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AUBURN. Alabama, December 7. WILL Freeman closed out his high school swimming career by rewriting the record book in two events during the Alabama High School State Swimming and Diving Championships Dec. 6-7 at Auburn University's James E. Martin Aquatic Center.
What makes Freeman's efforts even more remarkable is that the Spain Park senior also became a four-time event champion in both the 200 and 500 yard freestyles. He lowered the mark he set last year (1:38.22) to 1:37.39 in the 200, and knocked off Woody Joye's 2007 time of 4:29.12 in the 500 free with his 4:27.36. Next year, Freeman will be swimming at the University of Alabama.
Another of Joye's 2007 state records was erased by Elmore County junior Foster Ballard, who took down Joye's 1:52.14 mark in the 200 IM to 1:51.49 in prelims and 1:50.24 in finals.
Benjamin Russell junior Robert Howard joined Freeman as a double-event winner via his winning 20.61 in the 50 free and 45.46 in the 100 free.
Bob Jones' 200 free relay quartet of sophomore Derek Sander, junior Chris Burrows, freshman Andrey Tretyakov and junior Zach Harting combined for a 1:25.84, taking down the team's 2009 state record of 1:26.55. Junior Christian Day anchored the winning 200 medley relay (1:37.83) with Burrows, Tretyakov and Harting.
Harting claimed the 100 fly title in 49.57, just ahead of Huntsville senior John Smith (49.63). Smith anchored the Huntsville 400 free relay to a victorious 3:12.91 with junior Jared Butphin plus seniors Carter McDonald and Trey Wintzinger.
Slater Whiston, a St. Paul's junior, was the only sub-50 second swimmer in the 100 back (49.78), and Noah Cheak, a junior at Oneonta, completed the 100 breast in a winning 57.61. Auburn senior Pete Turnham was the diving champion, scoring 494.15 points.
On the girls side, UMS-Wright freshman Paige Madden set individual state records with her 55.37 in the 100 fly and 2:04.13 in the 200 IM. The previous record in the 100 fly was 55.63, set by Angelica Chapman in 2011; Laura Johnson posted the prior 200 IM mark at 2:04.48 in 2007.
Maria Reed lowered the state record she posted last year as an eighth grader at Baker (51.33) with this year's 51.18.
State standards also fell in two of the three relays. Auburn's 200 medley relay of sophomore Susanna Pudner, eighth-graders Annie Dallas and Hadley Downie, plus freshman McAuley Parker lowered Homewood's 2010 mark of 1:50.24 twice--1:49.50 in prelims and 1:47.55 in finals.
The Athens 200 free relay of eighth-grader Kobie Melton, juniors Lindsey Martin and Ellen Haapoja, plus freshman Mallory Underwood took down Bob Jones' 2007 time of 1:38.89 with their 1:38.50. Underwood topped the field in the 100 breast in 1:04.16.
Senior Zahra Alley-Baktoo, Dowdie, freshman Audrey Pihilipott and Parker gave Auburn a second relay triumph with their 3:36.09 in the 400 free relay.
Two seniors who will be Auburn freshmen in 2014 defended their titles from last year. Baker's Ashton Ellzey captured the 50 free in 23.30, and Genny Pittman from Homewood finished first in the 100 back (55.98).
Huntsville junior Elise Maurel placed first in the 200 free (1:53.46); and Sarah Cimino, a Randolph freshman, swam the 500 free in 4:57.47. The diving title went to Helen Legg, a Fairhope sophomore, who put together 383.15 points for first place.
Auburn, which was the fourth-place team last year, captured the girls team title with 239 points. Athens finished second (154), with McGill-Toolen (145), Huntsville (140) and Spain Park (128) following. Huntsville earned their second straight boys championship with 261 points, followed by Bob Jones (234), McGill-Toolen (204), Auburn (193) and Fairhope (147).
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Results: High School State Championships: Alabama