The girls’ winter sports season at J.H. Rose was highlighted by a runner-up finish at the 3A state championship meet by the girls’ swim team.

The Rampants also won the 3A East Regional title and had multiple swimmers win individual medals at both the regional meet and states.

At the center of Rose’s run of success in the pool is Madeline Smith, who won two state titles this year for the second consecutive season.

Smith’s dominant season in the pool has led to her being selected as The Daily Reflector’s Girls Athlete of the Winter for J.H. Rose.

The senior capped her impressive career by taking gold at the state meet in both the 100 freestyle (50.18) and the 200 free (1:48.45).

She was also a member of the 400 free relay alongside Lily Grace Blackmon, Grace McCarthy and Emma Hastings, as the group took second with a time of 3:34.72.

Smith swam a leg of the 200 free relay as well, as she and her teammates Hastings, Eleanor Blount and Saline Kulas finished in 1:42.88 to take third, and she went on to be named the 3A Girls’ Most Outstanding Swimmer for the meet.

At the East Regional meet, Smith helped Rose win the title in dominant fashion, as the team finished with 407 points, beating second-place finisher West Carteret by 199 points.

She took first in both the 100 and 200 free, while also helping both the 200 and 400 free relays win titles.

Honorable Mentions Swimming

Emma Hastings — Not only won a state title this season, but did so in record-breaking fashion.

She claimed gold in the 500 free, setting the record for the event at the 3A state championships, and she outpaced her competition by nearly 16 seconds, touching the wall in 4:48.78.

In the 200 free, Hastings took silver, finishing behind her teammate Smith with a time of 1:49.07, as she also swam legs of the 400 and 200 free relays, which took second and third, respectively, and she took first at regionals in all three events.

Lilian Ozimek — Won the East Regional title in the 1-meter dive with a score of 261.05.

Ozimek then went on to compete at the state championships, where she placed third after scoring a 276.50.

Grace McCarthy — McCarthy competed in two events as well as a relay at the state championship meet.

Finished seventh in the 500 free with a time of 5:25.24 as well as taking 10th in the 200 individual medley at 2:20.41.

McCarthy was also a member of the 400 free which took second at states at 3:34.72 after winning an East Regional title.


Karma May — The junior had a strong season to help lead the Rampants to an 11-10 year and a trip to the 3A state playoffs.

May averaged 16 points per game and was the third-leading scorer in the Big Carolina 3A/4A Conference, as she also led the conference in free throws made.

Elana Jones — Also had a strong offensive season for Rose this year behind her three-point shooting.

The sophomore finished the year leading the conference in 3-pointers made.

Indoor Track and Field

Melanie Sutton — Was the lone athlete to represent the Rampants in an individual event at the 3A state championship meet.

She ran the 55-meter dash and crossed the line in 7.46 seconds to take fifth.