Back in the Pool
Swimming Outlook: Area teams hope for strong seasons
By Craig Moyer
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
The 2017-2018 swimming season began earlier this month, as area teams look to defend conference titles and look to send swimmers to the east regional and state championship meets.
As both of last season’s area swimmers of the year and many of last season’s all-area team members return to the pool this season, as well as several newcomers in the area, the battles for conference-titles will likely be highly contested.
Camden returns the area boys swimmer of the year Ethan Jones, while Northeastern returns Emily Breaux, the area girls swimmer of the year.
Currituck returns two all-area performers, Pasquotank returns one and John A. Holmes will look to have a swimmer return to the all-area team this season.
All area teams have begun their seasons and will continue with a meet hosted by Northeastern at Elizabeth City YMCA Friday.
Here is more on the swim teams in the area:
Coach: Ricki Furlong
Outlook: Coming Coastal 10 conference titles last season for both the boys and girls teams, the Bruins will look to continue their success in the newly-formed Albemarle Athletic Conference.
Furlong said more than half of her roster this season is new players after graduations and transfers, but many of them are experienced swimmers with a lot of potential.
The Bruins’ boys team will be led by Ethan Jones, as the junior won area swimmer of the year in both his freshman and sophomore campaigns.
Furlong added that Jones has been very helpful in pushing his teammates to improve early in the season.
Camden also returns Gabriel Keeling, who was a member of the all-area team last season.
At their meet at the Outer Banks YMCA Nov. 15, the Bruins earned a few first place finishers on the boys team.
Brian Chandler finished first in the 50 meter free, Nathan Royal finished first in the 100 meter butterfly and Peter Morrissey took first place in the 400 meter freestyle.
The Lady Bruins will look to contributions from Abigail Mcdougald, Abigail Jones, Keonna Barnard and Mackensi Rollings.
The four were all members of the 200 meter freestyle relay team that took first place at the Nov. 15 meet.
Coach: Susan Buzzard
Outlook: The boys team returns several key members from last years team, as they look to defend their Northeastern Coastal Conference title this season, after edging out First Flight last season.
Chase McLaughlin and Jonathan Gillette both return as seniors this season, after being named to last season’s all-area team.
At the Nov. 17 meet at Elizabeth City YMCA, Gillette took first place in the 100 meter breaststroke and the 100 meter free.
McLaughlin took first place in the 100 meter backstroke and the 50 meter free.
The Knights will also look to Josh Price and Gabe Daneker for strong contributions this season.
Buzzard said she also expects big things from freshmen Caleb Noerr and Gabriel Hanke.
The Lady Knights will look to Sarah Prayner, Alexis Indoe and Mariah Lassiter to lead the team this year.
Lassiter took first place in the 400 meter free at the meet earlier this month with a time of 7:57.55.
JOHN A. HOLMES
Outlook: At the Nov. 17 Elizabeth City meet, the Lady Aces were led by Amy Turner, who took first place in the 50 meter free with a time of 35.17.
The Lady Aces will also hope for contributions from Kaely Styons, Molly White and Alyssa Goodwin.
Edenton’s boys team will look to Nev Duruman, who took third place in the 100 meter free at the event in Elizabeth City earlier this month.
Other contributors for the Aces are Cameron Boyce, Josh Colon and Brady Armstrong.
Coach: Wendy Kobiela
Outlook: The Lady Eagles return three-time area swimmer of the year Emily Breaux, as she has started her senior season on a strong note.
Breaux finished in first in four events at a meet held at Elizabeth City YMCA Nov. 17.
The senior finished first individually in the 100 meter backstroke, as well as first with the 200 meter medley relay, 400 meter free relay and the 200 meter free relay.
Julianna Connor and Hannah Evans, who were both named to the all-area team last season, will also be key factors on this year’s Lady Eagles team.
Kobiela stated that despite having a small team this season, she has some of the most talented swimmers in the area and expects trips to the regional and state meets.
Northeastern’s boys team will be led by sophomore Peter Breaux, who took second place in the 100 meter backstroke at the Nov. 17 meet.
Ryan Harrison will also be a factor for the Eagles this season, as Kobiela expects the senior to make a trip to the east regional.
Coach: Wendy Kobiela
Outlook: The Lady Panthers will be led by sophomore Jesse Dennis, who is a returning all-area team member from her freshman season.
Pasquotank will also look to Hannah Walton and Natalie Crammer for contributions this season.
The boys team will be led by senior Tristan Dennis, who was the only member of the boys team up until this season.
Tristan Dennis is joined by Zachery Evans, Michael Litton and Nick Payne, who make up the relay team for the Panthers this season.