There’s a long checklist of goals for several Orange swimmers as the postseason meets get underway this week.
Junior Katie Belle Sikes managed to check another off in her unrivaled Orange career in the Lady Panthers’ final dual meet of the regular season at the Orange County Sportsplex last Thursday night. Sikes became the first Orange female swimmer to qualify for all eight individual events for the Central Regional championships. In a dual meet against Cedar Ridge and Walter Williams, Sikes won the 200 yard freestyle. She touched the wall at 1:56.81.
Sikes, who recently committed to swim at the University of Georgia, can swim in only two individual events in regionals, which will be held February 3 at the Greensboro Aquatic Center. Sikes has already claimed two regional championships and a state championship in the 50-yard freestyle in her career.
The Orange women defeated Cedar Ridge 99-66 and also defeated Walter Williams 110-24. The Cedar Ridge women defeated Walter Williams 110-26.
The men’s swimming meet was headlined by Cedar RIdge junior Nikhil Agans setting the school record in the 100 yard backstroke. Agains punched his ticket to Greensboro by winning the event at 59.25, over three seconds ahead of the previous record which had stood for three years. Earlier in the night, Agans qualified for regionals in the 100 yard freestyle, finishing first with a time of 51.17 seconds.
Orange senior Even Phillips qualified for regionals in two more events. Phillips won the 100 yard breaststroke at 1:05.07, finishing ahead of teammate Nick Baczara. Phillips also won the 200 yard individual medley at 2:11.18. Baczara also qualified for regionals in the individual medley with a time of 2:18.67, good enough for second place on the night.
Earlier this season, Phillips qualified for regionals in the 50 yard freestyle, the 200 yard freestyle, the 100 yard butterfly and the 100 yard backstroke.
Orange Sophomore Luke Roman finished the regular season with a victory in the 100 yard butterfly at 58.51 seconds. Roman also won the 50 yard freestyle with 24.28, just shy of automatically qualifying for regionals. He has already qualified for regionals in the 500 yard freestyle, the 100 yard freestyle, the 200 yard individual medley, the 100 yard butterfly, and the 200 yard freestyle.
Orange’s Alex Andre won the 200 yard freestyle at 1:57.51. Andre has qualified for regionals in four other events.
Andrew Weeks automatically qualified for the 100 yard backstroke at 1:02.24, finishing second to Agans. Weeks has also qualified for regionals in the 200 yard individual medley.
Orange’s 200 yard freestyle relay team of Roman, Andre, Phillips and Weeks won at 1:40.11. They’re also set for regionals.
In the women’s meet, Cedar Ridge sophomore Quinn McCrimmon won the 500 yard freestyle at 5:54.00. Orange freshman Piper White finished second and also automatically qualified for regionals at 5:57.47.
Piper White also qualified for regionals in the 100 yard freestyle. White, a freshman, finished first at 58.68 seconds.
Orange junior Riley White earned a spot in regionals by winning the 200 yard individual medley with a time of 2:22.00. Cedar Ridge sophomore Sophia Stinnett finished second at 2:28.75. while McCrimmon finished 3rd. Both Stinnett and McCrimmon automatically qualified for regionals.
Riley White has qualified for regionals in the 100 yard butterfly, 100 yard freestyle, 500 yard freestyle and 100 yard backstroke. Piper White has qualified for the 200 yard freestyle, the 50 yard freestyle, 100 yard butterfly, the 500 yard freestyle and the 100 yard backstroke.
Stinnett, who was All-Central Carolina Conference last year as a freshman, captured the 50-yard freestyle at 26.64 seconds.
Orange’s 200 yard freestyle relay team of Sikes, Riley White, Piper White, and Ainsley Rasinske won the 200 yard freestyle relay at 1:51.35. Cedar Ridge’s team of Stinnett, McCrimmon, Abbygale Pearce and Hala Zafar finished second and punched its ticket to Greensboro at 1:58.22.
The Central Carolina Swimming Championships will be held at the Orange County Sportsplex on Wednesday night at 6:30. Orange is the defending conference champions in men’s swimming.