Thursday night’s triple dual swim meet between Evans, Greenbrier and Lakeside High School should continue to provide motivation up to the Columbia County Championships on Thursday, Jan. 23.
The Evans boys held off Greenbrier 94-91 and topped Lakeside 133-48 while Greenbrier’s boys beat Lakeside 134-39.
While not as tight, Lakeside’s Lady Panthers edged the Lady Wolfpack 93-83; Lakeside beat Evans 127-43 and Greenbrier downed the Lady Knights 133-43.
All three teams finished the meet with different takeaways. For the Evans boys, despite the absence of one of their top swimmers and another at less than 100 percent, they were still able to sweep, keeping their record umblemished.
The Lakeside girls broke through and were able to top Greenbrier after a few close losses in previous encounters, and Greenbrier’s two close losses should keep its fires burning until the county championships.
Leading 63-62 with three events left, the Evans boys got first-place finishes from Jared Thornton and Aaron Hendry in the 100-yard back and 100 breast, respectively, which helped give them enough cushion as Greenbrier nipped Evans in an entertaining 400 freestyle relay.
Winning while missing Luca Castresana, the Knights’ senior who hasn’t lost a regular season 50 or 100 freestyle race in over two years, the win gave Evans head coach Tiffanie Douglas the ultimate optimism.
“If we can do this without Luca, I think we can go undefeated this season, and that would be a great accomplishment,” said Douglas.
The Knights were able to get the wins with high placements in races they didn’t win. Despite battling flu-like symptoms for over a week, junior Mitchell Petras won the 200 IM and took second in the 100 butterfly.
“It’s really more about the team than the individual,” said Petras. “In the 200 IM I hung in there and in the 100 fly I hung in there for the team.”
Like Petras, Jared Thornton took first in the 100 back and second in the 200 free while Joey Thornton won the 100 fly and was second in the 500 free. Greenbrier’s Brennan Day was the boys only individual winner, taking first in the 200 free and 500 free.
For the girls, Lakeside’s Katy Older paced the Lady Panthers, winning the 200 IM and the 100 fly, while Greenbrier’s Ashley Boudreaux helped keep it close with wins in the 50 free and 100 free. The Lady Panthers also won all three relay races.
Older thought the win would help motivate the Lakeside girls.
“It’s important for the team,” said Older. “We really feel stronger and better when we finally beat them (Greenbrier).”
Lady Panthers’ first-year coach Sarah Wexler wasn’t nervous heading into the final relay, knowing a win would cement the victory for her team.
“They seemed motivated, they knew what they needed to do and they did it,” Wexler said.
Greenbrier coach Kristen Schlegel said she didn’t like losing but was going to be able to use those close losses as motivators. She took two important things away from the race.
“We dropped times and our girls and boys both barely lost,” said Schlegel. “We have two powerful teams that are competitive across the board.”