By Brian Savard
ATLANTA, Georgia, February 14. TWENTY-six All-American qualifying times were turned in at the 1-4A Georgia State High School Championships held from Feb. 7-10.
The sun set on Westminster's female title reign as Marist took home the women's team title with 311 points. Westminster finished in second place with 210 points while Wesleyan took third with 158. Westminster captured the men's title, scoring 383 points. Marist (255) and Lakeside-Evans (155) took second and third, respectively.
Abigail Alton, a Dacula High School junior, posted two All-American automatic qualifying times in both her 50 and 100 yard freestyle events. Alton won the 50 freestyle by .37 seconds (23.32) and she narrowly edged out Marist junior Kathleen Hersey with a winning time of 51.17.
Hersey joined the ranks of the elite 200 IM swimmers of 2007 with her swim over the weekend. She clocked a state record and an All-American automatic qualifying time in the 200 IM (2:00.21). Hersey has compiled a total of 11 All-American times throughout her high school career and holds the Georgia state record in the 100 butterfly (54.65).
Marist won two out of the three relays. Junior Sheila O'Neill, sophomore Adrianna Del Valle, junior Brittany Scrudder and Hersey teamed up to win the 200 freestyle relay (1:38.76) while picking up an All-American consideration cut. The grouping of O'Neill, sophomore Lauren Pfohl, senior Katherine Locker, and Hersey commandeered the 400 freestyle relay (3:33.26) with an All-American automatic qualifying time.
Helen Alvey, a junior from the Walker School, won the women's diving competition with 493.00 points. Junior Cali Harrison from North Oconee and junior Hannah McElhann took second and third with 474.70 and 423.40 points, respectively.
Junior Peter Benner from Benedictine recorded two first-place finishes. He captured the 200 IM title (1:51.49) and the 500 freestyle title (4:34.79). Benner came from behind to touch out Marist senior Billy Fawcett in the 500. Benner earned All-American automatic cuts in both events.
Robby Hayes, a Marist junior, bested the field in both his 100 butterfly (51.36) and in his 100 breaststroke (59.81). Hayes earned an All-American consideration time in the 100 butterfly.
Westminster crushed its competition in all three relays. The quartet of junior Miller Douglas, junior Matt Lunati, junior Adlai Poppy and sophomore Chris Faux took home top honors in the 200 medley relay in an All-American automatic qualifying time of 1:36.40. Senior Geoffrey Faux, Chris Faux, senior Erskine Love, and senior Richmond Green teamed up to take the gold in the 200 freestyle relay in a state record and All-American automatic qualifying time of 1:26.22. Westminster closed out the meet by winning the 400 freestyle relay (Green, Pappy, Douglas and Geoffrey Faux) in an All-American automatic qualifying time of 3:12.27.
In the diving meet on the men's side, Westminster sophomore Stevie Vines took home the gold with a score of 523.15. The silver and bronze medals for diving went to Oconee County senior Jonathan Fennel (506.25) and Tucker junior Addison Still (473.40), respectively.