Swimmer sets another record; this one from 1993

Published 4:06 pm Monday, February 20, 2023

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By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

Back in December, swimmer Earnhardt Harris set a new Davie record in the 200 individual medley, surpassing a mark that was established in 2015. All he did in the state meet was break a Davie 100 butterfly record that had stood since 1993.

“He has poured in thousands of hours over the years to get to that moment, and he’s now the new Davie County War Eagle with not one, but two records,” coach Lance White said.

With the top six advancing in the Central Regional at the Greensboro Aquatic Center on Feb. 4, Harris claimed fifth out of 24 in the 100 butterfly. He improved his sophomore regional showing by four spots by clocking out at a then-personal record 52.13.

“I wasn’t completely rested. I swam with my club team until a day before regionals,” Harris said. “So to go 52 low not feeling the best, I was excited and I was ready to break the record at states.”

Junior Aiden Davis was 16th in the 100 backstroke at 56.21.

“Aiden took advantage of his first qualification to regionals and continued to tap into his unlimited talent,” White said. “He dropped another 1.55 seconds and kept lowering his leadoff backstroke split (25.83).”

Davis, Austin Boswell, Harris and Bryce Harnsberger were 17th out of 24 in the 200 medley relay at 1:47.87. The same foursome was 17th in the 400 free relay at 3:36.89.

“(The 400 free relay) dropped 15.51 seconds from their entry time,” White said.

Harnsberger, Wesley Brooks, Boswell and Harris were 20th in the 200 free relay at 1:39.24.

For the Davie girls, Amber McCullough, Logan White, Elliot Newsome and Sophia Brady were 18th of 24 in the 200 medley relay at 2:06.45. Newsome, Brady, Lilli Seats and White were 19th in the 400 free relay at 4:09.48. McCullough, Brady, Newsome and White were 21st in the 200 free relay at 1:52.59.

“The girls swam a season-best in the 200 free relay, as well as dropping an astonishing 18.30 seconds in the 400 free relay,” White said. “Congratulations to all the regional swimmers for representing the school with some fantastic performances. Beyond the fast swims, the coaches were extremely happy to see the team coming together supporting each other and having a great time. All of our leadoff swimmers swam their PB, including Austin Boswell, whose time unfortunately was not recorded due to the touchpad issue but clearly came in a PB time somewhere in the :58 range in his 100 free leadoff leg. Logan White split her personal best of 26.75 while anchoring the 200 free relay.”

The Davie boys scored 14.33 points to finish 22nd out of 25 teams.

State Meet

In the 100 butterfly in the state meet, Harris turned in a sparkling time of 51.62 to break Brian Tribble’s record from 1993. Not only did he eclipse a mark that had stood for 30 years, he did it – this is beyond belief – with Tribble in attendance.

The meet was held at the Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary on Feb. 11.

“(Tribble) just happened to be in the stands supporting his son swimming and stopped by to congratulate Earnhardt,” White said.

“Brian was there watching his son swim (for Ashley High in Wilmington),” Harris said. “That’s pretty cool. His son came and found me and asked if I was the Davie kid who just broke the Davie record. He said his dad was the guy who held the record. Whenever I went up in the stands to talk to my family, Brian was up there. We had a conversation about swimming and the butterfly.”

In 1993, Tribble broke the CPC record in the butterfly at 54.82. A week later, he finished third in the Western Regional at 53.96. Then in the state meet at UNC’s Koury Natatorium, Tribble finished third at 51.96.

“The chances of that happening (with Tribble in the stands) is nothing short of amazing,” White said.

“That’s been a goal since I got to Davie,” Harris said of breaking the record.

Harris missed qualifying for the finals by a whisker. The top 16 advanced and Harris was 17th out of 24 in the prelims – 1/10th of a second off the pace.

How close were the times? Providence junior Evan Prabhu was 11th at 51.01. Myers Park senior Joseph Clark was 12th at 51.35. Broughton junior Gus Wiggins was 13th at 51.44. Hickory Ridge junior Alex Garmon was 14th at 51.54. Green Level junior Matthew Honaker was 15th at 51.59. And Cardinal Gibbons freshman Tommy Tuescher was 16th at 51.61.

Harris handled the results gracefully.

“It gets to the point where if you drop half a second, you’re happy,” he said. “Even if you just go around your best time, you’re not complaining.”

And then: “I was .01 from making finals and swimming again that night. It was crazy how close everything was. The 51.61, 51.62 and 51.63 were all in the same heat. At the end of the day, I broke the record and I’m not mad about that. It’s not the first time something like that has happened. When I was younger, I missed a state cup by a hundredth of a second. It’s just stuff that happens and it’s just fuel for the next time.”

Nick Sinopoli was the old record-holder in the 200 individual medley at 2:03.48 from 2015. On Dec. 19, Harris went 2:02.12.