• 55°

Girls swimming: Hornets repeat as county champs

Callie Alexander

Wayne Hinshaw/for the Salisbury Post ... Salisbury’s Callie Alexander won the 100-yard breaststroke on Thursday at the Rowan County Swim Championships.

Wayne Hinshaw/for the Salisbury Post …
Salisbury’s Callie Alexander won the 100-yard breaststroke on Thursday at the Rowan County Swim Championships.

By Mike London

SALISBURY — The crowd was swollen at the Hurley YMCA  for the Rowan County Swim Championships, and Callie Alexander was nervous before taking on two strong South Rowan swimmers in the 100 breaststroke event.

“I was telling Callie to calm down, but she was worried about all those people watching her,” said Salisbury junior Kathryn Morrison. “But it turned out that she didn’t have anything to worry about.”

Alexander won the event by three seconds, and she helped the Hornets put up 321 points to out-distance East Rowan (279), South Rowan (224), Carson (205), West Rowan (136) and North Rowan (11). Salisbury won the title for the second straight season.

“I was proud of all my teammates today, but I was especially proud of Callie,” Morrison said. “I had confidence in us, like I always do, but it’s hard for a team our size to win a county championship. I didn’t know it if  it was a realistic goal or not.”

Salisbury coach Sallie Pittman, fresh off Tuesday’s win in the Central Carolina Conference Championships, had crunched the numbers. She believed it would be close. Salisbury has several of the county’s elite swimmers, including two-time county swimmer of the year Morrison, but other teams have more depth and points were being awarded for 12 places.

“I knew we had the skill,” Pittman said. “I didn’t know if we’d have the numbers.”

It helped the Hornets that the first-place points that they didn’t get, got spread out. Carson had a couple of individual victories and took a relay, while South and East notched one win apiece.

Besides winning the 100 backstroke and 100 butterfly, Morrison teamed with Alexander, Mary Kaufmann and Sharmi Amin for winning swims in the 200 medley and 200  freestyle relays. Morrison was 4-for-4 and was named the meet’s outstanding female swimmer.

“We switched the relays up today, and that meant the 100 backstroke came right  after I competed in the 200 free relay,” Morrison said. “So I was proudest of the time I swam in 100 back. I was kind of tired.”

Morrison swam the distance in 59.50, winning the event by almost 17 seconds. She’s special. She was second in the 100 butterfly as well as the 100 backstroke in last winter’s 1A/2A State Championships as a sophomore.

Armin won the 100 freestyle and was second in the 50 free. Besides winning the 100 breaststroke, Alexander added a third place in the 200 IM. Kaufmann pleasantly surprised Pittman with a third in the 100 backstroke, and the cross country runner had the stamina to place second in the 500 free.

“It was no sure thing, but we expected it to be a dogfight between Salisbury and us,” East Rowan coach Jon Heidrick said. “We actually exceeded our expected performances in most of the events, but it wasn’t enough.”

East got a win in the 200 freestyle from McKenzie Collins. Brenna Culp had seconds in the 200 IM and 100 backstroke, and the Mustangs were good in the relays, with seconds in the 200 free and 400 free.

Holliday Harvey  had  a win for South Rowan, edging Amin in the 50 free. Harvey also finished second to Alexander in the 100 breaststroke.

Madilyn Jones also turned in a stout day for the Raiders, with a second in the 100 free and a third in the 100 breaststroke.

South placed second behind the Hornets in the 200 medley relay that kicked off the competition.

Carson got wins from Taylor Sever in the 200 IM, Olivia Shorter in the 500 free, and the 400 free relay team of Sever, Emma Ellams, Payton Leroy and Alyssa Douglas. Douglas added a second in the 200 freestyle. Shorter was second in the 100 butterfly.

But it was Salisbury’s day.

“We kept it legal — only one DQ,” Pittman said. “Just a great team effort. As small as our numbers are, we preached that everyone had to do well, and all of them did.”







A.L. Brown celebrates seniors with signing day


Rebounding, but not recovered: Rowan County tourism begins challenging path toward normalcy

High School

High school baseball: Padgett leads Mustangs; 100th win for West coach Graham


RSS superintendent, Board of Health discuss strategies for increasing student vaccination rates


Gas stations report shortages as pipeline shutdown drags on


Lawyers: Black man didn’t drive into deputies who shot him


Liz Cheney says Trump and GOP backers threaten democracy


Rowan Health Department clarifies county’s COVID-19 death total is 301


Landis approves new land development ordinance, zoning map


Landis approves body camera, stun gun purchase for public safety officers


One charged, another dead on sheriff’s most wanted list


No injuries after car shot eight times on Old Concord Road


RSS talks first steps for new federal relief totaling $66 million

China Grove

Gary’s Barbecue staff, customers look back at 50 years


Salisbury Lions Club names Person of the Year, Lion of the Year at 78th annual banquet


Student COVID-19 numbers show first decline since plan A

High School

High school golf: Fowler competes in state tournament


Amazon announces new distribution center for North Carolina


House passes bill to bar Cooper from mandating COVID shot


Rowan County sees death 302 from COVID-19; Health Department to host final mass vaccine clinic

Ask Us

Ask Us: What happened to work on South Fulton Street home?


Blotter: Woman says she was shot in hand on Lincolnton Road


Rowan Sheriff’s Office charges Salisbury man with operating illegal gambling business


Blotter: Rockwell man arrested on felony drug, breaking and entering charges