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After a prelims session that featured two meet records, Georgia High School State Swimming Championships concluded today at McAuley Aquatic Center of Georgia Tech, with finals for Classes 6&7A beginning at 1pm, and finals for Classes 1-5A at 6pm.
GSHA Class 6&7A
Michael Taylor delivered at finals, lowering his prelims time, which was already a personal best and new state record, by 0.24 this afternoon to win the boys 200 free in a dominant 1:35.16 over second-place Ananda Lim of Sprayberry, who touched in 1:37.25. The University of Florida commit blew away the field by five seconds in the boys 100 back, again dropping from his prelims PR to swim an incredible 45.53, another state record.
Not one, but two state records were broken in the 100 breaststroke. North Forsyth’s Jack DalMolin capped off a fantastic meet with a huge record-setting swim. Just 0.01 off at prelims, he managed to lower his time to a 54.89, breaking the record of 55.03 set in 2015. Freshman Adeline Farrington of Johns Creek broke the nine-year-old state record of 1:02.12 for the women’s title, touching the wall in 1:01.92.
Taylor and Farrington’s team, Johns Creek, placed second in both the boys and girls 200 medley relay. Hillgrove’s relay team of Brady Fields, Tory Bartlett, Cullen Fields, and Jake Gleeson took first place for the boys with a time of 1:33.28. Caroline Aikins, Joonyoung Lee, Jane Johnson, and Lilia Smith made up Lambert’s winning girls relay, touching the wall in 1:44.21.
Walton’s Emma Cole also had a standout swim in the girls 200 freestyle, moving up four places to beat prelims champ Caitlyn McHugh from Allatoona by three seconds, finishing first in 1:46.73.
Another huge time drop from prelims to finals came in DalMolin’s 200 IM. He lowered his prelims time by almost five seconds to win in a 1:47.59, while Raunak Khosla from Milton finished third with a 1:49.46. There were no upsets on the girls side, however, as Brookwood’s Devan Sweeney held her first place spot from prelims with a 2:01.04.
Roswell’s Mihalis Deliyiannis was the boys 50 freestyle champ, touching ahead of second-place Fields to post a time of 20.60. Another of Taylor’s teammates from Johns Creek, junior Tatum Smith, dropped half a second in her 50 to win for the girls in 23.25.
Two swimmers in the boys 100 butterfly managed to get under the 50-second mark, with Khosla taking the title in a 48.68, and Andrew Huenniger of Brookwood coming in close behind in 48.91. Sophomore Addie Bullock from Kennesaw Mountain overtook Sweeney in the girls 100 fly, touching the wall in 54.03 to Sweeney’s 54.55.
Lim continued his stellar meet by securing his win in the 100 freestyle, beating the rest of the field by almost a full second with his time of 44.66. Cole racked up another title for Walton, as she swam a 49.45, just 0.39 off Amanda Weir‘s 2004 state record.
Bradley Dunham of Dacula posted a stunning upset in the boys 500 freestyle, just beating out freshman favorite Jake Magahey of Mill Creek to finish first in 4:26.78. Magahey was ahead for most of the race until the last 50, when Dunham split a 25.46 to Magahey’s 25.91 for the win. Meanwhile, McHugh touched first for the girls in 4:51.77.
DalMolin led his team to victory with the fastest split of the North Forsyth squad in the boys 200 free relay, posting a 20.35 on their way to a 1:24.97 win. Hunter Galbraith, Skyler Kadetz, and Daniel Brisuda made up the rest of the winning relay. Lambert and Hillgrove touched second and third, respectively, with an impressive 20.08 split from Hillgrove’s Fields, the fastest of the day. Walton managed to hold on to their prelims place as well, as their team consisting of Jasmin Hoffman, Melissa Cox, Gabbie Gauntt, and Evan Arsenault took the title in 1:33.50.
Sarah Sorenson of Pope won the girls 100 backstroke with a time of 55.88.
To finish off the meet, Samuele Bodon, Brian Smith, and Christopher Pierce joined Magahey to win the boys 400 freestyle relay for Mill Creek in a time of 3:06.84. North Forsyth, Brookwood, and Johns Creek finished third, fourth, and fifth, respectively. For the girls, Cole joined the 200 free-winning trio of Cox, Arsenault, and Gauntt, to break one last state record, a 3:26.22 set in 2013. The Walton team destroyed their prelims time to touch the wall first in 3:24.44.
For the girls, Walton’s relays helped propel them to a first-place overall finish, securing 366 points to second-place Lambert’s 243. On the boys side, Brookwood came out on top over Mill Creek (209), Lambert (196), Hillgrove (176.5), Johns Creek (167), and North Forsyth (166) with 233.5 points.
GSHA Class 1-5A
St. Pius X topped the A-final of the boys 200 medley relay to start off the night of finals competition for schools in Classes 1-5A. The team of Ian Grum, Jeffrey Durmer, Blake Reynolds, and Nate Grum combined to finish first in a time of 1:33.63, with a notable 21.95 butterfly leg from Reynolds. Chamblee’s girls relay team of Teresa Maloney, Julia Von Biberstein, Jade Foelske, and Brynn Lautenbacher touched ahead of the rest of the field by over three seconds, winning the event in 1:46.19.
In an exciting end to the meet, Calhoun’s team of Bo Dyar, John Carroll, Caleb Black, and Cal Parker held off St. Pius X by 0.01 in the 400 freestyle relay, just winning the title with a time of 3:12.48. Durmer and Reynolds put up a strong back half for SPX, but Calhoun’s consistency won it for them. For the girls relay, first-seed Blessed Trinity was disqualified, leaving the title up for Starr’s Mill to grab. The 200-free relay champs stepped up to the plate, Blaum splitting a 50.64, to win the event in 3:32.93. The next fastest finisher was St. Pius X, clocking in at 3:38.41.
The 200 IM was also a notable race – Brennan Pastorek from Savannah Country posted a big four and a half second drop from his prelims time in the boys 200 IM, destroying the competition with a time of 1:46.06, not too far off from Gunnar Bentz‘s 2014 state record of 1:45.55. Danielle Della Torre of Oconee County dipped below the 2:00.00 mark on her way to the title, clocking in at 1:59.90. Her time would have won in 6-7A class as well.
Durmer showed his strength once again with a quick turnaround after the first relay, placing first in the boys 200 freestyle in a time of 1:40.13. Elizabeth Bailey from Marist won for the girls with a time of 1:51.11.
David Gray of Mt. Paran Christ overtook first-seed Marty Stange from McIntosh in the boys 50 free, swimming 20.78 to Stange’s 20.94. Reynolds touched third in 21.06. Donna Blaum from Starr’s Mill dropped almost half a second from her prelims time to get into 22-range, winning the event in 22.86.
Holy Innocent’s Cade Anderson was yet again the only boy to get under 50.0 in the 100 fly, dropping a 48.86 for first place. Prelims champ Blaum dropped a few spots to fourth, while Jade Foelske took the title for the girls in a 54.70. Bailey and Raleigh Bentz, younger sister of Gunnar Bentz, were second and third in the event, respectively.
Pastorek beat out both Gray and Stange in the boys 100 freestyle with his two second drop from prelims, touching the wall in 44.12. Senior Della Torre continued her stellar performance with a win on the girls side, bettering her prelims time even more and posting a 50.16.
St. Pius X relay champs proved their versatility, as Durmer posted a 4:30.38 to win the boys 500 freestyle, beating teammate Ian Grum, who finished second in 4:31.05. Savannah Mitchell of Providence was again the only girl under five minutes, shaving her prelims time down to 4:58.78 for first place.
Anderson picked up another state title in the 100 backstroke with a time of 49.31. An exciting tie for first place on the girls side saw Bentz and Allie Paschal of Lagrange both touching in 54.66.
Mason Hunter from Rome overtook Liam Bell from Chamblee in the boys 100 breaststroke, winning the event in 56.66. Senior Von Biberstein managed to hold on to first place, beating second-place by almost three seconds with a time of 1:03.97.
Freshmen twins Connor and Cole Hinkes, Sterling Ralph, and Chris Staley put together a winning relay for Westminster in the boys 200 freestyle relay, with a time of 1:27.18. Anderson posted the fastest split of the event, a 20.85. Blaum improved her relay split from yesterday, swimming a 23.05 to help Kylee Bogumill, Allyson Phinney, and Hope Christensen to a time of 1:37.13 and a victory for Starr’s Mill.
Despite a tough last relay loss, St. Pius X took the overall state title for the boys with 340 points to Westminster’s 283. Chamblee and Calhoun took third and fourth place, grabbing 233 and 223.5 points respectively. The top four teams on the girls side were all within 20 points of each other, Marist coming out on top with 219 points. Chamblee was a close second, garnering 210 points, then Starr’s Mill (208.5), and Wesleyan (198).