By David Rieder
ATLANTA, Georgia, February 15. THE Georgia High School State Championships took place Saturday, Feb. 12 in Atlanta on the campus of Georgia Tech University in the pool that hosted the swimming at the 1996 Olympic Games.
Westminster's Nicole Stafford and John's Creek's Kaitlyn Kitchen each won two events. Stafford took first in the 200 free (1:47.60) and 100 fly (54.41), while Kitchen won the 50 (23.40) and 100 free (50.55). Stafford also led her team to victory in two relays; Westminter's Katherine Kerman, Lilly Nunnally, Stafford, and Ellie Hogan won the 200 medley relay in 1:47.11, while Rachel Astles, Kerman, Erika Redding, and Stafford took the 400 free relay in 3:30.16.
St. Pius X's Haley Durmer won the 200 IM (2:01.52), while Forsyth Central's Shelby Hoyt took the 500 free (4:52.10). Pope's Anna Neumeister finished ahead of the pack in the 100 back (57.16), as did Starr's Mill in the 100 breast (1:03.63). Woodward Academy's team of Olivia Boggs, Ellie Behr, Kathleen Cook, and Caitlin Cooper rounded out the win category with a 1:36.38 decision in the 200 free relay.
Despite winning no individual or relay events, Marist edged out Westminster for the overall title, 298 to 273.5 points, while St. Pius finished third overall (202).
Wesleyan dominated the meet, winning by almost 100 points over their closest competition. Individually, Will Gregory won the 50 free in 21.21, while Anthony McMurry grabbed first in the 100 free (45.75), and Michael Reynold won the 500 free (4:34.15). Two relay teams won with state records as Timothy Marsh, Chase Bartlett, Gregory, and McMurry won the 200 free relay in 1:24.85, while Bartlett, Nick Salyers, Renyolds, and McMurry dominated the 400 free relay, winning in 3:06.53.
Lakeside, DeKalb's Jack Lane doubled with wins in the 200 free and 100 fly. Lane won the 200 free in 1:38.75 and returned shortly after to set a State Record of 48.72 in the 100 fly. Walker's Derek Onken took the 200 IM (1:52.58), McIntosh's Jack Beall hit the wall first in the 100 back in 51.74, and St. Pius X's Gunnar Bentz won a tight 100 breast in 56.80. Chattahoochee's Jay Litherland, Alan Rabstejnek, Dylan Kase, and Sam Swanson won the 200 medley relay in 1:35.36.
Wesleyan's total of 323 points crushed Chattahoochee, which took second with 226.5 points. Westminster grabbed third (165).