Sam Hoover Destroys State Record as Chapel Hill Claims North Carolina Boys 3A State Championships

sam hoover
Photo Courtesy: NCHSAA Twitter (@NCHSAA)

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The 2020 North Carolina High School Boys’ State Swimming and Diving 3A State Championships took place on Saturday, February 8 at the Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary, N.C.

Chapel Hill’s Sam Hoover stole the show, setting a new overall North Carolina state record in the 100 free with a swift 43.10. In addition to winning the 200 free in 1:35.57, Hoover also anchored in 19.33 and 42.81 for two record-setting relays. He was named the meet’s Most Outstanding Swimmer.

Northern Guilford’s Preston Forst also set a new Class 3A record in the 500 free with a time of 4:29.30. It was a tight team race, but two relay victories and four individual wins secured Chapel Hill’s team title with a final score of 266 ahead of defending champion Marvin Ridge’s 254 points.

Click HERE for full results and team scores.

Top 5 Team Scores:

1. Chapel Hill – 266
2. Marvin Ridge – 254
3. Charlotte Catholic – 213
4. East Chapel Hill – 190
5.  DH Conley – 137.5

The meet began as Concord’s Andrew Lucky (24.15), Matthew Lucky (25.94), Ben Vincent (24.20), and Jackson Moon (21.61) won the opening 4×50 medley relay in 1:35.90. M. Lucky then went on to win the 100 breast in 56.49 as the first of only five swimmers in the field to break one minute.

Hoover, who has verbally committed to NC State, cruised to first in the 200 free with a time of 1:35.57 to crush the previous Class 3A record of 1:38.86 set by Forst in 2018. He was just off the overall North Carolina state record of 1:35.34, and Forst finished second in 1:37.29.

The highlight of the meet came from Hoover, who soon followed up his 200 free gold medal with another individual win in the 100 free. His quick time of 43.10 not only crushed his own Class 3A record of 44.62 set at this meet last season, but also destroyed the overall North Carolina state record of 44.18 set by Tim Connery at the 1A/2A meet the day before.

After taking second in the 200 free, Forst later found himself with the gold medal in the 500 free with a final time of 4:27.29. The future Stanford Cardinal broke the Class 3A record of 4:29.30 set by Curtis Wiltsey in 2018. Charlotte Catholic’s Alec Hubbard dove to first on the 1-meter board, posting a final score of 492.35 for the win.

After placing third in the 200 IM a year ago, South Iredell’s Joseph Moore found himself with the gold medal this year after stopping the clock in 1:51.57, just ahead of runner-up and defending champion Jack Meehan (1:51.95) of Charlotte Catholic. Meehan, who is headed to Cal this fall, later defended his title in the 100 back with a time of 51.07.

Marvin Ridge senior and UNC commit Boyd Poelke, who was the runner-up in the 50 free last year, splashed-and-dashed his way to the top of the podium in a quick 20.80 to win by just over a full second. Soon after, Poelke was back in the water to win the 100 fly in a final time of 48.14.

Chapel Hill’s Ayden Xu (21.98), Sebastian Gerz-Escandon (21.71), Michael Volpe (22.21), and Hoover (19.33) took down Marvin Ridge’s Class 3A 4×50 free relay record of 1:26.05 set in 2019 with their winning time of 1:25.23. Xu (48.23), Peter Bretzmann (47.85), Austin Chang (48.90), and Hoover (42.81) concluded the meet with a bang as they won the 4×100 free relay in 3:07.79, taking down Marvin Ridge’s previous 3A mark of 3:08.66 set last year.

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