Pam Pack swim team honored with state championship banner

Published 6:23 pm Tuesday, July 23, 2019

The Washington Pam Pack swim team won consecutive state championships in 2016 and 2017. They were awarded for all of their hard work with a banner that was unveiled at the Hildred T. Moore Aquatic and Fitness Center on Monday afternoon.

A sharp looking banner designed by Stanhope Deatherage at the Aquatic Center, outlines the state of North Carolina and includes the Pam Pack logo with the two years the team won state.

Former head swim coach Spencer Pake’s last season with the Pam Pack was after the second of two state championships, and he is now the principal at Bath Elementary School. However, before he became Principal at BES, he coached Washington’s swim team from 2004 to 2017, and said he was very proud of the banner that his team earned.

“It was a surreal feeling,” Pake said. “Just to watch them grow from the (young) swimmers that they were, into the championship caliber swimmers that they became was really phenomenal. Literally, the majority of those boys started swimming with my brother and myself when they were five years old. I couldn’t be happier for such a great bunch of boys.”

Many of the swimmers on the state championship teams have graduated and moved onto college to continue their swimming careers or education.

Kevin Andrews now swims for Davidson College and A.J. Hampton swims for Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia. Hampton spoke on how the state championship unfolded in 2016.

“We started down by like 30 or 60 points from first place because we didn’t have a diving team,” Howard said. “We caught up to them and barely passed them in the last event.”

Eric Lovenberg, now attending the University of Mississippi in Oxford, was a member of the 2016 State Championship team before graduating, and he said it meant a lot for them to hang the banner.

“We all were peaking at the right time and the points worked out very well for us. Our relays were good and you get a lot more points for the relays,” Lovenberg said. “I don’t think I realized how much it meant until now. It was just kind of us doing what we’ve been doing since we were five years old all together, because of this pool. I’m glad it’s still going. It was great to go out on top, that’s what we were working on the whole year and our whole four years just trying to get to that point.”

Howard explained that the group that won the state championship was a group that’s been together and swimming for a long time.

“The best part about winning state was the fact that we did it with our group that we grew up with and had been swimming with since we were five,” Howard said. “The fact that we started at such a young age and we got to the level where we were able to overcome what we thought were impossible odds, that’s unforgettable