Winter Sports preview — Boys and girls swimming

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 8, 2022

Boys, girls swim teams hope to make a splash
Boys team has won three straight CPC championships; girls return plenty of experience

By Jay Spivey
For the Clemmons Courier

It might be December, and swimsuit season is long over, but high school swimming and diving season is in full swing across North Carolina.
The West Forsyth boys have won three straight Central Piedmont 4-A Conference championships and return a solid nucleus.
The boys also finished eighth last season at the NCHSAA Class 4-A swimming and diving championships at the Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary.
The Titans lost Logan McDonald, Leighton Jones and Alex Valliere, who were three of the four swimmers who helped the Titans to a third-place finish in the 200-yard medley relay, but the Titans aren’t bereft of talent.
Senior Jonah Green, who was the lead swimmer on that relay team, returns, as do sophomores Ethan Frondoza and Kyle Creep, and senior Aidan Oghalai.
“I’m going to be perfectly honest, you know what I lost, three years winning conference (Central Piedmont 4-A), and knowing how strong Reagan is with (Coach Ryan Michel’s) boys, coming into this season I thought we’ll be getting second place,” Coach Sandy Thomerson said. “But the freshmen that I’ve got, it’s going to be a race.”
To add to the mix of boys swimmers, five freshmen — Matthew Brown, Riley Martin, Carter Patterson, Rowen Snow and Salih Urtis — should play important roles.
Two other newcomers are sophomore Jack Oghalai and junior Owen Alley.
“Truly, it’s doesn’t look like there are many boys across the schools,” Thomerson said. “The results that I’ve seen, (Mount) Tabor has some, but all the rest of the schools, like Reynolds doesn’t have hardly any, Davie has a couple really strong, fast boys, but they don’t have the numbers.”
The NCHSAA boys and girls swimming regionals are scheduled the week of Feb. 2-4, and the state championships are scheduled Feb. 8-11.
“The handful of boys that went last year should repeat going to states again this year, I would think,” Thomerson said. “That medley relay and my 200-free relay, those boys all went 22 (seconds) or under in the 50. I’ve lost a little bit of that.
“Ethan was on the relay and Jonah was on the relay, so I’m halfway. It won’t be quite as fast. They won’t set the record, but I think they’ll still be very competitive.”
As for the girls, the Titans didn’t qualify for the state meet as a team last season, but that could change this season.
One issue is that West Forsyth only has 14 girls on the team, and Reagan, which has won the girls conference championship every season since it joined the Central Piedmont 4-A, has a full team of 16.
“It’s funny because this was the first year I’ve had the lowest number of girls tryout,” Thomerson said. “I don’t even have a full team, so that is the only part that makes me nervous because (Michel at Reagan) has a whole 16. And those two make a difference in scoring.”
Despite the numbers, the Titans should finish toward the top of the conference. Senior Audrey Frondoza, who is Ethan’s sister, and sophomore Katherine Perdue are two of the strongest swimmers for the Titans. According to Thomerson, Perdue could push Allie Warnimont’s school record for the 100 back.
In addition, seniors Bethany Davis and Natalie Lowe, and sophomores Reese Walton and Katie Kennedy provide depth. Freshman Lorena Gonzalez is also on the team.
“I really think this will be first year I’ll have some people make states because I haven’t had a girl go to states since, holy cow — three years, I think,” Thomerson said.
For the West Forsyth girls to challenge to make regionals and states, it’s going to take a collective effort.
“I think it’s going to be these four girls, like the relay, and a handful of those girls to just swim out of their minds at regionals and make states,” Thomerson said.
As for 1-meter diving, West Forsyth doesn’t have a boys diver, but it does have a girls diver — sophomore Emmy Rhodes.
“(Rhodes) made regionals,” Thomerson said. “She didn’t do as well at conference. It’s funny because another girl got third, and when they went to regionals Emmy did better, and the other girl didn’t return.”

Boys team roster

Owen Alley
Jonathan Balberal
Nate Bhambri
Matthew Brown
Kyle Creep
Ethan Frondoza
Jonah Greene
Riley Martin
Aidan Oghalai
Jack Oghalai
Carter Patterson
Rowen Snow
Cameron Tutt
Salih Urtis
Ben Valliere
Jack Williams

Girls team roster
Sydney Baldwin
Ella Carter
Sydney Davenport
Bethany Davis
Georgia Davis
Audrianne Frondoza
Lorenza Gonzalez
Katie Kennedy
Natalie Lowe
Anna McDonald
Katherine Perdue
Emily Reese
Reese Walton
Diver- Emmy Rhodes