CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee, January 22. THE Baylor School boys and girls varsity swim team broke or tied seven independent school national records over short course meters in a dual meet against the Westminster School of Atlanta. While SCM high school meets rarely happen in the United States, the performances will still go down as national standards.
The Aqua Raiders started off the meet with back-to-back records in the 200 medley relays. The girls medley relay of Sarah List, Alison Lusk, Erin Simpson and Sloane Pitman raced to a record time of 1:58.54, breaking the old record held by Westminster of 1:59.92 set in 2003. Not to be out done, the Baylor boys medley relay of Reese Shirey, Brad Hamilton, Greg Roop and Josh Sosna sped to a time of 1:45.79, breaking the old record of 1:48.71 set by Mercersburg Academy in 1982 by almost three seconds. Both of these relays were not only new independent school records, but were also faster than the public school national records.
Hamilton and Shirey were just getting started. Hamilton, a senior from Jamaica who will be attending the University of North Carolina next fall, tied the national record in the 50 freestyle clocking a time of 23.53. He now shares the record with Brian Wilson of Pingry School. Hamilton then broke the national record in the 100 butterfly in the most exciting race of the night, as he battled Miller Douglas of Westminster. Both swam under the old record held by Wilson of 56.56, with Hamilton just winning 55.81 to 56.02.
Shirey, a junior from Muscle Shoals, Alabama, clocked a new record in the 100 backstroke with a time of 56.60, breaking the old record of 57.71 set by John Stinson of Holy Spirit in 2001.
Baylor capped off the record frenzy by breaking both 200 meter freestyle records. The girl's relay of Sloane Pitman, Sarah List, Keely Lusk and Arden Pitman went 1:48.33 to best the old record from the Westminster School of 1:50.32 from 2003. The Baylor boys 200 free relay blasted the old record of 1:39.14 of Holy Spirit set in 2001 with a time of 1:36.48. This group was the same as the medley relay, made up of Shirey, Roop, Sosna and Hamilton.
The list of records could soar to nine as this year a new event, the 400 freestyle, was added to the 25 meter order of events. Junior Martin Grodzki and Freshman Savannah Napier' s times of 3:59.60 and 4:36.54 could be declared national records at the end of the season if they stand as the fastest swum this year.
The Baylor girls were victorious over Westminster 205 to 109, while the boys won 185 to 129.
"This was a tremendous night of racing for our entire program", said Baylor head coach Dan Flack. "It was a great environment with super support from the entire school. We saw this meet as an opportunity to go after some records without compromising our performance at the end of the year at our state championships and the Eastern Prep Championships in Philadelphia. This is kind of a coming out party for our school program on a national level. Our kids went after those records with spirit and desire, and we were fortunate to get a few, because Westminster is a great team and have kids capable of setting records as well."
Special thanks to Baylor for contributing this report.