Barb Carroll used to own a lot of the records for the Cherokee High School swim team, but over the last 30-plus years most had fallen.
Just one was left.
And it was left for her daughter.
“I know she had records everywhere,” senior Sammie Carroll said. “I never saw them all because they had been broken. But one was left for me.”
Carroll, Nikki Broome (backstroke), Audrey Fanning (breaststroke) and Madyson Keen (freestyle) put up a time of 1:55.83 in the 200 medley relay last week. In 1981, Carroll’s mom — Barb Hockl before marriage — swam the butterfly leg to help set the record of 1:55.95.
Thirty-four years later, Sammie Carroll swam the same butterfly leg as her mother in the record-breaking performance.
Mom and daughter didn’t make the connection that Sammie had helped break her mother’s final Cherokee record until they made it home after the Chiefs’ semifinal win over Vineland last Monday.
“Let’s just say I was thrilled,” Barb said. “The group of girls that are all seniors, I’ve known all of them for practically their whole lives because they’re friends with my daughter. If any of them would have broken my record, I would have been happy. But that fact that my daughter did and she did the butterfly like I did the butterfly, I was absolutely thrilled.”
Like many in South Jersey, the Carrolls are a swimming family. It’s one thing that bonds the entire group. Mom and dad met through swimming. All five kids swim; brother Ryan swims for Cherokee too. Sammie, like the others, got in the pool young. She started at 5.
Sammie’s swimming is helping take her to college, too.
While her mom swam at the University of Delaware, Sammie is heading to Limestone University in South Carolina on an athletic and academic scholarship.
In a weird twist, while the Cherokee girls broke a 34-year-old school record, they actually finished second in the event to Vineland. But the Chiefs moved on in the playoffs and won their second straight sectional championship Thursday over Egg Harbor Township.
• What a finish: The Moorestown girls’ team lost 90-80 to Ocean City in the South Jersey Group B semifinals Thursday but it wasn’t for lack of effort.
The Quakers put together a strong performance and made it close when they finished 1-2-3 in the 100 breaststroke, the second-to-last event.
But the performance of their top swimmer was the most impressive. Senior Carter Orth was determined on giving it everything she had in their final team playoff meet. Orth, who will be heading to the University of Pennsylvania in the fall, set three school records in the meet against Ocean City.
She swam the 100 butterfly in 52.23, the 100 back in 58.07 and was a part of the medley relay team that finished in 1:50.58.
“It hasn’t hit me yet that it’s over,” Orth said shortly after the meet finished. “But when we don’t have any more high school meets and next year college meets will be exactly like this, it will remind me of all the fun times I had with my Moorestown girls and nothing but good memories.”
Reach Dave Zangaro at firstname.lastname@example.org