Croatan swimmers gather at the pool’s edge at Washington on Nov. 20 as they watch 500-yard freestyle competitors go end to end in the four-team meet. (Contributed photo)

WASHINGTON — The Croatan swim team started its season off with a bang on Nov. 20, sweeping to victory in a field of four teams at the Washington High School pool.

The boys team smashed the competition with a score of 145 points that was more than 100 more than the next-best team. The team produced winners in nine of the 12 events to breeze past Northside-Jacksonville, Washington and Southside.

In the girls meet, the Cougars finished with eight winners to score 125 points. They won with a comfortable 74-point lead.


Aiden Pesko was the fastest swimmer in the 200-yard freestyle with a 2-minute, 5.89-second clocking.

His time was 14 seconds faster than teammate Matej Roth who placed second in 2:15.08. He also won the 500-yard freestyle with more than a minute to spare, clocking a time of 5:47.94 ahead of teammate Ryan Michalowicz’s 6:58.38 clocking.

Only two swimmers participated in the boys 200-yard individual medley, both Cougars. Rylan Feimster won in 2:30.12, just a hair faster than Gavin Pesko’s time of 2:30.21.

Not only did Ryan Simcie win the 50-yard freestyle in 22.94, he led a pack of four Cougars who finished in the top 5. Paul Padgett placed second in 24.20, Harrison Milano fourth in 24.91 and Jackson Brooks fifth in 26.95.

Simcie got a second win in the 100-yard butterfly with a 56.92 clocking. Teammate Nathan Michalowicz placed second in the same event with a time of 59.95.

Padgett got his own win with a 53.63 clocking in the 100-yard freestyle. Roth placed second in the same event in 56.78.

The Cougars made up the entire podium of the 100-yard backstroke with Nathan Michalowicz winning in 59.87, Ryan Michalowicz placing second in 1:14.12 and Croft McLean taking third in 1:15.88.

Nathan Michalowicz, Harrison Milano, Ryan Simcie and Rylan Feimster teamed up to win the 200-yard medley relay with a 1:49.93 clocking that was almost 28 seconds faster than the next relay group.

Another relay group, comprised of Nathan Michalowicz, Padgett, Roth and Simcie, won the 400-yard freestyle relay in 3:38,22.


In the 200 freestyle, Madison Bowen was the fastest girls swimmer with a time of 2:06.64, while teammate Claire Nickson placed second in 2:37.37. Bowen also captured the 100 butterfly in 1:02.28.

Avah Beikirch cleaned up in the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:43.33, the only sub-3-minute girls time of the event. She also led the 100 freestyle with a 1:04.87 clocking. Teammate Grace Meyer finished right behind her with a second-place time of 1:05.57.

Maeve Burns made a statement in the 500-yard freestyle with a winning time of 6:59.18 that was more than 1:30 faster than the next swimmer. Bethany Kimzey placed second in 8:30.48.

Falon McCabe was the fastest swimmer in the 100-yard breaststroke by more than 16 seconds with a time of 1:24.08.

Falon McCabe, Avah Beikirch, Madison Bowen and Grace Meyer won the 200 medley relay in 2:09.25. McCabe, Nickson, Burns and Bowen captured the 200 freestyle relay in 1:59.16. A third relay group, made up of Meyer, Nickson, Burns and Beikirch, won the 400 freestyle relay in 5:57.81 as the sole participants in the event.

Croatan didn’t have a winner in the 50-yard freestyle, but it did have three swimmers place in the top five. Meyer finished in second in 28.38, McCabe third in 29.93 and Carson Ketner fifth in 35.08.

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