Cassie Howell’s State Records Lead Madison Central Girls to Sixth Mississippi Class 2 State Title, Tupelo Boys Earn 13th-Straight

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Photo Courtesy: Bridget carmody Twitter (@carmody_bridget)

The Mississippi Class 2 State Championships took place on Saturday, Oct. 26 at the Tupelo Aquatic Center. Madison Central girls dominated the meet to defend their team title for the sixth-consecutive year. On the boys’ side, Tupelo swept all three relays en route to earning their 13th-straight team crown.

A total of five state records were broken:

  • Ocean Springs’ Gabrielle Ivey, 200 free (1:52.51)
  • Oxford’s Julia Dennis, 50 free (23.42)
  • Madison Central’s Cassie Howell, 100 free (51.45)
  • Madison Central’s Cassie Howell, 100 back (54.87)
  • Madison Central, 4×100 free relay (3:36.82)

Full results can be found on Meet Mobile – MHSAA Swimming Championships 2019.

Girls Meet

Top 5 Team Scores:

1. Madison Central – 147
2. Tupelo – 84
2. Oxford – 79
4. Ocean Springs – 50
5. Germantown – 41

Madison Central’s Howell (25.51), Rania Abdo (32.78), Maddie Howell (24.57), and Kimberly McCaffrey (24.54) began their winning ways with an eight-second win in the 4×50 medley relay, combining in 1:47.40. Madison Central’s Ella Gibbs (25.51), Ella Thomas (25.76), Abdo (26.15), and M. Howell (23.91) also won the 4×50 free relay in 1:41.33.

McCaffrey was soon back in the water to dominate the 200 IM, winning by eight seconds in 2:09.85 and seven seconds faster than her prelims time. Gibbs defended her title in the 500 free, winning by seven seconds to post a final time of 5:13.67 that was 16 seconds faster than what she swam during prelims.

C. Howell grabbed the top spot in the 100 free in 51.45 for the third year in a row in addition to etching her name in the State record book, taking down her own mark of 51.49 from last season. Her 100 back was also done in record-setting fashion, as she won by five seconds in 54.87 to break her previous time of 55.88 from 2018.

Ivey led the charge in the 200 free, stopping the clock in 1:52.51 as the first of only three swimmers under the two-minute marker. She eclipsed her own State and Class II mark of 1:52.62 set in 2017. Ivey also flew to the top of the podium in the 100 fly, getting her hands to the wall first in 57.32.

Dennis sprinted to first in the 50 free, racing to the wall in 23.42. Her time broke M. Howell’s state and Class II record of 23.42 from last year. Howell finished second in 23.71. Germantown’s Megan Stempkovski earned gold in the 100 breast, touching the wall in 1:07.92 for the title. Madison Central made it a clean relay sweep as they also won the 4×100 free relay to conclude the girls’ meet, clocking in at 3:36.82 to crush their own state record by two seconds.

Boys Meet

Top 5 Team Scores:

1. Tupelo – 137
2. Madison Central – 90
3. Biloxi – 47.5
4. Oxford – 42
4. Lewisburg – 42

Tupelo’s Christian Simpson (24.77), Ander Pearce McDade (27.81), Anders Caldwell (25.40), and Cooper King (21.96) began their winning ways by taking first in the 4×50 medley relay with a time of 1:39.94. Caldwell (23.13), John Michael Caldwell (23.05), Taylor Chapman (23.17), and King (21.80) also won the 4×50 free relay in 1:31.15. They made it a clean relay sweep by concluding the meet as 4×100 free relay champions (3:17.86).

Pearce McDade was quickly back in the pool to win the 200 IM as the first of only two athletes under the two-minute marker, clocking in at 1:55.91. After leading off the victorious medley relay, Simpson powered home to a win in the 100 back in 52.49. Lewisburg’s Tucker Potts was the only swimmer to break 60 seconds in the 100 breast, doing so in 59.34 for the win.

Madison Central’s Blake Peeples handily won the 200 free, dropping over seven seconds from his prelims swim to win the 200 free title in 1:41.77. The Alabama commit also successfully defended his state title in the 500 free, winning the event by 11 seconds in a final time of 4:39.61.

Desoto Central’s Carson Jones splashed-and-dashed his way to a win in the 50 free, racing to the wall in a swift 21.48. Jones showed his sprint prowess by also earning gold in the 100 free, winning in 47.38 to edge out runner-up Michael Robinson (47.49) of PEARL. Robinson redeemed himself in the 100 fly, getting his hands to the wall the fastest in 52.49.

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