NR and KF break new ground at regionals

Published 9:16 pm Wednesday, February 11, 2015

King’s Fork High School junior Carlee Morse swims during the Region 4A South championships on Monday in Newport News. She qualified for states in two individual events and two relay events.

King’s Fork High School junior Carlee Morse swims during the Region 4A South championships on Monday in Newport News. She qualified for states in two individual events and two relay events.

Nansemond River and King’s Fork high schools produced swimmers who made school history while qualifying for states, and the Warriors had one who repeated as champion during Monday’s Region 4A South swimming championships in Newport News.

NR junior Logan Eubanks made it back-to-back years as the regional champion in the boys’ 100-yard backstroke, finishing in 55.09 seconds, an improvement on his 2014 winning time of 56.34 seconds.

“Of course, he came in as the frontrunner,” said Southeastern District boys’ swimming Coach of the Year James “Shamus” Riley. This year, “I knew he would have a lot more competition.”

Email newsletter signup

But Logan’s positioning after the first turn — 25 yards into the race — seemed to forecast the ending.

“He was a whole body length ahead of everybody,” Riley said.

Eubanks is one of five Nansemond River swimmers who have qualified to swim in the maximum number of four events at the Group 4A state championships on Feb. 19. The other four swimmers include seniors Michael Betts and Cody Edwards and juniors Kaitlyn Higgins and Claire Janek.

Riley said this is the first year any female Nansemond River swimmer has ever qualified to states, whether individually or in a relay.

On Monday, the top 10 swimmers in individual events and the top eight teams in relay events qualified for states.

Higgins qualified in the girls’ 200-yard freestyle, taking sixth with a time of 2:13.47, and she qualified in the 500-yard freestyle, taking eighth with a time of 6:17.27.

She also helped the girls’ 200-yard and 400-yard freestyle relay teams qualify for states. Forming the rest of the 200 free relay team were juniors Cali Valdivieso, Kendall Webster and Janek. The 400 free relay team also included Janek, senior Madison Rivoir and junior Lisa Terry.

Helping the girls’ 200-yard medley relay qualify, as well, were Rivoir, Terry, Webster and junior Tayler Pearl.

All three NR boys’ relays have also qualified for states.

Janek took 10th in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 27.98 seconds and eighth in the 100-yard freestyle with a 1:02.02 time.

Of Nansemond River’s performance at regionals, “I was very proud of the outcome, and a couple kids actually surprised me in where they finished,” Riley said.

Logan Eubanks’ younger brother, freshman Brandon Eubanks, swam the 500-yard freestyle in the preliminaries with a time of 5:55.28, good for 12th place. He cut 21.87 seconds off that time later in the day to finish 10th in the finals, qualifying for states.

“He came out of nowhere,” Riley said. “I think his parents were just as surprised as I was.”

Additional state qualifiers for Nansemond River included junior River Fiedler in the boys’ 100-yard breaststroke and junior Kendall Webster in the girls’ 100-yard butterfly.

King’s Fork junior Carlee Morse qualified for states in the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle events, while also helping the girls’ 200-yard medley and 200-yard freestyle relays qualify.

The boys’ 200 medley and 200 free relays also qualified.

“I was ecstatic,” said King’s Fork coach Erin Manning of her swimmers’ performances. “That was the most people we’ve ever had qualify for states. Everybody swam best times, and yeah, I couldn’t be happier.”

Forming both KF boys’ relays were seniors Hugh Long and Mario Powell and juniors Alexander Kaye and Jimmy Smith.

The girls’ 200 medley relay included junior Sonora Curliss, sophomore Haley Johnson, freshman Grace Merryfield and Morse. The 200 free relay was the same, but with freshman Hannah Marston in place of Johnson.

The 4A state swimming championships will take place at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center on Feb. 19.

Following are the results from the Region 4A South swim championships on Monday in Newport News:

Boys’ team results

1) Jamestown High School, 523

2) Tabb High School, 331

3) Grafton High School, 287

4) Hanover High School, 260

5) Smithfield High School, 181

6) Nansemond River High School, 160

7) King’s Fork High School, 87

8) Deep Creek High School, 80

9) Churchland High School, 58

10) Woodrow Wilson High School, 43

11) Lake Taylor High School, 35

12) Lakeland High School, 28

13) I.C. Norcom High School, 25

14) Denbigh High School, 4

Girls’ team results

1) Jamestown High School, 460

2) Grafton High School, 372

3) Tabb High School, 264

4) Hanover High School, 247

5) Nansemond River High School, 228

6) Smithfield High School, 124

7) Churchland High School, 108

8) King’s Fork High School, 82

9) Deep Creek High School, 72

10) Denbigh High School, 65

11) Lake Taylor High School, 42

12) Lakeland High School, 36

13) Woodrow Wilson High School, 26