Central sweeps CCC swim titles

SALISBURY | It was the No. 5 Central Carolina Conference crown for Central Davidson’s boys and girls Thursday at the J.F. Hurley YMCA. Central had a combined team score of 298 to win both titles comfortably at the conference championship meet. The boys team repeated and the girls won for the first time since 2008.

“This is what we strive for,” Central coach Chad Hench said. “Our slogan this year was dive for five. Each team had four conference titles on the board.”

Salisbury was led by Taylor Rodenhuis and McKenzie Stevens, who each won two first-place awards. Stevens (200 freestyle, 100 butterfly) and Rodenhuis (200 freestyle,   100 butterfly) both will swim in the state meet next month.

“I had never won all of my individuals at conference and I wanted that this year,” said Stevens, who finished the 200-freestyle in 1:57.99 and the 100-butterfly in 1:05.04.  

Stevens was also the final leg of the 400 and 200 freestyle relay teams that finished first. Allie Knorr, Amelia Steinman and Kristen Harmon were the other legs of the 400. Stevens, Steinman, Harman and Shelby Holden made up the 200 team that finished in 1:58.

“That last relay McKenzie was right on her best time ever for that event,” Salisbury coach Ryan Starrett said. “For a swimmer who’s already won three events before that have enough effort to come from behind is great.”

Rodenhuis won a pair of photo finishes. The junior edged Central’s Lucas Rhodes in the 200 freestyle by .25 seconds with a 1:50.01 finish. In the 100 butterfly, Rodenhuis (55.69) slighted Connor Sturgill (55.93).

“I really like the energy of doing the high school meets as opposed to club meets,” said Rodenhuis, who was fourth in the state last year in the 200 freestyle. “It gives you a chance to race with your friends and I really like doing that.”

April Kearns (200 IM), Sturgill (100 freestyle) and Rhodes (500 freestyle) had first-place finishes for the Spartans. Central’s 400 boys relay team set a school record in 3:45 in a second-place finish. The Spartans had 12 second-place finishes. Behind Central in the combined team scores was West Davidson (223), Lexington (185), Salisbury (160) and East Davidson (81).