First Flight High School swim teams named conference champs; Manteo’s Davis and First Flight’s Hallac honored as swimmers of the year

Published 4:49 pm Wednesday, January 31, 2024

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The First Flight High School girls and boys swim teams came out on top at the Northeastern Coastal Conference (NECC) conference swim meet in Elizabeth City. One hundred fifteen swimmers representing seven teams competed in the meet, which was held at the Elizabeth City YMCA.

Team scores for the girls were: First Flight 149, Manteo 131, Currituck 75, John A. Holmes 44, Camden 24, Northeastern 16 and Pasquotank County 1.

Team scores for the boys were: First Flight 141, Camden 92, Currituck 86, Manteo 70, Pasquotank 48, Northeastern 9 and John A. Holmes 6.

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On the girls side, the top three finishers in order in each event were: 200 Medley Relay – First Flight, Currituck, Manteo; 200 Freestyle – Finnegan Davis (M), Reagan Bembridge (FF), Addison Boyer (FF); 200 IM – Francesca Evans (M), Schuyler Wilson (FF), Sadie Wills (FF) ; 50 Freestyle – Liza Gillam (Cam), Madison Flynn (M), Hayden Hall (FF); 100 Butterfly – Meredith Gaskill (M), Lana Bragan (FF),  Addison Boyer (FF); 100 Freestyle – Liza Gillam (Cam), Allison Roper (FF), Hayden Hall (FF); 400 Freestyle – Finnegan Davis (M), Reagan Bembridge (FF), Schuyler Wilson (FF); 200 Freestyle Relay – Manteo, First Flight, Currituck; 100 Backstroke – Meredith Gaskill (M),  Kira Walters (FF), Emma Friedrich (Curr); 100 Breaststroke – Cameron Piland (FF), Madison Flynn (M), Kat Gregg (FF); 400 Freestyle relay – Manteo, First Flight, Currituck.

On the boys side, the top three finishers in order in each event were: 200 Medley Relay – Camden, First Flight, Currituck; 200 Freestyle – Benjamin Hanusik (M), Jack Spivey (FF), Camden Lenz (Curr); 200 IM – Cormac Davis (M), Kyler Roasa (Cam), Noah Savage (FF); 50 Freestyle – Logan Schiffbauer (PC), Merrick Shumaker (FF), Jake McClanan (Curr), 100 Butterfly – Merrick Shumaker (FF), Kyler Roasa (Cam), Josh Mouser (FF); 100 Freestyle – Logan Schiffbauer (PC), Dylan Hallac (FF), Jake McClanan (Curr); 400 Freestyle – Benjamin Hanusik (M), Noah Savage (FF), Dan Brown (FF); 200 Freestyle Relay – First Flight, Camden, Currituck; 100 Backstroke – Cormac Davis (M), Camden Lenz (Curr), Jonovan Manuel (PC); 100 Breaststroke – Dylan Hallac (FF), Cooper Lewin (Cam), Danny Gardill (FF); 400 Freestyle Relay – First Flight, Currituck, Pasquotank.

First Flight girls and boys teams have been conference champions for the last seven years in a row. “We knew it was going to be very close this year for the girls with Manteo,” said girls head coach Robert Trivette. “Finn (Finnegan Davis) and Meredith (Gaskill) are amazing swimmers – in the top five in their events in the entire eastern regionals, and Franny (Francesca Evans) and Madison (Flynn) are part of a great supporting cast for them, but we’re just too deep.”

“We only won two events but we placed three out of the top five, sometimes four out of five, in seven of the eight individual events. Our juniors and seniors knew the plan and executed it perfectly; and we had some freshmen and sophomores, Sadie (Wills), Reagan (Bembridge), Kat (Gregg) and Adie (Boyer) step up big and make it on the podium for the first time,” Trivette explained.

Freshman Finnegan Davis (M) was named by the coaches as the NECC 2023-24 girls Swimmer of the Year; and Junior Dylan Hallac (FF) was named the boys Swimmer of the Year.

Susan Buzzard, Currituck’s boys and girls coach was named by her peers as the NECC boys coach of the year and Trivette was named as the girls coach of the year. “Half of this award belongs to Dave (Tonnesen),” Trivette said. “Technically I’m the girls coach and he’s the guys coach, but we run this program as one unit, and he’s the brain behind the operation.”

The conference teams next split up to compete in their respective East Regional swim meets. Currituck and First Flight will compete in their 3A Regional meet in Cary, NC in the afternoon on Saturday, February 3, and Manteo and the other schools will go to the 1A/2A East Regional meet at the same pool in Cary, which will be held in the morning of February 3. The state championships will take place a few days later.