Friday, January 23, 2009

Lake Norman chases swim championship

The Lake Norman swimming team is used to winning almost everything it competes. This year, has been no different as both the girls’ and boys’ squads are a perfect 12-0 going into the North Piedmont Conference (NPC) tournament Tuesday.

The Wildcat boys’, state runner-up a year ago, will be swimming for their 2nd NPC crown this week and their fourth in the last seven years with their major competition coming from Northwest Cabarrus.

The boys are led by freshman Logan Heck, whose times in both the 200 Individual Medley (IM) and 100 fly are already on par with former all-state Wildcat Austin Johnson (who graduated last year).

“Logan (Heck) could end up being the best swimmer ever (at Lake Norman),” Lake Norman coach Karen Steger said. “His times are pretty much as good as Austin’s were his senior year (2007-08). It’s almost scary.”

The Wildcat boys’ team will also need strong performances from sophomores Tyler Hill and Michael Glenn as well as freshman Reed Wheeler if they want to win states.

“My boys want to win states and I think there only goal right now,” Steger said. “Anything less I think would be a disappointment to them.”

Meanwhile, Steger’s girls’ squad is nearly equally as talented.

The Wildcats girls’, who finished sixth in the state last season, have won six NPC crowns in a row. Like the boys, the girls’ have two standout freshman in Sierra Johnson, Austin’s sister, and Heather Isetts. Lake Norman will depend on sophomore Haley Powell to lead the way.

“Both have a shot to win state (championship,” Steger said, whose boys are 125-17 and girls’ 135-7 in seven years as a program. “I can’t believe it, because we have so much talent, and we’re so young.”

-- Observer News Services