Seven qualify for stateTuscola boys finish fourth overall, win silver and four bronze medals; Tuscola girls 21st
CHARLOTTE — After winning a silver medal, four bronze medals and finishing fourth overall at the NCHSAA Swimming and Diving Class 3-A West Regional, the Tuscola varsity boys will send a total of seven swimmers and one alternate to the state championships on Saturday, Feb. 11 at the Triangle Aquatics Center in Cary.
The seven Mountaineers will compete for state gold in six individual events and three relays.
“ We [coaches Sue Miller and Mary Miller] are all extremely proud of the effort and exceptional results by the men and women who represented Tuscola in the 3-A Regional meet in Charlotte,” said Tuscola Head Coach Kevin Fitzgerald. “For every individual and three of the six relays to post a best time, along with a combined total of 147 seconds of dropped time, is a testament to their fitness and determination. The men’s fourth place overall finish against a number of significantly larger contingents of swimmers is equally impressive. We are all looking forward to the culmination of the high school season in Cary at the state meet this weekend.”
At the regional meet, Tuscola finished ahead of future conference opponents West Henderson (7th), A.C Reynolds (10th), Asheville High (20th) and Erwin (24th). The Mountaineers were represented by a total of 19 swimmers in 34 individual events and six relays. In the girls regional meet, the Tuscola girls finished 21st.
Qualifying for the state (finished in Top 8 spots) for Tuscola in the indivdual events were Mason MacDonald (3rd/50 free 22.23, -.51 seconds); 3rd/50 free 48.73, -1.6 seconds), Johnny Darguzas (2nd/200 IM 1:59.58, -3.85 seconds; 3rd/100 fly 53.62, -1.67 seconds), Stephen Wenzel (6th/100 back 59.60, -2.04 seconds) and Eric Gomez finished 8th/100 back 1:00.04. -1.19 seconds).
In the boys relays events, Tuscola’s 200 medley relay (6th/Riley Laursen, Stephen Wenzel, Crayton Morrow and Kevin Wenzel 1:48.26 -1.65 seconds), 200 free relay (3rd/Stephen Wenzel, Gomez, Darguzas and MacDonald 1:34.13 -1.51 seconds) and its 400 free relay (4th/Stephen Wenzel, Gomez, Darguzas and MacDonald 3.28.21, -3.91 seconds) qualified for the state meet.
Tuscola senior captain Will Nolte is the alternate for the boy’s relays.
Class 3-A West Regional
Morrow (17th/200 IM 2:21.17, -5.81 seconds; 17th/100 fly 1:01.18, - 1.15 seconds)
Riley Laursen (19th/200 IM 2:21.55, -7.54 seconds)
Colin Mooney (16th/200 free 2:05.64, - 9.07 seconds; 17th/500 free 5:50.53, - 8.53 seconds)
Kevin Wenzel (18th/50 free 24.52, -.76 seconds)
Gavin Bishop (22nd/100 fly1:07. 44, -1.54 seconds; 20th/500 free 5:56.22, - 3.46 seconds)
Gomez (9th/500 free 5:14.62, - 19.02 seconds)
Colin Mooney (17th/500 free 5:50.53, - 8.53 seconds)
Riley Laursen finished (9th/100 breast 1:06.73, - 4.33 seconds)
Alex Zacher (20th/200 IM 2:40.42,-2.46 seconds; 23rd/100 back ack (1:20.13, -1.19 seconds)
Marna Dodson placed (17th/500 Free 6:20.01, -17.14 seconds)
Annalise Steele, Sarah Clarke, Natalie Swaim and Sarah Swaim (19th/200 medley relay 2:20.52)
Steele, Mia McDowell, Megan Planchock and Natalie Swaim (17th/200 free relay 2:05.45)
Planchock, McDowell, Erin Springer and Dodson (16th/400 free relay 4:49.35)
Both the Tuscola squads impressively shaved a total of 147 seconds from their individual events and/or relays at the regional.
What the Mountaineers are saying
Tuscola Principal Travis Collins: “We are extremely excited by the performances of so many of our student athletes that competed at the [NCHSAA 3A West] Regional this past weekend. Our swimmers improved tremendously on their previous times from this season and several of our individual swimmers as well as relay teams have now advanced to the state championships. We are very appreciative of their hard work in the pool and from all of the support that they receive from our coaching staff and swim families. Go Mounties.”
Darguzas: “Regionals was very energetic for all of the swimmers and myself. I am very happy with my performance at Regionals … as this meet was much faster than the ones in the past. My personal goals for regional were to be first with a time under two minutes in the 200 IM and to set a new personal best time in 100 fly. While I did not capture first in the 200 IM, I did get my time under 2:00 (1:59.58) and achieved a personal best time in the 100 fly (53:62). The relay times in the 200 free and 400 free were best times for us as well. The regional was a very successful meet for everyone.”
Gomez: “My personal goals for regionals were to achieve personal best times in the 500 free and to go to state in the 100 back. In the 500 free, I dropped 19.04 seconds for a new personal best time of 5:14.62 and I placed 8th in the 100 back with a time of 1:00.04, which means I will be competing at state in that event. At state, I will try to do my best in all of the events in which I am swimming.”