It was a weekend for the Gibbons Athletics record book – again.
Fresh off our varsity football team’s first-ever journey to the state championship, two other varsity teams – swimming and diving and wrestling – achieved milestones of their own. At the same time, our varsity cheerleading squad took home a national trophy.
"It was such an exciting weekend for Gibbons Athletics and our school community," said Director of Athletics Director Todd Schuler. "These are well-earned achievements and formative experiences for our coaches and for members of each of these teams."
After capturing the East Regional championship title, the varsity wrestling team went on to compete in the school’s first-ever NCHSAA 4ADual Team State finals. Meanwhile, Claire Curzan ’22, a swimming and diving team standout, broke two all-time national records, a Gibbons milestone not seen in 40+ years.
At the same time, the men's team finished sixth overall in the 4A state championship meet while the women's team finished seventh overall.
To be sure, Curzan was the star of the February 7 state championship meet held at the Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary. There, she set two new national records and took home Most Outstanding Swimmer honors in the women's meet.
Curzan also captured the 100- yard butterfly in 50.35 seconds, breaking the national high school record of 51.29 set last year. Then in the 100-yard backstroke, Curzan reached the wall at 51.38 seconds, slipping past the record of 51.43 seconds set in 2012. This is the second year in a row Curzan won both events. She also helped Gibbons to third-place state meet finishes in the 200-yard medley and 200-yard freestyle relays.
In terms of Gibbons Athletics, Curzan’s swimming achievements are comparable only to those accomplished in track and field by Julie Shea Sutton ’77 and Sister Mary Shea, DC ’79. The sisters set national records in the late 1970s as Gibbons seniors.
Julie set a U.S one-mile best record, while Mary set three national records, including two miles and 5,000 meters. Her 10,000 meters mark of 32.52.5 still stands today.
After the meet, Curzan told High School OT.com that she came into the competition, “trying to have fun and not expecting anything.” She described breaking the two all-time national records as a sophomore as a definite “confidence booster.”
At Saturday’s state wrestling championship meet in Greensboro, Gibbons fell short of winning the title, losing 33-31 to Hough High School. Still, the Crusaders’ historic dual team final appearance is a memorable highlight of an outstanding dual team season.
The team competes this Thursday and Friday in the Mideast 4A Regional Tournament at Gibbons, followed by the individual state championship finals February 20-22 at the Greensboro Coliseum.
While these events were taking place in NC, our cheerleading squads were competing at the UCA Nationals in Orlando, Florida. Our varsity squad took home fifth in the nation in the large division DII category.