Two of the area’s top high school boys swimming programs made a valiant run at state titles on Monday but, in the end, Wando and Bishop England came up a few points short.
The S.C. High School League boys state championship meets were held at the North Charleston Aquatic Center, hosting state championship meets in Classes AAAAA, AAAA and AAA.
Bishop England put up quite a fight in the Class AAA meet, but the depth of St. Joseph’s Catholic was too much to overcome. St. Joseph’s won its fourth consecutive state championship with 410 points. Bishop England finished with 373.5 points, followed by Academic Magnet (327) in third and Oceanside Collegiate (262) in fourth.
“St. Joe’s has been the team to beat for several years, but our kids came out and swam unbelievably,” Bishop England coach Rose VanMetre said. “Everyone lowered their times and competed really hard. I’m really proud of them. This was a great day. Even with the craziness of this season, this was a great season and a great way to finish.”
Bishop England got a strong performance from Ethan Griffith, who placed second in the 100 breaststroke and third in the 200 individual medley. Justin Haffner finished second in the 500-yard freestyle and Matthew Picard was fourth in the 200 individual medley. The Bishops finished second in the 400 free relay and fifth in the 200 free relay.
Academic Magnet’s Kyle Hertwig earned a gold medal in the 50-yard freestyle and also finished second in the 100-yard free. Teammate Charles Olsen finished third in the 100-yard butterfly and Andrew Nichols was fifth in the 500-yard freestyle.
Oceanside Collegiate’s effort was led by Andres Aristimuno (fifth in the 50 free) and Gabe Grimm (fifth in the 100 breaststroke).
Wando, a perennial contender in AAAAA, finished behind champion J.L. Mann, the defending state champion. Mann posted 376 total points to Wando’s 330.
Wando did not have an individual state champion in the meet, but Matthew Gush took third in the 500 freestyle and Charles Green was fourth in the 100 backstroke. Michael Frame finished fifth in the 200 freestyle. Wando placed third in all three relay events.
Summerville’s Tobey Lima finished third in the 50 freestyle and sixth in the 100.
In the Class AAAA meet, Lucy Beckham finished third in the team standings, matching the effort of the girls team on Saturday. James Island finished fifth overall. Eastside High of Greenville won the team title for the sixth consecutive season.
James Island’s Wells Cloud was third in the 100 backstroke and fourth in the 200 freestyle. Luke Nixon was fourth in the 100 butterfly and fifth in the 200 freestyle, while Drew Thomas was fourth in the 50 free.
Stephen Russell posted the best finish of the day for Lucy Beckham, finishing fifth in the 100 freestyle.