CARY – Pine Lake Prep’s Alyssa Marsh broke the state record in the 100-yard backstroke and 100-yard butterfly in winning both events at the N.C. 1A/2A state meet Feb. 6.
Her time of 53.72 seconds in the butterfly was a state record for any classification (there are three in N.C. swimming). Her 54.86 time in the backstroke was the state 1A/2A record. Marsh, a sophomore, also swam on two third-place relay teams was named the meet’s Most Outstanding Swimmer.
“In the 100 fly, I wasn’t expecting that time,” she said. “I just wanted to go all out. I was so shocked and it was great to hear all my teammates cheering. It was so fun.”
Both of Marsh’s times were personal bests. The crowd in Cary gave her a standing ovation. Her performance helped Pine Lake Prep finish fourth among 70 teams in the girls’ state meet. The team is coached by Kristin Marsh (Alyssa's mom) and Mario Saragoni.
It was such a great team meet, we had finalists in 12 events,” Kristin Marsh said. “The team has put in a lot of hard work this year. They were led by a great group of seniors and captains, and were really behind each other."
• Lake Norman Charter’s Drew Queen, a senior, won the boys’ 100-yard breaststroke in 59.39 seconds at the N.C. 1A/2A championships.
• Lake Norman Charter’s Peyton Freeze and Erin Lee finished 1-2 in girls’ diving at the state meet. Freeze, a freshman, scored 392.45 points Lee, a junior, scored 383.55.
• Other top 1A/2A finishers were Community School of Davidson’s Austin Bruckner (third in boys’ diving) and Christ the King Catholic’s Jane Donahue (second in girls’ 200-yard individual medley and 100-yard breaststroke). Pine Lake Prep’s Lauren Ingram, Olivia Rasbornik, Ashlyn Christensen and Marsh combined to finish third in the girls’ 200-yard freestyle relay. PLP’s Lindsey Allison, Rasbornik, Marsh and Christensen finished third in the 200-yard medley relay.
• Hough High sisters Jessica and Heather Merritt were dominant at the N.C. 4A meet Feb. 7 in Cary. Jessica Merritt set a state record in winning the 200-yard freestyle (1:47.37) and won the state title in the 100-yard breaststroke. Heather Merritt shared the state championship in the 100-yard butterfly with Charlotte Catholic’s Elsa Welshofer. Both finished in 54.47 seconds, which set a 4A record. Heather Merritt also finished third in the 100-yard backstroke.
• The Merritt sisters, Margaret Higgs and Emily Allen, combined to set a state record in winning the 200-yard medley relay at the N.C. 4A championship meet Feb. 7. Their time was 1:43.91.
• Allen won the state title in the 100-yard freestyle with a record-time of 49.68 seconds. She also was second in the 50-yard freestyle.
• Hough’s Jennifer Giacalone was the 4A state diving champion. She scored 414.1 points to edge teammate Jocelyn Porter, who scored 403.65. Hough's Harrison Mitchell finished second in boys' diving for the second straight year.
• Hough High’s successful season ended in the third round of the N.C. 4A dual-team playoffs. The Huskies opened the postseason by beating Kannapolis Brown 35-33 and Concord Robinson 44-27 on Feb. 4. It set up a third-round match with rival Lake Norman, which eliminated the Huskies 39-24 on Feb. 6. Hough, which finished 31-3, had victories by pin from Jacob Efird (152 pounds), Jordan Thompson (170) and Michael Rawlins (220).