Ashley freshman Divoky, New Hanover’s Messina take Mideastern Conference Swimmer of the Year honors is your source for free news and information in the Wilmington area.

Following impressive years in the pool as individuals, Brenna Divoky (Ashley) and Anthony Messina (New Hanover) were named Swimmers of the Year inside the Mideastern Conference after a recent vote by the league’s coaches.

In the 4A state meet, Divoky placed sixth in the 100 yard breaststroke as a freshman, while Messina took 13th in 100 yard freestyle. Divoky was also a conference champion in 200 yard individual medley. Messina took top honors among division members in the 50 yard freestyle and 100 yard freestyle.

The South Brunswick 200 yard relay team took fourth at this year's state meet. Photo courtesy- Sam Jennings.
The South Brunswick 200 yard relay team took fourth at this year’s state meet. Photo courtesy- Sam Jennings.

Aleta Jewell, Lucy Gittings, Brynn Jewell and Rhianne Hsu swam for New Hanover in 400 yard freestyle relay at states and took home first-team honors. Hsu, Pottle and Jewell received individual accolades in the 200 freestyle, 100 freestyle and 500 freestyle, respectively.

The New Hanover girls snapped Hoggard’s 15-year reign as conference winners in late January as the Wildcats continued their momentum after securing the New Hanover County title thanks to strong performances up and down the roster.

Topsail’s Delaney Popella turned in an 11th place performance in 50 yard freestyle at the 3A state competition and was named first-team for the event. McKenzie White (South Brunswick) was honored for her efforts in the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke. At states, White placed 13th in butterfly and ninth in 100 yard backstroke.

On the boys side, South Brunswick and Hoggard dominated most of the First-Team All-Conference selections.

“I’m absolutely proud of my swimmers,” said South Brunswick Coach Sam Jennings. “Being Coach of the Year is nice, but to me it is all about them. They are the reason I get that honor. I am very proud of all of my first and second team swimmers. All of them deserve every bit of recognition. Tyler Bowersox and McKenzie White were definitely worthy of Player of the Year given their sweep of individual events at conference championships, especially Tyler with a relay win and runner-up, but know that some coaches forget about us from time to time. Nonetheless, I am very proud of the way my swimmers worked all season and proud of their accomplishments at every level.”

Chris Anselmo, Owen Bell, Tyler Bowersox and Matt Anselmo earned best effort in 200 yard freestyle relay, but Thomas Heffron (Hoggard) contributed to the first-team selection for the Vikings in 200 medley relay and 400 freestyle relay.

Bowersox was honored in two events. He also placed fourth  in 100 yard breaststroke and ninth in 100 yard butterfly at the 3A state meet. West Brunswick’s Dustin Ruppart was the lone Trojan to make first-team, with a solid season in the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle.

Girls swimming

Player of the Year: Brenna Divoky, Ashley

Coach of the Year: Katie Lohr, New Hanover

Team Sportsmanship Award: Ashley


  • 200 Medley Relay – Charlotte Jones, Aleta Jewell, Helen Duffy, Kate Pottle, New Hanover
  • 200 Freestyle – Rihanne Hsu, New Hanover
  • 200 Individual Medley – Brenna Divoky, Ashley
  • 50 Freestyle – Delaney Popella, Topsail
  • 100 Butterfly – McKenzie White, South Brunswick
  • 100 Freestyle – Kate Pottle, New Hanover
  • 500 Freestyle – Aleta Jewell, New Hanover
  • 200 Freestyle Relay – Rihanne Hsu, Helen Duffy, Kate Pottle, Lucy Gittings, New Hanover
  • 100 Backstroke – McKenzie White, South Brunswick
  • 100 Breaststroke – Brenna Divoky, Ashley
  • 400 Freestyle Relay – Lucy Gittings, Aleta Jewell, Rihanne Hsu, Brynn Jewell, New Hanover


Boys swimming

 Player of the Year: Anthony Messina, New Hanover

Coach of the Year: Sam Jennings, South Brunswick

Team Sportsmanship Award: Ashley


  • 200 Medley Relay – Thomas Heffron, Cole Beck, Jacob Hannum, Carter Howe, Hoggard
  • 200 Freestyle – Dustin Ruppart, West Brunswick
  • 200 Individual Medley – Jacob Hannum, Hoggard
  • 50 Freestyle – Anthony Messina, New Hanover
  • 100 Butterfly – Tyler Bowersox, South Brunswick
  • 100 Freestyle – Anthony Messina, New Hanover
  • 500 Freestyle – Dustin Ruppart, West Brunswick
  • 200 Freestyle Relay – Chris Anselmo, Owen Bell, Tyler Bowersox, Matt Anselmo
  • 100 Backstroke – Thomas Heffron, Hoggard
  • 100 Breaststroke – Tyler Bowersox, South Brunswick
  • 400 Freestyle Relay – Thomas Heffron, Finn Howard, Jacob Hardison, Adam Coleman, Hoggard