Central takes third in 200 free relay

First Posted: 2/7/2009

RALEIGH Surry Centrals girls 200-yard freestyle relay team finished third place in the state Saturday at the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state 1-A/2-A swimming and diving championships at the Willis Casey Natatorium at North Carolina State University.
Swimming on the Golden Eagles 200 free relay team were Kirstin Gardner, Karmen Gardner, Lyncee Kowalcik and Paige Martin.
Kirstin and Karmen Gardner, Kowalcik and Martin also finished eighth in the state in the 400 free relay.
In individual competition, Kowalcik and Martin both placed in the top 16 in the state in the 50 freestyle. The Eagles Allee Taylor finished in the top 16 in the 100 breaststroke.
The girls had a pretty good morning, Surry Central coach Amber Flippen said. Their free relays were really strong coming into their finals tonight. The competition was pretty intense, so they came up to that challenge really well, especially in the 200 free relay. They were motivated to go after that.
It was a good day, Flippen concluded. There was a lot of competition and a lot of people.
Leading Mount Airy, Abby Bledsoe placed fourth in the state in the 100 breaststroke.
Granite Bears coach JoAnna Refvem was proud of Bledsoes performance.
I thought she did great, Refvem said Saturday night. She really wanted to do better than last year when she swam a 1:12. Shes been trying to get back to that time. She hadnt made that time this season. Tonight was her best time in the event this season. She looked good in the water.
Refvem was also proud of her other swimmers.
Adam Mabry looked really good in the water today, Refvem said. Will Rives dropped about four seconds on his 100 backstroke. Charlotte Refvem got into the finals in both of her events.
Charlotte Refvem placed sixth in the state in the 100 butterfly and eighth in the 100 backstroke.
Setting the pace for East Surry, Kaitlyn Tunstall finished fourth in the girls 100 freestyle.
The Cardinals girls 200 free relay team finished fourth in the state.
At the event, Cardinal Gibbons swept to victory in both the boys and girls team competition.
Gibbons won its second straight boys crown by tallying 346 points to 248 for second-place Carrboro. Lenoir Hibriten was third with 223.5, followed by Valdese Draughn at 159 and the Durham School of the Arts with 145.
Kyle Hites of Hibriten was selected as the MVP of the boys meet. He recorded first-place finishes in the 200 IM and 100 breast, breaking the 1A/2A state record in the 100 breast.
In the girls competition, Cardinal Gibbons had a 173-point margin over the field with 403 points to 230 for runner-up Carrboro, winning its fourth consecutive team title. West Davidson was third with 169, followed by Elkin (164) and Salisbury (120).
Kelly Ann Baird from West Davidson and Caroline Smith from South Davidson shared Most Valuable Performer honors in the girls meet. Baird won both the 200 free and 500 free, breaking the 1A/2A state record in the 500 free. She also achieved automatic All-American times in both events.
Smith took first place in both the 200 IM and the 100 backstroke while breaking the 1A/2A state record in the 100 backstroke. She also achieved automatic All-American times in both events.

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