Wrestling And Swimming Crown Four Conference Champions

Two swimmers take home three championships followed by two wrestlers earning top honors


Four Cougar athletes recently dominated their respective competitions, earning the title of conference champions in their events and weight classes. Two swimmers and two wrestlers outperformed their opponents at two separate events on Jan. 21. 

Senior Chrisna Bezuidenhout won the 100-yard fly and 100-yard back races for the second straight year, while junior Nick Caporaso took first place in the 100-meter breaststroke at the NAC-VI swimming meet.

That same day at the Wrestling Conference Tournament, junior Bailey Wilman defeated his opponent 1-0, while junior Cole Jenkins walked away with a victory in his weight class.

Whether in the water or on the wrestling mat, the Cougars excelled. 

“What can I say, it feels nice,” Caporaso said. “It lets me know all my hustling and hard work paid off eventually.”

Caporaso, who finished with the time 1:01.07, also had some connections with his competitors.

“It was a little nerve racking knowing I was in a good heat of swimmers, two of them my friends,” Caporaso said. “I knew it was between three people, so I had to finish harder than them to get the spot.”

Bezuidenhout achieved two personal records during the competition: 56.3 seconds in the 100-yard back and 56.7 seconds in the 100-yard fly.  

“My coach made us get up early for practice like my year-round coach, and I think it helped me warm up because you don’t get much before the meets for high school,” Bezuidenhout said. 

At the wrestling event, Wilman defeated an opponent who is a state placer, Rolesville’s Frank Bianco who is a returning 5th place finisher at the 2022 NCHSAA State Tournament.  

“I was nervous because the guy I was wrestling in the finals I lost to twice,” Wilman said. 

Wilman is turning heads with a strong win-loss record. In 43 matches in the 138-pound weight class, he’s lost only twice.

Jenkins is enjoying his first season as a wrestler. He summed up his feelings before the match with one word: “nervous.” But, he went on to dominate two opponents. 

“First guy I beat 15-0,” Jenkins said. “The second guy I beat 10-2.”

Jenkins’ current win-loss record is 23-16. 

Notable 2nd place finishes include senior Clarissa Bezuidenhout in the 200 Free and CJ Eickhoff in the men’s 500 free. Wrestler Emmitt Holland also took 2nd in his weight class.