Bishop England boys win first state swimming title
It was worth the wait.
The South Carolina High School League’s State Swimming Championships were pushed back a week because of Hurricane Matthew. But once the organization gave the green light for the meet to proceed, the Bishop England boys team grabbed the gold, while the BE girls claimed silver.
“Our pool was closed on Tuesday of the week the state meet was originally scheduled,” said Rose Van Metre, who coaches both the boys’ and girls’ teams. “We didn’t get to practice Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. I thought we would get back in Monday, but we didn’t. We were out of the water for six days. It was a little disconcerting.”
But the Bishops were able to get back in their practice pool at Pierce Park on Tuesday thanks to the quick action and hard work of the Daniel Island Property Owners Association. Four days later, the Bishops made history. The Bishop boys finished first in Saturday’s Class AAA state meet, which was contested at the University of South Carolina’s natatorium in Columbia.
The Bishops tallied 401 points to outdistance Academic Magnet, which scored 374 points. It was the Bishop boys’ first state title since the High School League sanctioned the sport in time for the 1998-99 academic year. The Bishops’ previous best finish was second place in 2012 and again in ’13.
The Magnet girls captured the championship with 486 points. The BE girls were second with 401 points. It was the BE girls’ best finish ever.
The Bishop boys showed potential early in the season, competing - and winning - in a big meet in Myrtle Beach. The team developed an esprit de corps and proved it had talent. Still, beating archrival Magnet seemed distant. But the Bishops proved to be on top of their game at the season finale.
“Someone had an app that tracked the progress of the meet and showed me that we were winning,” Van Metre said. “I told them to not to show it to me anymore. But when they announced the team standings and Academic Magnet was second, I knew we accomplished our mission. It was a great feeling.”
The Bishops sent 15 girls and 11 boys to the meet and that depth paid dividends. The Bishops achieved their lofty finishes despite not winning a single race.
Bishop England junior Carter Rose placed second in the 100-yard breaststroke and fourth in the 200-yard individual medley to lead the BE boys, while senior Cole Mummert had a big day with a silver medal in the 100-yard butterfly. Addie Laurencelle took fourth in the 100-yard freestyle and fifth in the 50-yard freestyle, and Joseph Bolchoz added a fourth-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle.
Josh Adams finished sixth in the 100 butterfly. Noland Griffith took home a bronze medal in the 100-yard backstroke.
Freshman Bella Kissell led the BE girls with a fourth-place finish in the 500-yard freestyle and fifth in the 200-yard individual medley. Adesuwa Emovon was 5th in 100-yard butterfly.
The teams also did well in the relays. The boys 200-yard (Josh Adams, Carter Rose, Joseph Bolchoz and Addie Laurencelle) and 400-yard (Cole Mummert, Joseph Bolchoz, Carter Rose and Addie Laurencelle) freestyle relays took second place and the boys’ medley relay (Noland Griffith, Johnny Busche, Cole Mummert and Josh Adams) came in third.
The BE girls 200 Free Relay of Adesuwa Emovon, Megan Dukes, Alex Wojtech and Emma Pizzo came in second.
Riverside won both the boys’ and girls’ state titles in the Class AAAA meet.