On Feb. 11, the Blues boys and girls varsity swim teams both took home NCISAA Division II state championship titles – the first in program history for the girls team and the first since 2001 for the boys team.
While both teams had incredible showings, Head Swim Coach Frank Kriegler said the day was hard-earned.
For the girls, the meet got off to a rocky start with a setback in the first event. "The biggest surprise and shock of the meet came in the girls medley relay," Kriegler said. "The girls swam great and they finished in front of the field, and at that point we thought that the meet was ours. Unfortunately, there was an early take off in the relay, and we were disqualified. This left us in a position where we needed to make up for the 40 points we lost for a first place relay finish."
After the disappointing start, the girls stepped up their game. According to Kriegler, almost every girl improved her place in the finals.
The girls team finished the day with 242 points, ahead of Carolina Day School with 234 and Cape Fear Academy with 207.
The boys team dominated competition, finishing with 397 points, ahead of Forsyth Country Day School's 247 points and Caldwell Academy's 229.
Individually, Blues athletes won four state championship races, were runner-up in nine, and earned third-place finishes in three events.
Abby Kriegler took the gold in the 500 Yard Freestyle with a time of 4:59.49. This marked her third state championship win in the 500 Free – she also won the event in 2016 and 2017.
Tristan Thompson, Patrick Sleater, Crow Thorsen and Connor Smith won the 400 Yard Freestyle Relay with a time of 3:19.59. Tristan Thompson earned a gold medal in the 100 Yard Freestyle with a time of 48.95, and Joseph Delaloye also earned a first-place win in the 50 Yard Freestyle with a time of 22.91.
Frank Kriegler is proud of both teams, and he thanked the captains for their leadership and commitment through to the finish.
"Tristan set two personal records," Kriegler said. "Claire had her best relay split ever in the 400 Free Relay, and Abby lapped the field in the 500 Free and set a personal record in her 100 Breaststroke, all while nursing a shoulder injury."
Join us in wishing the state champion teams congratulations. Follow Asheville School Athletics on Twitter @AvlSchoolSports for photos and updates.