MaKayla Ciancanelli – Makos Mainstay Featured in NRCA Magazine

Makayla Ciancanelli a cornerstone Makos team member and all-round amazing human was just featured in The Shield Magazine (NRCA’s seasonal publication). Congratulations Makayla! Granite Falls and the Makos are proud to call you a member of our family. 

Check out the full magazine feature HERE

MaKayla Ciancanelli, sophomore at NRCA, began swimming in 2011 when she was 7 years old. She initially joined the swim team because it was cheaper than swim lessons; now it appears chlorine runs through her veins. Within these last eight years, she has accumulated many accomplishments. 

At NRCA, MaKayla has participated on the varsity swim team since 7th grade. She has qualified for States each of those years in multiple events. For the past two years, MaKayla was named MVP of the NRCA varsity swim team for accumulating the most points during the season. Her freshman season at NRCA, MaKayla won the 200 and 500 freestyle at TISAC Conference Championships and went on to win the 500 at the North Carolina 4A State Championship meet, earning her All-Conference as well as All-State honors. 

MaKayla also participates on a year-round club swim team. She is a member of Granite Falls Makos Swim team in Rolesville where she practices 16 hours a week, 11 months out of the year. This hard work has paid off as MaKayla has been selected to represent the state of North Carolina in several competitions. This past April, MaKayla represented North Carolina as a member of the NC Open Water Zone team. The team traveled to Fort Myers, Florida, for the weekend, and she competed in an Open Water 5K race in Miromar Lake. In that performance, MaKayla came out 6th in the Southern Zone Championships Open Division and was the top North Carolina swimmer in that event. She also participated on the open relay in which her relay team placed in 3rd. This was the third time MaKayla has represented the state of North Carolina at an Open Water Zone Championship meet. 

“I enjoy open water swimming because it is just me, the water, and God (with a few occasional elbows in the face thrown in for good measure),” MaKayla explained. “Open water is like an hour-long game of Monopoly. At the beginning of the race, you are given $100 [in energy], and by the end of the race, you must spend it all, but not too quickly because it is a long game.” 

In August, MaKayla was also selected to represent North Carolina at the Southern Zone Age Group Championships, which were held in Cary, NC. In this week-long competition featuring swimmers from 11 different states, MaKayla qualified for the podium in three different races, finishing 3rd in the 800 Freestyle, 2nd in the 400 Individual Medley, and rounding out the week with a 1st place performance in the 400 Freestyle. The state of North Carolina came out on top as the Zone Champions, winning by over 150 points. 

As MaKayla begins this next NRCA swim season, she hopes to represent the team well, knowing that they will have an amazing season.

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