CARY — The Croatan boys earned a top-five finish at the state meet for the fifth year in a row on Friday at the 1A/2A swimming championships.

The Cougars took fifth with 51 points to fall just short of fourth-place Pine Lake Prep with 53 points.

“Even after amazing drops at regionals, our athletes were still able to all go best times at states,” Croatan coach Michaela Worsinger said.

Carrboro won its fifth state title in program history with 76 points, followed by the Community School of Davidson with 70, and Lake Norman Charter with 64.

The Cougars came into this season having posted back-to-back fourth-place finishes after putting up back-to-back state runner-up finishes.

Will Barker won two individual state titles, taking the 100-yard backstroke in an All-American time of 48.18 and the 100-yard freestyle in 45.29.

He added a silver medal by joining the second-place 200-yard freestyle relay team of Matthew McCray, Harrison Milano,and Nathan Michalowicz, which finished in 1:28.

The 200-yard medley relay team just missed out on a top-three finish, with Patrick Reindl, McCray, Michalowicz and Barker taking fourth in 1:40.

McCray grabbed two top-five spots, placing fourth in the 100-yard freestyle in 53.47 and fifth in the 50-yard freestyle in 21.92.

The 400-yard freestyle relay team of Rylan Feimster, Luke Kahrimanovic, Milano and Reindl claimed ninth in 3:35.

Teal Edholm had a solid showing on the girls side as part of three top-11 finishes.

She placed eighth in the 200-yard medley in 2:19 and ninth in the 100-yard backstroke in 1:04.

Madison Herring, Avah Beikirch, Grace Meyer and Edholm took 11th in the 200-yard medley relay in 2:08.

The format of this year’s state swimming championships included timed finals rather than traditional prelims feeding consolation and championship heats.

The number of entries was also reduced from 24 per event to 12. Team points were awarded for the top eight times, down from the usual 16 scoring positions.

“We’ve officially finished the COVID swim season and couldn’t have asked for anything more,” Worsinger said. “We are beyond proud of our swimmers and hopeful that next year we can get back to normal and have all of our athletes competing.”

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