Chapin senior captain Walker Layne headlined the Eagles best overall performance in history at the Class 3A state swimming championship meet at Clemson.
Layne closed a glorious four-year career with his first individual medal-medal sweep, finishing first in the 100-yard backstroke for the third year in a row and adding a triumph in the 100 butterfly. He also picked up a bronze medal for his part on Chapin’s third-place effort in the 200 medley relay.
Layne’s point haul was key to the Eagles matching their best-ever state placemen (fourth place) with a school record 211 state meet points. Chapin had a fourth place finish with 198.5 points in 2006.
The Chapin girls, not to be outdone, made a little history themselves with their best-ever state finish (ninth) and point total (124).
Here is a little perspective on Layne’s career accomplishments:
He retires with four state gold medals. Only seven boys have more top awards on their resumes in the 12-year history of the sport in South Carolina. He is one of only two swimmers, male or female, to win three straight backstroke titles, matching the accomplishment of Eastside’s Peter Osborn, who ruled the event in the first three years the sport was sanctioned and was a one-classification event.
In all, Layne came away with seven state medals. In addition to his four golds, he earned bronze prizes in the 100 free in 2008 and as a member of two third-place medley relay teams in 2006 and this year.
Layne joined forces with Joseph Schelble, Cory Campitella and Stephen Bendziewicz on the medley relay team. Chapin scored points in the two other relays, as well. Individually, Schelble scored in the backstroke (4th) and butterfly (12th), Campitella chipped a point in the butterfly (20th), Bendziewicz scored in the 50 free (9th) and 100 free (12th) and Alexander Rutkowski was sixth in the 200 individual medley and 19th in the breasrstroke.
The Chapin girls leaders were Hannah Finkernagle (7th 100 free; 8th 50 free) and Elizabeth Schumpert (8th 100 free; 15th 200 free). The two were joined by Callie Wingo and Elizabeth White on the sixth-place 200 medley relay.