ROCKY MOUNT —
Tarboro Vikings sophomore swimmer Cameron Anderson came home Saturday as one of the most decorated swimmers during the 1-A/2-A NCHSAA state championships event. Anderson dominated the waters and made the fans and his teammates believers after winning the 100-yard freestyle event with a time of 47.55 and finishing in a tie in the 50-yard freestyle event with a final time of 21.76. Both of those times were personal best for him and earned him two state championships.
Heading into the event, head coach Michelle Harris had faith in Anderson and others on her swim team and knew that they could accomplish some amazing feats.
"They have all worked hard this season and it has paid off, just look at the results," Harris said. "Perseverance is extremely difficult in a sport like swimming."
The one swimmer she knew could do it was Anderson and he proved her right. Harris had looked at the times from both regionals in the east and west and saw that Anderson was the top swimmer in both of his individual events and had posted great times considering what his opponents had swam.
Harris said that the boys 50-yard freestyle event was one of the fastest and most competitive events she has seen in the pool this season. She was exactly right when she made that statement, but didn't know the outcome was going to be what it was.
In the 50-yard freestyle event, Anderson, who had already beaten Carrboro's Justin Morrell, was the fastest off of the block. Anderson led the way down the first stretch of the event and was the first swimmer to turn off of the wall. As he got towards the finish and came up out of the waters he got a big surprise. He and Morrell had tied with the exact times of 21.76. This was the first time that Anderson had ever been involved in this type of finish.
During the 100-yard freestyle finals, Anderson was going to make sure he dominated the event and was going to be the champion all alone and not tie. He excelled during the event when he blasted off of the starting blocks, he was the first to turn and the first to the wall to finish and had beaten Morrell by .45 second to capture his second title of the day.
Matthew Thompson also swam in the 50-yard freestyle event, but he didn't qualify for the finals and finished in 23rd place with a time of 24.15.
Another Viking swimmer that had a chance to win two state individual titles and had been so close so many times during her career, just didn't have the final push to win. Harris' daughter, senior Chandler Harris, made it to the finals in the girls 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly. Chandler Harris finished 8th in the 50-yard freestyle with a final time of 25.78 which was 2.02 seconds behind the winner, Christina Lappin of Lincoln Charter. In the 100-yard butterfly, Chandler Harris finished in 7th and was 5.05 second behind Lappin.
Sophomore Anna Johnson made it to the states. She didn’t qualify for the finals and finished the preliminaries with a time of 27.02 in the 50-yard freestyle event.
Freshman Kaylyn Norville made it to the the consolation finals in the 100-yard freestyle event. She finished 15th overall with a time of 59.82.
In the relay events, the girls 200-yard freestyle team came close to winning, but fell just seven seconds short. Chandler Harris, Johnson, Norville and Victoria Modlin swam in that event for the Vikings. The had a final time of 1.45.32. Those four also swam in the 200-yard medley relay and finished 6th with a time of 1.59.67 which was eight seconds slower than the champions from Raleigh Charter.
The boys relay teams finished 10th in the 200-yard freestyle and 17th in the 200-yard medley event. Anderson, Thompson, David McIntyre and Alex King swim on those two relay teams.