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ATLANTA, Georgia, February 8. TWO schools claimed their first-ever titles in the 1A-5A format at the Georgia High School Swimming and Diving Championships. The meet was swum in short course yards at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center February 6-8.
Woodward Academy's girls team nabbed first ahead of defending champion Westminster, 229-203. Rounding out the top five squads were Marist (190), St. Pius X (144.5) and Oconee County (125.5). In an exciting contest decided by the final event--the 400 free relay--St. Pius X claimed first with 199 points, squeaking ahead of Marist (191) and Westminster (190). Chamblee Charter's 172 points gave them fourth place, with North Hall in fifth (143).
Woodward's Lady War Eagles were led by senior Caitlin Cooper, who set a state record 22.69 in the 50 free and earned a second triumph in the 100 free (49.78). Cooper, who will be attending Virginia in the fall, also led off her team's state-record setting 200 free relay (1:34.87) with junior Joelle Borchers, sophomore Charlotte Bernot and classmate Kathleen Cook. Sarah Coats, a senior, joined Cooper, Borchers and Cook for the 400 free relay victory (3:29.33).
Another squad of War Eagles--from Marist Academy--finished first in the 200 medley relay (1:47.15) with the quartet of junior Anne Locker, sophomore Hannah Lagod plus freshmen Elizabeth Bailey and Tory Lauterbach.
North Paulding senior Stephanie Peters, who will be swimming for Georgia in the fall, swept the distance freestyle events. She posted a 1:49.50 in the 200 free and 4:54.30 in the 500 free.
Two other seniors closed out their high school careers with an event victory. Elise Hart from Cartersville, who will be going to the Air Force Academy, edged out Allatoona's Aja Malone for first in the 100 back, 55.33 to 55.61. Malone, heading to Northwestern, claimed victory in the 100 fly (54.39).
Westminster junior Katie Christy's 2:03.31 gave her first in the 200 IM (2:03.31). She finished a close second to Pope's Emma Murray, also a junior, in the 100 breast (1:04.36 to 1:04.50).
Abby Gardner began her high school championship career with a win in the diving competition, scoring a total of 458.20 points.
The St. Pius X Golden Lions collected their first-ever victory by winning the 400 free relay (3:09.23) with the squad of seniors Basil Orr, Zach Halbig and Gunnar Bentz, with freshman Jeffrey Dumer swimming second. Westminster finished in second (3:10.16), with Northview right behind in third (3:10.27). Bentz, who will compete at Georgia next year, set state records in both the 100 fly (47.26) and 200 IM (1:45.55).
Marist's team of sophomore Christian Lorys, senior Braxton Young, junior Alex BeMiller and senior Chase Martenson led off the meet by taking first in the 200 medley relay (1:34.85), ahead of St. Pius X's 1:34.92. North Hall finished first in the 200 free relay (1:24.97), with senior Paul Powers leading off, followed by juniors Ty Powers, David Schofield and Daniel Stone. Paul Powers, who will swim at Michigan next season, set a state record 43.19 in the 100 free. Ty Powers earned the 50 free crown with his 20.59.
Knox Auerbach, a Northview junior, doubled in the distance free with his 1:37.86 in the 200 free and 4:33.55 in the 500 free.
Dalton sophomore Ethan Young posted a state standard in the 100 back (47.54). Colin Monaghan, a Gainesville junior, captured the 100 breast victory in 56.35. Pace Academy junior Harris Moncino was the top diver, putting together a score of 573.65 points.
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Results: High School State Championships: Georgia 1A-5A