Eastern swimming competes in NCHSAA 3A state championships

Eastern Alamance had a total of five swimmers compete in the NCHSAA 3A state swimming championships over the weekend in Cary - men's 200-yard individual medley relay team of Doc Engwall, Ethan Brouwer, Owen Sawyer, and Jackson Stokes, and women's butterfly and freestyle swimmer Sophia Lange. Lange placed fourth in the 500-yard freestyle and fifth in the 100-yard butterfly events, while the Eagles' men's relay team placed 19th overall. The quintet of Eagle standouts are photographed above alongside Eastern High swimming coach Stephen Loy (right). 

The NCHSAA 3A state championships for swimming and diving were held Saturday at Triangle Athletic Center in Cary. Eastern Alamance High sent a total of five athletes to the state championship event, representing both the Eagles’ women’s and men’s squads. 

Senior Sophia Lange, the defending NCHSAA 3A state champion in the 500-yard freestyle event, placed third in the Mid-East Regionals in the 100 yard butterfly race (58.91 seconds), and fourth in the 500 yard freestyle event (5 minutes, 20.50 seconds). 

In the state championships, Lange placed fifth in the finals of the 100-yard butterfly event, coming in with a time of 57.34 seconds. State champion Madeline Menkhaus of Charlotte Catholic won with a time of 55.78 seconds. 

Lange attempted to defend her 2019-20 NCHSAA 3A state championship in the 500-yard freestyle event, but came up just a little bit short in her quest for back-to-back titles. Lange’s time of 5 minutes, 1.27 seconds placed fourth overall in North Carolina’s 3A ranks. Nonetheless, Lange capped off a brilliant EAHS swimming career in which she brought home not only a state title, but multiple Mid-State Conference and Regional titles. 

Three ninth graders placed ahead of Lange in her final 500-yard freestyle race representing Eastern Alamance - state champion Emma Hastings of Greenville Rose (4 minutes, 53.14 seconds), second place Leyla Sleime of Charlotte Catholic (4 minutes, 58.83 seconds), and Katelyn Parmenter of St. Stephens (4 minutes, 59.55 seconds). 

In addition to Lange, the EAHS men’s 200-yard medley relay quartet of Doc Engwall, Ethan Brouwer, Owen Sawyer, and Jackson Stokes competed in the state championships after producing an eighth place finish (1 minute, 58.88 seconds) in the Regionals. 

Engwall, Brouwer, Sawyer, and Stokes placed 19th in the preliminary round of the state finals with a time of 1 minute, 58 seconds. And with all four swimmers returning in 2020-21, the EAHS men’s medley group will look to make their way to the state finals once again next year.