The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

February 1, 2013

Tarboro looking to swim past opponents in regionals

Van Holland

TARBORO — The Tarboro Vikings have been among the leaders in the 2-A/3-A Big East Conference this season swimming towards success. In each event this season, Tarboro had at least one swimmer to place either first or second every time.

Tarboro has 11 individuals, three relay teams who have qualified for the regionals, which will take place today at the Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary at 4:30 p.m. The county swimmers will compete in the 1-A/2-A regionals even though they swam in the higher split conference this season.

Tarboro head coach Michelle Harris is pleased with the way her team has performed thus far this season and has high expectations of her swimmers heading into the regionals.

"I am not surprised by the number of swimmers competing at the regionals for us," Harris said. "They have all been a part of the Tarboro Summer Swim Club for years and half of the team swims year-round with the Rocky Mount YMCA or the Greenville Gators.  With that said, I am very excited for each one of them and proud of what they have accomplished. "

Tarboro swims in the split conference with the Nash and Wilson county schools, because the Eastern Plains Conference doesn't have any other teams competing in swimming.

After the first couple of meets, the Viking swimmers were very impressive in the waters and had dominated their opponents. The individual swimmers and relay teams had captured first place in numerous events and had already had consideration times or had qualified for the regionals in just the first week of the season.

Tarboro girls relay teams have not lost all season and are heading into the regionals as the favorite. Harris is expecting the relay teams to do exceptional and hoping they come out on top.

The Vikings also have two individual swimmers who haven't lost all season. Senior Chandler Harris has dominated her opponents in the water and sophomore Cameron Anderson has not lost an event either.

Harris will be participating in the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard butterfly and is on the relay teams. Anderson is will be swimming in the 50 and 100-yard freestyle

Also on the girls side is Anna Johnson, who will swim in the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard breast. Victoria Modlin will compete in the 50 and 100-yard freestyle, while Kaylyn Norville will swim in the 100 and 200-yard freestyle and Rachel Tanhauser will compete in the 200-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke. The Vikings will also have two relay teams competing. Those two events include the 200-yard freestyle and 200-yard medley.

Also on the boys side, Alex King will swim in the 200-yard individual medley, Matthew Thompson in the 50 and 100-yard freestyle and Tarboro will also have a boys team swimming in the 200-yard medley relay.

"This group of swimmers set their goals even before the season began – qualifying for the regionals not just in one event but multiple," Harris said.

The downfall to that Harris said is that each swimmer can only swim in two individual events for regionals, no matter how many they qualified for. They can also swim in two relays and that happened with most of her swimmers. They qualified for two events and relays.

Harris said she couldn't be more pleased with her teams performance. She said every meet they continued to wow her with their outstanding performances.

Harris said no certain swimmer stood out as being the top one on either side for the boys or girls.  She said each swimmer has their own qualities that impressed her during the entire season thus far.

Harris' daughter Chandler Harris stands out to most to many though, because she is able to hold her composure under pressure and has swam for four years for the Vikings. Her dedication went beyond the swimming pool, because if she isn't in the pool she is in the gym where she works out and has her own personalized routine set up for herself.

Two years ago, the Edgecombe County School Board had talked about doing away with some county high school sports and swimming was one of them. Harris, who took over the team two years ago, has had the Vikings at the top of the 2-A class since then. Her swimmers worked hard the entire season and also swim during the summer months for the Tarboro Swim Club.

The SouthWest Edgecombe Cougars have one individual swimmer competing and also have a relay team swimming in the boys 200-yard freestyle relay.

Jalen Dickens is the lone individual swimmer for the Cougars. He will compete in two events. He will swim in the 50 and 100-yard freestyle event.

The top qualifiers in the regionals will then move on to the NCHSAA state championship which will be swam at a later date.