Viking Swimmers Finish Strong
Thursday at the Cape Fear Valley Conference championship meet held at Campbell University, the Union Pines swim team had several stellar performances.
Claudia Quiros, Janelle Imbriale, Courtney Pope, Nic-tee Guillen, Will Harding and A.J. Rackl combined to collect 10 individual medals, including four first-place conference championsip victories.
Quiros, a senior, won the 500-yard freestyle in dominating fashion with a time of 7:09.1 and also claimed a victory in the 200 free. In total, she earned four medals, teaming up with Imbriale, Guillen and Pope for second-place relay finishes in the 200 medley and 400 free.
"This was an amazing day for me," said Quiros. "Honestly, this year has been great. We have had strong showings in all of our meets despite how small the size of our total team has been. We were able to knock off eight seconds in our last relay (the 400 free), which is a really big thing for us. We came together today and did what we came here to do."
Quiros wanted to make sure to take time to acknowledge her appreciation for Union Pines head coach Carmen Miller.
"Coach (Miller) has been just amazing to swim for," she said. "Despite being pregnant through this whole season and being due soon, she has still given us great support and is just awesome."
Miller was happy to get the chance to recognize Quiros as the sole Vike senior prior to the meet over the natatorium's public address system.
"Claudia has been with the program for four years and has always been a strong freestyler," said Miller. "This year, she improved her time in the 500 freestyle by over 17 seconds and set a new personal best in the 200 freestyle. She has been a great leader serving as our captain and keeping the focus on the fact we are a very talented group even though we are small in numbers. So we will certainly miss her."
Imbriale, a sophomore, won the 200 individual medley while placing second in the 100 free in her first ever Cape Fear Valley Conference championship meet. Gullien had a second-place finish in the 200 free and placed third in the 100 backstroke, while Pope had a third-place finish in the 50 free.
Rackl, a junior, had a strong race to claim first place in the 100 breast.
"It always takes a lot of effort to be ready for competition," said Rackl. "I felt I had done what was needed coming into the meet and just did my best out there, because that is all you can do. Overall it feels great to be a conference champion."
Harding finished second in both the 500- and the 200-yard freestyles.
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