Eubanks wins Suffolk’s first state title in pool
Published 11:01 pm Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Logan Eubanks’ 53.61-second finish in the 100-yard backstroke at Saturday’s state championships was a remarkable achievement for so many different reasons. With that mark, the Nansemond River High School sophomore won the state title, setting a new Group 4A state record in the process.
He not only became the first state champion swimmer in school history, but also first in the history of Suffolk’s public schools.
“I was really excited,” Eubanks said, describing his reaction after knowing he had won.
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He came into the 2014 Virginia High School League Group 4A state championships with a 100 back seed time — the time he had coming into the event — of 55.76 seconds, a personal record he destroyed in preliminaries.
“It was extraordinary,” NR head coach Shamus Riley said of Eubanks’ weekend in Christiansburg. “From his best high school time, he’s been around a 55.”
In Friday’s prelims, he swam a time of 53.91. However, E.C. Glass High School senior Blake Proffitt was less than a second behind at 54.38 seconds, dropping over two seconds from his own seed time.
Because Proffitt was right behind him in the final, Eubanks said, “I had to go all the way to the end, as hard as I could.”
His mother, Melissa Eubanks, said, “I knew the last 10 yards he had it.” Then, she said when she “saw the time and saw he had the junior national cut, I was just ecstatic.”
This meant he qualified to compete in the National Age-Group Swimming Association Junior National Championship Cup, taking place in Clearwater, Fla. in March. To make this happen, he needed to achieve 53.69 seconds or faster.
“I really wanted to go that fast; I was really excited when I did,” Logan Eubanks said. “I was pretty sure I could.”
Riley was thrilled, as a coach, to see his first swimmer win a state title.
“It’s awesome feeling,” he said. “I don’t know if the coaches were more excited or he was when he won it.”
The coach also praised Eubanks for his preliminaries time in the 500-yard freestyle, which was 5:03.90, good for seventh and a new school record. Because the finals for this physically taxing event would have taken place shortly before the 100 back, he and the coaches decided he should not participate in it.
His result in the event was officially regarded as a “declared false start,” because a simple no-show would have disqualified him from further competition at the state championships.
“I believe he would have finished in the top three of (the 500), too,” Riley said.
Eubanks helped the 400-yard freestyle relay team finish seventh with a time of 3:28.76, a new school record. The other team members included junior Michael Betts, junior Cody Edwards and senior Jacob Hopple.
This placement earned Nansemond River boys’ team 24 points, contributing to its total of 72, earning ninth place out of 29 teams to score.
“The medley relay actually really surprised us,” Riley said.
The boys’ 200-yard medley relay team, including Betts, Edwards, Eubanks and sophomore River Fiedler, set a new school best in preliminaries with a ninth place time of 1:46.38. The group slowed slightly in the final, placing 11th after finishing with a 1:47.95 time.
Riley commented on why he thought Nansemond River had such a good season.
“Honestly, I think it’s just the kids’ expectations,” he said. “I think they expected more out of themselves this year, not only the coaches pushing them, but they wanted it this year.”
For King’s Fork High School, senior Hunter Lowe placed sixth in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 22.58 seconds. Sophomore Carlee Morse ended her season with a 27.98-second run in the preliminaries, good for 17th.
Following are additional Nansemond River High School swimmers to place on Saturday at the 2014 VHSL Group 4A state championships:
- Boys’ 200-yard freestyle: 13th-Cody Edwards 1:59.52; 15th-Jacob Hopple 2:06.30
- Boys’ 200-yard individual medley: 11th-Michael Betts 2:09.90
- Boys’ 100-yard breaststroke: 13th-Michael Betts 1:05.72