The Hough boys and girls swimming teams won I-Meck 4A conference championships Friday, Jan. 18, at Huntersville Family Fitness and Aquatic Center.

The girls, winning their eighth league title, compiled 537 points, 44 ahead of second-place Lake Norman. They took gold in nine events, led by junior Kensley Merritt’s first-place finishes in the 200-yard freestyle and 100 backstroke.

“Kensley swam really well,” Hough coach Meredith Eyler said. “Even though he swam really well last year, she had big improvements for her.”

Sophomore Elizabeth Sowards won both the 50- and 100-yard freestyle races, the former seeing Huskies take the first three spots. She and her sister Savannah are in their first year at Hough.

“It’s been a pleasant surprise,” Eyler said. “And to have her take two events by that amount of time, considering they were sprint events, was very impressive.”

Huskies won two relays, and sophomore Andra Buchan was the diving champion.

The boys finished with 445 points, 49 ahead of Lake Norman. They won six events, with junior Kenneth Lowe taking gold in the 100 and 200 freestyle. It was their ninth conference championship.

“He’s got a wide variety of events he can do really well in,” Eyler said. “Kenneth, Alex Atherton and Ethan Schneider each took individual events. Those three are captains, so they really stepped up.”

Hopewell also had multiple winners in the boys competition. Senior Markus Wennborg won the 200 individual medley and 100 backstroke, as classmate Chase Allison took gold in the 50 freestyle and 100 breaststroke.

The Titan boys had the winning 200 freestyle relay team, beating Lake Norman by almost 5 seconds.

North Meck senior Sadie Calhoun came in second in the 500 freestyle with a time of 5 minutes, 26.28 seconds. And the top Viking boy was senior Zach Mandel, who was third in the 100 breaststroke.

The 4A West Regional meet is Feb. 2 at the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center in Charlotte.


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