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Orcas set records at final meet

With 108 swimmers, the Oak Valley Orcas competed in the Greater Forsyth League finals at the Greensboro Aquatic Center on July 12.

Head coach Jeni Richardson was assisted by Moriah Little, Jack Coates and Elizabeth Dorsett as the Orcas finished the season with a 4-2 record.

“After a year off due to the pandemic, it was amazing to get back in the water again,” Richardson said. “We had our largest swim team to date. Though we have a few swimmers that did swim all year through programs such as TYDE and Enfinity, most of our swimmers hadn’t been in the pool in over a year. We are so proud of how hard everyone worked to get back into shape. We had some unbeatable relays. In fact, both our 11-12 girls and boys medley and free relays were undefeated all season.”

In the championship meet, the morning session consisted of swimmers ages 10 and under. Oak Valley had 33 swimmers represented in the morning session: Camden Ackley (10), Eden Ackley (6), Jax Andrews (6), Berkley Brown (10), Emerson Brown (6), Harper Brown (9), Alice Buchanan (7), Abby Laine Butler (8), Addison Cline (10), Casey Cline (8), Tessa Crowley (9), Mason Drive (10), Luke Fussell (6), Darcy (Hagen (7), Edric Hagen (6), Luke Hankins (8), Viola Hewitt (10), Alex Hirata (8), Cole Hollows (6), Jackson Howard (8), Ella Interlandi (6), Vin Interlandi (10), Emma Mallory (10), Conner McNeil (10), Kate Netherland (7), Elizabeth Kate Orr (6), Harper Randleman (10), Ryan Richardson (10), Zack Rolland (9), Megan Shelton (9), Kristen Starkey (9), Graham Weaver (10) and Rocco White (8).

“We are so proud of how well everyone swam,” Richardson said. “So many of them earned personal-best times.”

Highlights from the morning session:

6-under – E. Interlandi, E.K. Orr, E. Brown and E. Ackley were third in the girls 100 free relay at 2:07.6; J. Andrews, E. Hagen, C. Hollows and L. Fussell were second in the boys 100 free relay at 1:50.21; Luke Fussell was third in the 25 free at 23.13; and Eden Ackley was fifth in the 25 free at 24.37.

7-8 – C. Cline, A. Hirata, R. White and J. Howard were ninth in the boys 100 free relay at 1:30.18, and Alice Buchanan was fourth in the 25 butterfly at 20.37 and 2nd in the 50 free at 38.22.

9-10 – A. Cline, K. Starkey, B. Brown and H. Randleman were sixth in the girls medley relay at 1:20.64; C. Ackley, R. Richardson, G. Weaver and M. Driver were fifth in the boys medley relay at 1:18.84; K. Starkey, B. Brown, H. Randleman and A. Cline were ninth in the girls 100 free relay at 1:12.15; M. Driver, R. Richardson, C. McNeil and G. Weaver were sixth in the boys 100 free relay at 1:08.03; Addison Cline was fifth in the 25 backstroke at 19.12; Kristen Starkey was third in the 25 breaststroke at 19.34; and Ryan Richardson was third in the 25 breaststroke at 21.77.

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The afternoon session consisted of swimmers 11-over. Oak Valley had 26 swimmers represented: Brayden Ackley (12), Kaitlyn Booe (13), Logan Booe (15), Austin Boswell (16), Addy Buchanan (12), Katy Cheek (16), Jack Coates (19), George Crowley (11), Alex Dorsett (16), Avery Fussell (12), Jonathan Hanes (12), Zach Hirata (12), Davis Kiger (12), Samara McDaniel (12), Aidan Nicolay (12), Colin Nicolay (11), Ava Rajacich (16), Sarah Rajacich (14), Kayden Richardson (12), Octavian Settecasi (11), Marion Shelton (12), Rachel Starkey (11), Blake Toburen (14), Meredith Warren (16), Cooper White (17) and Logan White (15).

Highlights from the afternoon session:

11-12 – A. Buchanan, S. McDaniel, K. Richardson and R. Starkey were seventh in the girls medley relay at 2:23.85; G. Crowley, C. Nicolay, Z. Hirata and A. Nicolay were second in the boys medley relay at 2:12.67 (their time set a meet record); S. McDaniel, K. Richardson, R. Starkey and A. Buchanan were fourth in the girls 100 free relay at 2:05.65;  and C. Nicolay, A. Nicolay, G. Crowley and Z. Hirata were second in the boys 100 free relay at 1:56.81 (their time beat the meet record);

Not only did Zach Hirata place first in the 50 backstroke and second in the 50 butterfly (27.35), he beat the previous meet record in both events. He also placed first in the 50 free (24.8).

Colin Nicolay placed third in the 100 individual medley (1:11.25), third in the 100 free (1:03.02) and sixth in the 50 breaststroke (39.32). George Crowley was fifth in 100 backstroke (36.04), and Addy Buchanan was sixth in the 100 free (1:05.85).

13-14 – Blake Toburen was second in the 50 free, fourth in the 50 butterfly (28.94) and fifth in the 50 backstroke (30.91). He was also the dominating factor in his relays. Sarah Rajacich was sixth in the 50 butterfly (30.98).

15-over – Jack Coates (age 19 and one of the assistant coaches) swam his final season with the Orcas. “Because of the pandemic and last year’s season being cancelled, the GFSL decided to allow swimmers that were supposed to have their final year in 2020 to swim this year,” Richardson said. “So Coates was ‘grandfathered’ in this year. We are proud of his successful season and thankful for his coaching skills.”