Home Local Sports Raiders place third in second straight swim meet

Raiders place third in second straight swim meet

ROSports File Photo: Matteo Rubbiano won his first high school heat during Wednesday's meet. (Kyle Pillar, sports editor)

RAEFORD — The Richmond Raider swim team notched its second consecutive third-place finish to start the season on Wednesday.

Using several personal-record times and season-high individual point totals, the Raiders secured 141 points during the Sandhills Athletic Conference meet at the James A. Leach Aquatic Center.

Adding six more points to their total from their first meet last week, the Raiders saw two swimmers set new season-highs in total points and two more tie their best effort this season.

Senior Matteo Rubbiano recorded a season-best 29 individual points, as sophomore Cole Thrower also had his best performance with 10 points.

Tying their respective season-highs were seniors Zaviar Lowry (22 points) and Matthew Leggett (9 points). Also chipping in a big chunk of scoring was senior Brent Humann (21 points).

“There was a lot of improvement across the board by all of the guys this week,” head coach Andy Shuler said. “There are a lot of competitors on this team who are giving it their all in the pool and we’ve seen a lot of time come off the clock because of that.

“We know how tough it will be to contend with Pinecrest or Union Pines because of the size of our team,” he added. “So our goal has been to finish the best we can and be at the top of the standings against the other schools we face.”

With 276 points, the Patriots of Pinecrest took their second straight meet, while Union Pines was second overall with 211 points. 

Other Sandhills Athletic Conference teams in action were fourth-place Scotland (83 points), Southern Lee (78 points) and Hoke County (10 points).

Richmond collected 50 points across a pair of top-three finishes in a pair of relay races. Setting a season-best time in the 200-yard medley relay race, Richmond finished third overall with a time of 2:17.09.

Helping add 24 points to the board were Cole Thrower (backstroke), Rubbiano (breaststroke), Humann (butterfly) and sophomore Connor Thrower (freestyle).

Although their time was slower than last week’s, the Raiders moved up a spot with a second-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle relay (26 points). 


Humann started the first leg and was followed by senior Zane Searcy, Cole Thrower and Rubbiano in the anchor spot. Their time of 1:57.83 was behind only Pinecrest (1:37.77).

In his two individual events, Rubbiano won his first high school race and added a second-place mark. He won the 100-yard freestyle (56.73 seconds, 16 points) and placed second in the 50-yard freestyle (25.53 seconds, 13 points).

Both of those times were personal records. Rubbiano took 1.09 seconds off his 100 time and 0.37 seconds off his 50-yard time.

Humann also set personal-best times in his two events, the 50 free and 500-yard freestyle. He earned sixth overall in the 50-yard race with a time of 27.77 seconds (9 points), 0.68 seconds faster.

In the 500-yard gauntlet, one of just four swimmers to compete, Humann took third place (7:28.61, 12 points). He shaved over 80 seconds off of his previous best time.

Also swimming the 500-yard freestyle, Lowry placed fourth (8:56.45) to add 11 more points to the scoreboard. He followed that with a new PR in the 200-yard freestyle with a fourth-place finish (3:10.49, 11 points), a full 22 seconds faster.

Cole Thrower and Leggett were the other two point-earners for Richmond in the 100-yard freestyle and 100-yard breaststroke, respectively. Both Raiders had new PRs as well.

Placing fifth in the 100-yard event, Cole Thrower clocked in at 1:06.13 for 10 points (5.22 seconds better). Leggett tacked on nine points by taking sixth in his race (1:42.00), which was 13.49 seconds faster than a week ago.

Seven other Raiders swam an exhibition heat of the 50-yard freestyle, including three of whom recorded their fastest time to date. They were Connor Thrower (28.56), Searcy (32.57) and junior Gavin Applewhite (34.50).

Other exhibition swimmers in the event were Cole Thrower (33.43), Leggett (33.89), Chance Spivey (37.02) and Michael Jurzyk (41.11).

The Raiders will return to the pool to host their first of two meets this season next Wednesday in Raeford. Action will get underway with the first event at 6:15 p.m.

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Kyle Pillar is a 22-time North Carolina Press Association award-winning sports editor with The Richmond Observer. Follow the sports department on X @ROSports_ for the best in-depth coverage of Richmond County sports.