Carolina Forest swimmers clean up on regional titles

The Carolina Forest boys and girls swim teams swept their way to regional championships on Saturday and head into next week’s State Championships looking to close out strong seasons.

“Coach Miller and I could not be more proud of the dedication and hard work that the entire team put forward this year,” Carolina Forest swim coach Michelle Barnhill said. “There were several times that we placed individuals into events that were outside of their comfort zone, and without fail everyone stepped up and even exceeded expectations. The wins today were truly a complete team effort and the championship is a reflection of commitment and perseverance.”

The Lady Panthers topped off their undefeated (58-0) season by winning the Region 6-5A title. They started the meet by winning the 200 Medley Relay with team members Jensen Helgerson, Taylor Steele, Payton McWhorter and Anna Satterfield. Taylor Steele won the 200 Individual Medley with Jensen Helgerson placing third. Peyton Mcwhorter placed first in the 100 Butterfly and Raven Bunton placed third in the 200 Free. Morgan Young, Olivia Bailey, Alexandra Damonte and Kylie McWhorter placed second, third, fourth and fifth respectively in the 500 Freestyle.

Anna Fortenberry, Jensen Helgerson, Peyton Mcwhorter and Taylor Steele took gold in the 200 Freestyle Relay,qualifying for the State Meet next weekend. Peyton McWhorter won the 100 Backstroke with Raven Bunton placing fourth. Taylor Steele won the 100 Breaststroke with a time of 1:04.26 which is the fastest time in the entire state by nearly 4 seconds and is closing in on the all-time state record. Jensen Helgerson also came in second place in the event. Anna Fortenbeery, Raven Bunton, Morgan Young and Anna Satterfield finished the meet by placing second in the 400 Freestyle Relay.

The Carolina Forest boys relay team of Ethan Nechemia, Harrison Clinton, Rafael Adi and David Zevgolis began the meet with a win in the 200 Medley Relay. David Zevgolis, Josh Duque and Deshawn Kuhl swept the 200 Freestyle by winning first, second and third place respectively. Rafael Adi placed second and Saman Vitharana placed third in the 200 Individual Medley. Hunter Bulin took home the silver while Christoph Tatgenhorst won the bronze in the 50 Freestyle.

Harrison Clinton broke the school record by winning the 100 Butterfly and Rafael Adi placed third in the same event. David Zevgolis and Christoph Tatgenhorst placed second and third in the 100 Freestyle. Ethan Nechemia won the grueling 500 Freestyle with Josh Duque placing third and Christian Shelton 5th. David Zevgolis, Hunter Bulin, Christoph Tatgenhorst and Harrison Clinton rewrote the record book by winning the 200 Freestyle Relay. Ethan Nechemia won the 100 yd. Backstroke while Hunter Bulin finished in second. Harrison Clinton smashed his own school record in the 100 Breaststroke by winning the gold. Anson Vossberg took home the bronze in the 100 Breaststroke. The boys concluded the meet by winning the 400 Freestyle Relay with team members Hunter Bulin, Ethan Nechemia, Christoph Tatgenhorst and Rafael Adi.

Carolina Forest’s seniors were also recognized during the meet for their leadership, including Anna Fortenberry, Jensen Helgerson, Laura Estepa Garzon, Noah Carralero, Deshawn Kuhl and Hunter Bulin. Several of the Carolina Forest swimmers will be representing our region in the State Championship meet held on Friday at the University of South Carolina Sol Blatt Natatorium.

Girls Team Scores
School Place Points
Carolina Forest 1 113
West Florence 2 77
Sumter 3 50
Conway 4 34
Socastee 6 2

Boys Team Scores
Carolina Forest 1 137
West Florence 2 58
Sumter 3 39
Conway 4 32
Socastee 5 6
South Florence 6 2

Photo courtesy of CFHS Athletics

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