Area swimmers race to touch the wall first during the 1A/2A West Regional swim meet in Charlotte. 

CHARLOTTE – The Lincoln Charter swim teams delivered impressive performances in the 1A/2A West Regional swim meet Friday, Feb. 1, at the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center. The boys team placed second overall, while the Lady Eagles finished third in a field loaded with the best programs from the Charlotte metro area.

The Lady Eagles compiled 254 total points, finishing behind Pine Lake Prep and first-place Lake Norman Charter, while the boys team finished just 20 points behind Pine Lake Prep.

Neal Stratton delivered the lone first-place finish for the Lincoln Charter boys team, winning the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1 minute, 46.24 seconds, while teammate Russell Chamblee was the seventh swimmer to touch the wall, with the top eight finishers in each race qualifying for the state championship meet. Stratton also placed third in the 100-yard freestyle, with teammate Blake Nelson rounding out the event’s state qualifiers with an eighth-place finish.

Other state-qualifying individual performers from Lincoln Charter included Zackary Whipple, who finished second in the 200-yard individual medley and the 100-yard butterfly, and Matthew Fuller, who finished eighth in the 50-yard freestyle to advance.

Lincoln Charter’s relay teams also found success, placing second in the 400-yard freestyle and third in the 200-yard freestyle.

Chloe Harris set the tone for the Lady Eagles, winning the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 58.07, while also placing second in the 200-yard individual medley. Gabriella Malta also earned a second-place finish for Lincoln Charter, touching the wall at 2:02.11 in the 200-yard freestyle, while Abby DeCann qualified for the state meet with a fourth-place finish in the 500-yard freestyle.

The Lady Eagles also enjoyed success in the relay races, winning the 200-yard medley while placing second in the 400-yard freestyle and third in the 200-yard freestyle.

While East Lincoln and North Lincoln didn’t enjoy the same team success as Lincoln Charter, both programs had individual swimmers qualify for the state championship meet.

Grady Bartro

North Lincoln's Grady Bartro (second from left) prepares to swim the first leg of the 200-yard Medley relay. 

Grady Bartro led the way for North Lincoln, finishing fourth in the 100-yard backstroke and 200-yard freestyle. Bartro also swam on the 200-yard medley and 400-yard freestyle relay teams, each of which qualified for the state meet.

Samuel Brooks paced East Lincoln on the boys side, qualifying for the state meet in both the 200-yard individual medley and 100-yard backstroke. Devin Poteat led the way for the Lady Mustangs, qualifying for the state meet in the 200-yard individual medley and 100-yard breaststroke.

Earlier that morning in Huntersville, David Hutchinson, Alex Givens and Gavin Reber had top-eight finishes in the boys diving competition, while Lady Eagles Emily Lesniak, Emma Lesarski and Jillian Aganand also qualified for states.

The 1A/2A state championship swim meet will be held at the Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary Saturday, Feb. 9. Competition will start with the preliminary heats at 9 a.m., with the final races of each event slated to begin at 4:45 p.m.


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