th (Sarah Mason, Susana Garcia, Gracie Mason, RaShawnna Blackwell)

Contact the writer at kholtzman@hendersondispatch.com.