The O’Neal varsity boys and girls swim teams made quite the splash at Monday’s Tri-TAC conference meet. From relays to individual events, the Falcons saw PRs and first-place finishes throughout the meet. The Falcons came into the meet seeded second on both the boy’s and girl’s sides, yet the Falcons let their swimming do the talking. The girls team showed their dominance winning by over 100 points, and the boys team rallied late in the meet to grab the conference championship. The victories saw the Falcons repeat as conference champions on both the boy’s and girls’ sides.
The Tri-TAC conference meet featured fellow conference schools Trinity Academy, Trinity School, Burlington Christian, and Carolina Friends. The Falcons kicked off the meet winning the girls 200-yard medley relays and finishing second in the boys 200- yard medley relay. Joining the relay victories were the girls 200-yard freestyle relay, the boys 200-yard freestyle relay and the girls 400 freestyle relay. Individually, the Falcons saw multiple first-place finishes including Victoria York in the 200-yard freestyle and 500-yard freestyle, Chloe Abner in the 50-yard freestyle, Michaela Stone in the 100-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke, John Shepherd in the 100-yard backstroke, and Lauren Hobbs in the 100-yard breast-stroke.
In addition, the Falcons placed 12 swimmers on the Tri-TAC All-Conference team: Chloe Abner, Andrew Davis, Lauren Hobbs, Morgan Lewis, Jordin Reed, Henry Reibe, Sam Schmitz, John Shepherd, Grace Simpson, Michaela Stone, Radford Walker, and Victoria York. Head Coach, Jen Schmitz was voted Tri-TAC Conference Coach of the Meet.
Reflecting on the meet, Head Coach Jen Schmitz shared, “I have been coaching for over 30 years and coached many High School teams, O’Neal’s swim team is always ready for the big competitions. The team put in the hard work, training over the holidays and put in thousands of yards to get to Conference. It was so much fun for Coach Daniel and I to watch these young men and women exceed all expectations and swim lights out for their teammates. It was truly an honor to be a part of.”
The Falcons will use the next week for final tuneups in preparation for the NCISAA state meet. The NCISAA Division 3 state meet will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 15 at the Greensboro Aquatic Center. The Falcons look forward to a strong state meet with fast swims all around.
Written by Sandhills Sentinel contributor Lulu Brase.