From pool to podium

The Green Hope girls diving into a relay during the NCHSAA 4A State Championship Meet, with Green Hope athletes in lane five.
The Green Hope girls diving into a relay during the NCHSAA 4A State Championship Meet, with Green Hope athletes in lane five.
Annabella Monge
The girls winning the NCHSAA 4A Central Regional Championship, with all races swam in the same day! Photo used with permission from Brian Farrell (24).
Splashing into Regionals

The continuation of a successful season brings the Green Hope swim team to a championship ending, traveling to Greensboro for the NCHSAA 4A Central Regional Championships. On Feb. 2, 20 teams from central North Carolina participated in a vigorous day of competing and placing, racking up points for the ultimate region champion.

Coming into a new setting presented a different environment, the competition taking place at Greensboro Aquatic Center (GAC). “Being in Greensboro and seeing a different pool put me into a more competitive mindset, I was mentally getting ready to race new competitors,” Dhaval Pant (‘26) says.

The meet started with a second-place finish from the girl’s 200-yard medley relay consisting of Kyley Lloyd (‘26), Mia Jeltema (‘25), Angelina Lu (‘26) and Andie Quisumbing (‘24). Top five relay finishes from both the women’s 200-yard freestyle relay consisting of Sloane Whelehan (‘27), Mere Whelehan (‘25), Angelina Lu (‘26) and Andie Quisumbing (24), and the men’s 200-yard freestyle relay consisting of Brian Farrell (‘24), Landon Lloyd (‘24), Lucas Kehn (‘24) and Levin Wu (‘24) added to the days’ successes.

Individual regional champions with top-three finishes consisted of athletes Mere Whelehan with first-place finishes in the women’s 100 and 200-yard freestyle, Sloane Whelehan with a first-place finish in the women’s 50-yard freestyle and a third-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle, Farrell with a second-place finish in the men’s 200-yard freestyle, Landon Lloyd with a second-place finish in the men’s 100-yard butterfly, Nola Meekins (‘27) with a third-place finish in the women’s 500-yard freestyle, Janice Qiu (‘26) with a second-place finish in the women’s 100-yard breaststroke and Jeltema with a third-place finish in the women’s 100-yard breaststroke.

With top-five finishes from both women’s and men’s 400-yard relays, the team ended the day with measured triumphs: the women’s team becoming the 2024 regional champions and the men’s team being top six.

More than just placing, the team focused on their interpersonal relationships within the group. “Previous years [racing] was very individually oriented because we were solely focused on performance and it was more outcome-based, but once you took that out and just focused on doing your best as an athlete, it helped us grow closer as a team,” Farrell explains.

“I honestly really enjoyed this season because I met all of my personal goals and it was nice to see how tight-knit the team was while uplifting one another during races,” Pant adds, while many athletes worked hard to reach their goal times these past meets, but still enjoyed the “team” aspect of a sport that is individualized.

As co-captain, Farrell explains his goals for the season that went beyond results, “Taking and bonding with some of the younger guys to the meet reminded me of when I was an underclassman, so being able to focus on building a nice team environment the way I wanted to as opposed to previous years was nice.”

As the day concluded with fast swims and lasting memories, state qualifiers were getting ready for more racing ahead on Feb. 9.

The girls winning the NCHSAA 4A Central Regional Championship, with all races swam in the same day! Photo used with permission from Brian Farrell (’24).
Ending with States

The Green Hope swim team qualified for states after a successful regionals meet, the girls becoming runner-up state champions earning second place and the guys earning fourth in the state. The NCHSAA 4A State Championship was held at the Triangle Aquatic Center (TAC) on Feb. 9 and Feb. 10, being the last official meet of the season.

Athletes were at TAC from 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. for warmups, racing and to support one another by cheering on the team. All swimmers were in tech suits, suits that help swimmers reduce drag to achieve faster performances, and Falcon swim caps. Families from all over the state traveled to Triangle Aquatic Center and filled the stands to support swimmers and see the competition.

Throughout the meet, many Green Hope athletes were spotlighted as top-five state champions, including Mere Whelehan (‘25), Andie Quisumbing (‘24), Mia Jeltema (‘25), Sloane Whelehan (‘27), Kyley Lloyd (‘26) and Landon Lloyd (‘24). Mere Whelehan earned first place in the 200-yard freestyle, 100-yard freestyle, 200-yard freestyle relay and 400-yard freestyle relay. Quisumbing placed first in the 200-yard freestyle relay and the 400-yard freestyle relay as well as finishing fifth in the 100-yard butterfly. Kyley Lloyd placed first in the 200-yard freestyle relay. Jeltema earned first place in the 400-yard freestyle relay. Sloane Whelehan placed first in the 50-yard freestyle, 200-yard freestyle relay and 400-yard freestyle as well as third place in the 200-yard freestyle. Landon Lloyd finished fourth in the 100-yard butterfly. These athletes were represented on first, second and third-place podiums with photography, a medal or trophy, and a t-shirt.

Coach Matt Mosher and Assistant Coach Claire White were at the competition preparing athletes to be ready to swim to the best of their abilities. They cheered on every swimmer, and Principal Alison Cleveland was also there to cheer the swimmers on. 

“We had amazing coaches who worked very hard on strategies to score the most points,” Kyley Lloyd says. 

Swimmers had a great time supporting one another and getting all the encouragement they could before their races. Kyley Lloyd says, “We did very well at states not only in the swimming aspect but also on the sportsmanship side. I think we did so well because we worked together to meet goals and cheered each other on through all of it. I enjoyed watching my teammates improve and reach their goals. I have also really enjoyed cheering people on to help them meet those goals.”

Most swimmers found themselves enjoying the relays the most at the state meet. “My favorite part of states was probably swimming the relays. I remember how we all encouraged one another and kept on telling each other to do safe starts. When somebody was swimming we were either cheering for them or hyping up the next person after them. When the relays were finished we all stayed together and told each other great job. So relays were really fun, and I’m glad I was able to be a part of them,” Quisumbing says. 

Kyley Lloyd explains this further, “My favorite part of the states were the relays because I love being a part of a team who is so supportive and putting all of our talents together to accomplish something amazing.”

As the season ended with a success, many swimmers, seniors or not, were sad that it was over. “I really enjoyed the team lunches as well as the meets. The lunches were one of the only times that almost all of the swim and dive team could come together and hang out and talk while we ate. But the meets were also very fun, cheering on our teammates on the pool deck and encouraging everyone so yeah lots of fun,” Quisumbing says. The swim lunches are a favorite amongst the swimmers and divers providing Lugano’s pasta, Chick-fil-A and PDQ during the lunch period at school. With the food coming from fan-favorite restaurants, it was an enjoyable way for the swimmers to connect throughout the week apart from meets.

With the 2023-2024 session officially wrapping up, another winter of accomplishing personal goals and team bonding closes out the Green Hope swim team’s season. 



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