Harris making Davie swimming history
Published 2:59 pm Thursday, January 5, 2023
By Brian Pitts
Earnhardt Harris validated the hype that’s followed him for two seasons in the Robert Sawyer Invitational at the Greensboro Aquatic Center on Dec. 19.
Davie’s junior swimmer won the 100 butterfly, beating 45 competitors. He broke the program record in the 200 individual medley. He’s quite simply a stud in the pool for the War Eagles.
Swim coach Lance White lavished Harris with praise.
“Earnhardt is the epitome of a high school swimmer,” he said. “He has time management to practice before and after school while still bringing home excellent grades, the no-quit attitude, and a burning desire to do better than yesterday. After all, swimming is a behind-the-scenes sport until that one moment you stand on that block where you get one shot – no mistakes, no timeouts to come up with a play – and you are alone with years and years of work running over you. He has a work ethic where day after day, week after week, month after month, he puts in the time because he knows there is no off-season. He is the cornerstone of the culture we are looking to bring back to Davie swim.”
Harris took the butterfly in 53.52 seconds. Another shining moment came in the individual medley, where he finished fourth out of 31. He went 2:02.12 to break the record that was held by Nick Sinopoli, who turned in 2:03.48 in 2015.
Assistant coach Tak Hirata marveled at the beating heart of Davie swimming.
“He is selfless and would always put the team’s needs ahead of his individual goals, but we knew he is capable of breaking a record or two,” Hirata said. “We are so excited that he was able to achieve this accomplishment because it means so much to him. We’re just fortunate to have him on our team and that he is sharing his journey with us. Much of his success we need to give credit to his club team (Tyde) coaches – Bob, George and Richard. I have spoken with them and shared the news, and they were absolutely ecstatic for him. The swim community is a tight-knit group that cheer for all the swimmers’ success regardless of the team they swim for, and we absolutely love that about this community.”
Several War Eagles stepped things up a notch while facing formidable competition.
Aiden Davis was ninth of 51 in the 100 backstroke at 58.27. Davis, Logan Zuleger, Harris and Bryce Harnsberger were 10th of 28 in the 200 medley relay at 1:48.65. The same foursome was 10th of 31 in the 200 free relay at 1:36.24. Davis was 11th of 31 in the 200 free at 2:01.94.
“Aiden continues to impress and knock on individual regional qualifying times,” White said.
For the Davie girls, Logan White was 11th of 52 in the 100 breast at 1:15.95. Elliot Newsome was 12th of 32 in the butterfly at 1:08.29. Amber McCullough, White, Newsome and Kate Sakai were 15th of 27 in the 200 medley relay at 2:11.56. Those same girls were 18th of 28 in the 200 free relay at 2:00.50.
There’s a lot to build on for a program that appears to be ascending.
“Like Aiden, Logan took advantage of a fast pool and had a personal-best time in the breaststroke,” White said. “Elliot also had a great day, and like Logan is an athlete that hates losing more than she loves winning.
“Overall this invitational proved to be another great meet for the War Eagles. The Sawyer is a great meet for our kids to see how they measure up to a couple dozen other schools that we could see again in regionals. We enjoy attending this meet for the competition and the venue. The GAC is a state-of-the-art facility that most folks only see at the Olympics.”
The Davie boys finished 10th out of 21 teams. The Lady War Eagles were 15th out of 20.