ECA holds annual recognition banquet (By Crystal Baity)

ECA honors swimmers at annual recognition banquet

East Carolina Aquatics honored swimmers – among them high school seniors who will graduate in June – at its annual recognition banquet held April 15 at Rock Springs Center.

ECA Head Coach Casey Charles served as master of ceremonies assisted by Associate Head Coach and General Manager Scott Pake and Carteret County Head Coach Chris Worsinger.

The following high school seniors received a customized kickboard listing their swimming accomplishments: Morgan Despres, D.H. Conley, will attend and swim for East Carolina University; Grace Fountain, Parrott Academy, will attend and swim for Roanoke College; Trey Lancaster, Tarboro High, will attend Edgecombe Community College and continue to swim with ECA before transferring to a four-year university; Andrew Landry, D.H. Conley, will attend ECU; Anna Loynes, West Carteret High, will attend Wake Forest University; J.D. McCray, Croatan High, will attend and swim for Lees-McCrae College; Christian Quinn, a 2017 home school graduate, has received an appointment to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Class of 2022; James Reindl, Croatan High, will attend and swim for Wingate University; and Svea Torres, D.H. Conley, will attend and swim for the University of Arkansas.

Emma Hastings and Will Barker received Age Group Performance of the Year awards (age 14 and under) for individual swims in the 500-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke respectively.

Jack Nowacek and Lyndsey Reeve received Senior Performance of the Year awards (15 and up) for the 100-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly respectively.

Morgan Despres and Garrett Despres were named Teammates of the Year.

Garrett Despres received the Perdue Scholarship Award, which is given annually to a Greenville-based swimmer based on work ethic, maturity, citizenship and respect. The award, valued at $1,400, is made possible by Tammy and Phil Perdue in honor of their children, Meredith, Lauren and Philip.

The following swimmers were recognized as USA Winter Junior National qualifiers: Will Barker, Lyndsey Reeve, Svea Torres and relay qualifiers Morgan Despres, Tink Niebel, Bethany Tart, Emma Hastings, Madeline Smith and Abigail Burns. It’s the first time in ECA club history that two women’s relay teams qualified.

National Club Swimming Association junior national qualifiers were: Trevor Torres, James Reindl, Will Barker, Svea Torres, Morgan Despres, Lyndsey Reeve, Bethany Tart, Madeline Smith and relay qualifiers Emma Hastings, Abigail Burns, Tink Niebel and Ava Lajoie.

Pake presented several individual awards to swimmers who train in Washington. Ty Cole received the most outstanding age group award and Hodges Tubaugh received the most outstanding senior award. Riley Wallace, Austin Waters, John Charles Tubaugh and Tristan Pake were honored as most improved. Anna Yoder, Delta Cole, Ryleigh Hombirg and Emma Silva received coaches’ awards.

For Carteret, Worsinger presented most outstanding swimmer awards in the Currents group to Madison Bowen and Case Anderson. Most outstanding in the senior group were Will Barker and Lyndsey Reeve. Most improved in the Currents group were Bryn Fleming and Sam Johnson. Matthew McCray and Sarah Prosser were awarded most improved in the senior group. Coaches awards went to Emmalyn Buskirk, Madison Jones, Lauren Overall, Kenley Riley, Claire Chesnutt and John David McCray.

In Greenville, the Black group coaches’ awards were presented to Ariana Lee, Loralei Miller and Allie Christian. Elizabeth Reed received the most improved swimmer award in the Black group.

In the Currents group, Brooke Despres and Luke McCarthy were honored as most outstanding swimmers. Most improved swimmer went to Kristen Ivey. Coaches awards for the Currents group were presented to Helen Dennison and Grace McCarthy.

In the Senior group, Kylie Gross, Seth Tillery, Grace Fountain, Riley Brown and Andrew Landry received coaches’ awards. Madeline Smith, Emma Hastings, Morgan Despres, Bethany Tart, Svea Torres and Trevor Torres received awards for most outstanding. Nathan Wingard and Madeline Smith were honored as most improved. Max Gibbs received the best attitude award.

Outgoing ECA President Bob Landry presented the Phyllis Hodges Volunteer of the Year Award to Anna Barrett Smith of Greenville. She will be the club’s nominee for the NC Swim Volunteer of the Year Award this fall.

ECA has practice sites at Camp Lejeune, Cape Carteret, Greenville, Morehead City, Roanoke Rapids and Washington. ECA also is taking registrations for its summer swim team, the Minges Makos. For more information, visit www.swimeca.org.

Photo attached: East Carolina Aquatics swimmers who will be graduating in June from five high schools in eastern North Carolina were lauded April 15 during the team's annual recognition banquet. Kneeling, left to right, Christian Quinn, James Reindl, Andrew Landry, Trey Lancaster and J.D. McCray. Standing, left to right, Head Coach Casey Charles, Anna Loynes, Morgan Despres, Svea Torres, Grace Fountain, Coach Chris Worsinger and Coach Scott Pake.