Thu. January 24, 2013 at 12:52 a.m. | By Kris Lancaster | Sports@StarNewsOnline.com
Ashley's Jordan Parker competes in 100 butterfly during the Mideastern 4A Conference championships at the UNCW aquatic center Wednesday. (Photo by Photo by Mike Spencer)
The number 13 wasn't unlucky for the Hoggard girls swimming team as the Vikings captured their 13th consecutive Mideastern Conference championship on Wednesday night at the Seahawk Natatorium at UNCW.
Hoggard crushed the competition, coming in first as a team with a score of 188. Greenville Rose came in second with 100, while New Hanover placed third with 87. Ashley finished with 56, New Bern with 55 and Laney with 32.
"They believe in themselves," said Hoggard coach Tammy Pruden. "They don't let up. Every time they get in the water, they know that nothing is given to them."
The Vikings won six of the 11 events on the girls' side, taking first in two team events, the 200 medley relay and the 200 freestyle relay. Caroline Estep won the 50 and 100 freestyles, while Stefanie Smith took the 100 backstroke. Justine Bledsoe also won the 100 breaststroke for Hoggard.
Pruden credits the success of the team to the work ethic of her kids.
"I believe we really create an environment where student athletes want to come and excel," she said. "They have to make this team, so they have to do what it takes in the offseason to make this team. It's their commitment that is able to keep this team and their legacy alive."
Rose came in first in the 400 freestyle relay, while Helen Duffy of New Hanover won the other two events, the 200 and 500 freestyle.
On the boys' side, Rose came in first with a score of 189½, while Hoggard finished in second with 131. Laney was third with 89, while New Hanover, Ashley and New Bern finished with scores of 51, 35 and 22½.
Laney and Rose took many of the individual events, with Travis Johns of Laney coming in first in the 200 individual medley and the 100 backstroke. Christian Caveness also won two events for Laney – the 200 freestyle and the 100 butterfly.
For Rose, Eyon Eagle, Philip Perdue and Cameron Pau came in first in their events, while the Rampants also won two team events: the 200 and 400 freestyle relays. Hoggard won the 200 medley relay.