Taylor Williams Breaks State Record as Saint Andrews Episcopal Sweeps Mississippi Class 1 State Titles

Saint Andrews Episcopal
Photo Courtesy: standrewssports Twitter (@standrewssports)

The Mississippi Class 1 State Championships took place on Saturday, Oct. 26 at the Tupelo Aquatic Center. Plenty of records fell as Saint Andrews Episcopal School showed impressive depth to sweep the team titles.

The meet was highlighted by a state record from Center Hill’s Taylor Williams, who broke his own mark in the 100 breast while also setting a new Class I standard in the 200 IM. The senior recently announced his verbal commitment to Arizona State.

For the second-straight year, Pontotoc’s Rani Greer lowered the Class I records in both the 100 breast and 200 IM. St. Joseph’s Catholic’s Kenny Thomas also found himself with a pair of Class I records of his own in the 100fly and 100 back.

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

Girls Meet

Top 5 Team Scores:

1. Saint Andrews Episcopal School – 93
2. St. Joseph Catholic School – 89
3. Our Lady Academy – 88
4. Vancleave High School – 58
5. St. Patrick Catholic – 37

Saint Joseph Catholic’s Anna Chris Nicholas (29.42), Grace Anne Weisenberger (36.13), Arilyn Thomas (28.80), and Kimmy Kaiser (28.56) began the meet with a win in the 4×50 medley relay, stopping the clock in 2:02.91. Saint Joseph Catholic also secured a win in the 4×50 free relay, winning by six seconds in 3:56.23 as the only team to crack four minutes.

Thomas later went on to win the 50 free in 25.30 as the only swimmer in the field to break the 26-second barrier. It was a tight race in the 200 free, with Saint Andrews Episcopal’s Sarah Bradford Seawright (2:04.73) posting a narrow .01 win over Our Lady Academy’s Rylie Moore (2:04.74). Moore then went on to post a two-second win in the 100 free, clocking in at 56.88.

PRC’s Amber Bounds flew to the top of the podium in the 100 fly, taking the title in 1:00.71. Her second gold medal of the day came in the 500 free, where she won in 5:29.46 – seven seconds ahead of the defending champion Seawright. Itawamba’s Eliza Johnson powered home to win in the 100 back, posting a final time of 1:01.42. Vancleave’s Morgan Goff (28.79), Ashlyn Davis (27.22), Kendall Chandler (27.16), and Kaley Davis (25.44) combined to win the 4×50 free relay in 1:48.61.

Greer cruised to first in the 200 IM, winning in 2:09.11 by a 13-second margin. Her time of 2:07.97 during prelims shattered her own Class I mark of 2:10.42 she set last year. She then defended her title in the 100 breast, winning the event by 11 seconds in 1:05.99. Her time broke her own Class I record of 1:07.24 and was inches away from the 1:05.72 state mark.

Boys Meet

Top 5 Team Scores:

1. Saint Andrews Episcopal School – 136
2. St. Joseph Catholic School – 114
3. PRC Swim Team – 61
4. St. Patrick Catholic – 55
5. Cleveland Central – 51

St. Joseph’s Catholic’s Thomas (23.22), Chris Tomsuden (30.20), David Warnock (28.18), and Elton Vandevender (23.84) began the boys’ meet by taking first in the 4×50 medley relay with a time of 1:45.44. Saint Andrews Episcopal’s Reeves Fisackerly dropped over four seconds from his prelims time to win the 200 free in 1:49.65 as the only athlete to break the 1:50-marker.

Thomas then went on to win the 100 fly in a quick 50.73, taking down Jack Smithson’s Class I record of 51.56 set in 2017. His second Class I mark of the day came in the 100 back, where he again took down Smithson’s previous 2015 record of 51.76 with a new time of 50.64.

Williams dominated the 200 IM, winning by 10 seconds as the only swimmer under two minutes. His time of 1:53.23 crushed Smithson’s Class I record of 1:56.25 set back in 2015, and was just shy of his own state record of 1:53.06 set last year. He also won the 100 breast in 56.07, crushing the Class I mark of 1:02.80 and eclipsing his own state record of 56.85 he set in 2017.

PRC’s Anthony Werner shaved off nearly nine seconds from his prelims time to secure the state title in the 500 free, finishing the race in 5:02.32.PRC’s Luke Jarvis sprinted to first in the 50 free, winning in 22.84 to edge out the runner-up Finn Goodlett (22.86) of Center Hill. Goodlett later found himself on top of the podium with gold in the 100 free after winning the event in 50.63.

Saint Andrews Episcopal’s Jack Sewell (24.08), Jackson VanMeter (22.98), Reed Finseth (23.98), and Rhodes Pharr (23.18) won the 4×50 free relay in a combined time of 1:34.22 to break the previous Class I record of 1:35.28 set by St. Joseph’s last year. They also secured their team victory by winning the 4×100 free relay in 3:26.24.