High school swimming: Salisbury’s Emily Knorr wins state title

Published 11:54 pm Saturday, February 9, 2019

Staff report

CARY — Salisbury took five girls to the 1A/2A State Championships on Saturday and placed seventh in the state at Triangle Aquatic Center.

“For such a small number, they made some noise,” Salisbury coach Sallie Pittman said. “‘I’m thrilled with what they did. There were a lot of personal-best efforts today, individually and on the relay legs. Just really proud of them.”

Salisbury got a lot of points and a lot of performance from sophomore twins Emily and Katie Knorr, sophomore Phoebe Hollingsworth, freshman exchange student Calista Erhart and junior Anna Grace Woolly.

Emily Knorr was the individual standout. She grabbed her first state title in the 500 freestyle in 4:52.73.

Earlier, she had placed third in the 200 free, just getting out-touched by two taller swimmers. Knorr swam 1:50.86 in the 200. Croatan’s Lyndsey Reeve won in 1:50.52.

“It was bang-bang-bang, those three girls were so close, and unfortunately for Emily, they were both 3 or 4 inches taller,” Pittman said. “But I think not winning that race made her want to win the 500 even more. She came back, She came out for that race with a vengeance and didn’t leave any doubt. It didn’t come down to a touch.”

She won the 500 by 4 seconds.

“For a sophomore to win a championship at this level, that’s just a great accomplishment,” Pittman said.

As a freshman, Emily Knorr was second in the 500 free in state event in 4:59.18, so she’s still making significant progress. She took fifth in the 200 free as a freshman.

Her sister also has made major strides. Katie Knorr was eighth in the 200 IM and the 100 backstroke in 2018. This time she was third in the 200 IM and fourth in the 100 backstroke.

Erhart contributed a seventh place in the 50 freestyle and a 12th in the 100 butterfly.

Salisbury’s also scored well in a pair of relays with the Knorrs and Erhart joined by Hollingsworth for a seventh-place finish in the 400 free relay. The Knorrs, Erhart and Woolly placed fifth in the 200 medley relay.

“Katie Knorr didn’t have a lot of down time to recuperate between giving every last thing she had in the 100 backstroke to swimming in that 400 relay,” Pittman said. “But she gave us everything she had again.”

Carrboro won the girls championship.


Salisbury’s boys were led by Roarke Burton. He was strong in the sprints, taking fifth in the 50 freestyle and third in the 100 free.

“I know he was in the 50s earlier in the season and today he swam 47.75 in the 100,” Pittman said. “That gives you an idea of how much work he’s put in.”

Roshen Amin earned points with an 11th-place finish in the 100 butterfly.

In the relays, the Hornets placed ninth in the 400 free relay. That was Amin, David Holden, Gabriel McLendon and Burton.

Max Crawford, McLendon, Amin and Burton were 14th in the 200 medley relay.


The individual standout for South Rowan’s boys was senior Blaise Bumgarner, who continued to break school records on his final day of competition.

Bumgarner was 16th in the 50 free and 13th in the 100 backstroke.

Cameron Hurd was 20th in the 100 breaststroke.

South’s relay units that carried the Raiders to the county championship were busy again. Bumgarner, Hurd, Christian Reynolds and Noah Severt were 17th in the 200 medley relay — they were nipped by the Hornets for 16th in the prelim — and 14th in the 200 free relay.

N.C. School of Science & Math won the boys championship.