When Christina Lappin returns to the state swimming championships next year as a junior, defending her two state titles won’t be her only goals.
She’ll also have a pair of state records to break.
Lappin, a sophomore at Lincoln Charter, swam her way to two individual NCHSAA state 1A/2A swimming championships, and broke the event’s state records for the 1A/2A classification in the process as the Eagles won three championships in all Thursday at the Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary.
Lappin defended her 2013 state title in the 50-yard freestyle event, and this year set the new 1A/2A state mark with a finish of 23.46 seconds –– three-tenths faster than her time last year.
She also set a new state mark in winning the 200-yard freestyle in 1:49.31.
According to the NCHSAA website, the old 1A/2A 50-free mark was set by Teresa Long of Raleigh Charter –– this year’s girls team state champion –– with a time of 23.60. The old 200-free mark was set by Julie Smith of Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons, also in 2007.
The NCHSAA also keeps track of overall state records, regardless of classification. According to its website, the overall record for the 50-free is 22.92 seconds, set last year by Nora McCullagh of Charlotte Catholic. The 200-free overall record of 1:47.97 was set by West Johnston’s Sarah Henry in 2010.
The Eagles, who finished second behind Raleigh Charter in the team race, also won the 200-medley relay championship. The four-member team of sophomore Mara Bhalla, sophomore Kyndall Morrow, junior Sophia Bhalla and Lappin edged out the relay team from Southern Piedmont 1A Conference foe Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy 1:52.25 to 1:52.87.
Lappin now has five state championship medals in her short high school career. She also won the 100-butterfly title as a freshman, but did not compete in that event at the state finals this year.
According to records kept by the NCHSAA and posted on its website, if she were to win the 50-free next year as a junior, she’d be the first to win back-to-back-to-back 50-free state titles since Margaret Bardin of Burlington Williams won four straight from 2003-06. She’d also be the first to reach three 50-free career titles since 2012 Olympic gold medalist Lauren Perdue of Greenville Rose won the event three times in 2006, 2007 and 2009.
Lincoln Charter’s boys finished fifth in the team race, and while it didn’t have any state champions, it did have three top-three finishers.
Taylor Powell finished third in the 200-individual medley (1:59.12), Mitchell Harwood finished third in the 50-free (21.90) and Andrew Lappin finished second in the 1-meter dive (274 points).
Lincoln Charter’s other two girls relay teams –– 200-free relay (Taylor Harkey, S. Bhalla, M. Bhalla, Lappin) and the 400-free relay (Shelby Smith, Harkey, M. Bhalla, S. Bhalla) –– both finished second.
East Lincoln had one top-three finisher in Chloe Reed. Reed finished third in the 100-free in 54.00.
KNIGHTS COMPETE IN 3A CHAMPIONSHIPS TODAY: North Lincoln will have seven swimmers compete in today’s 3A state championships.
The Knights competed in the 3A Midwest Regionals on Monday and had two individuals win regional titles in the 50-free –– Bennett McDonald and McKenzie Weed. McDonald and Weed also finished second in the 100-free.
The boys 100-free relay team, made up of Cody Marik, James Biondi, Shane Miller and McDonald, placed second in the regional. They also placed fourth in the 200-medley relay, and Kyle Engborg, Bobby Regan, Marik and Miller placed fourth in the 200-free relay.
The boys team finished second as a whole in the regional –– its best finish in school history.