Warriors swim to success

Published 8:32 pm Friday, February 9, 2018

The Nansemond River High School swim teams performed well at the regional meets and will look to states next.

The Warriors swim team showed strong at the Class 5 Region A sectional swim meet. In doing so, they posted their best finishes in school history at the regional meet for both the girls’ and boys’ teams. The Warriors boys’ team placed fourth at the meet, held at the Midtown Community Center Pool in Newport News, while the girls’ team placed sixth. The region is made up of 15 teams.

Nansemond River had 12 swimmers earn medals for them Thursday afternoon. The boys’ 200 medley relay team dropped its time by five seconds and placed fourth qualifying for states. They swam a time of 1:41.37, which is a school record by Brandon Eubanks, Allen Zachary, Clay Bennett and Hunter Ward. Zachary took the regional championship in the 200 freestyle and the 50 freestyle, and both of his times were a school record. Ward finished fifth in the 50 freestyle and second in the 100 freestyle, earning him berths to the state meet.

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Clay Bennet finished fifth in the 200 individual medley, qualifying for states, and Eubanks qualified for states in the 500 freestyle. Also, the boys’ 400 relay team qualified for states, cutting its time down from 3:22 to 3:16. The time placed third in the regional meet.

The boys’ 200-freestyle relay qualified for states as well, resulting in all three of the Warriors’ relay teams moving on to states. Nansemond River boys’ team has nine entries heading to state this season, which is far more than last season.

For the girls, their medley relay teams performed well but fell short in qualifying for states. However, they still were able to medal, as the top six teams earn a medal. Kristina Zachary placed second in the region in the 100 breaststroke and the 200 individual medley. Both of those events scored school-record times for her. Zachary and Selby Heyman have both qualified for state meet events.

Last year, the girls’ team qualified for only one event, with Heyman swimming in that event. They have qualified for two more events this year than they did last year.

Coach James “Shamus” Riley was happy with the way all of his athletes competed Thursday afternoon. Altogether, Nansemond River medaled in 15 events.

“Our boys are continuing to improve, and their time showed in the pool,” Riley said. “Ninety percent of the events both the boys and girls swam in ended in personal best times. All of them came to swim.”

The Class 5 state meet will take place Feb. 16 at George Mason University.