There was excitement all around at the Georgia High School Association 6A (large schools) state swimming and diving meet on Saturday at Georgia Tech’s McCauley Aquatic Center. While Brookwood claimed its first boys’ state title since 2010 by a 60-point margin, there was great jockeying for position along the ladder from third all the way through 12th place.
Hillgrove opened the score with a very tight win in the 200 medley relay, as Brady Fields (23.14), Tory Bartlett (27.30), Cullen Fields (22.34), and Max LaRocque (21.44) put up a combined 1:34.22. They were followed by Collins Hill’s 1:34.56 and Johns Creek’s 1:34.98.
After a stunning 21.98 leadoff leg in the medley relay, Johns Creek junior Michael Taylor took a half-second off his lifetime best to win the 200 free in 1:37.04. He later took down a Georgia high school state record in the 100 back with his winning 47.17. That swim eclipsed by 3/100 the state record set earlier in the day at the 1-5A meet by Ethan Young. Jack DalMolin of North Forsyth (1:39.47) and Ryan Pilkington of Lambert (1:40.09) placed second and third. In the 100 back, Collins Hills’ Taylor Delk took second in 49.46 ahead of Sage Ono from Centennial (50.63). Delk won the 500 free with 4:31.08, while Pilkington touched second in 4:32.34.
Marton Barta led a 1-2 Brookwood sweep of the 200 IM, coming in at 1:48.63 ahead of teammate Alex Taylor’s 1:49.33. Andrew Winton of Collins Hill went 1:50.34 for third. Winton reversed the tables in the 100 breast, eking out a 56.61-to-56.78 win over Barta; Lambert senior Jared Chulavatr was third with 56.81. Chulavatr was state champion in the 100 fly, however; his winning 49.10 was the only sub-50 in the field. Hillgrove’s Cullen Fields came from behind to out-touch Harrison’s Billy Rothery, 50.01 to 50.07, for second.
Norcross senior Eric Strickland was the undisputed sprint king, winning both the 50 (20.36) and 100 (44.76) freestyle events. Alpharetta’s Jonathan Vater went 21.09 for second place in the 50, while Hillgrove’s Brady Fields touched third with 21.14. In the 100, Lassiter’s Colin Riley touched out Wheeler’s Kevin Zhou, 45.96 to 45.99, for runner-up. Vater was fourth with 46.00.
In the 200 free relay, Brookwood’s Taylor (20.83), Jacob Rees (20.92), Hans Kind (21.77), and Andrew Huenniger (20.82) came to the wall in 1:24.34, a mere .59 ahead of Northview. Hillgrove took third in 1:26.16. Brookwood ended the meet with a dominating 400 free relay from Barta (46.01), Huenniger (46.09), Rees (46.04), and Taylor (45.24). Their combined 3:03.38 broke the state high school record. Northview went 3:06.85 for second, while Collins Hill finished with 3:07.64 for third.
Lambert won their fourth straight GHSA 6A title on Saturday, notching 377 points without winning a single event. It was their depth that put the Lambert girls over the top; they had a least one A finalist in every event except the 500 free and one-meter diving, and were second, third, and fifth in the all-important relays.
The girls’ meet began with a state record right out of the chutes. Brookwood’s Maddy Cohen (25.91), Erin Scott (29.20), Devan Sweeney (24.58), and Leila Taylor (24.01) won the 200 medley relay with a new Georgia high school mark of 1:43.70. They were followed closely by Lambert, which included a 22.93 anchor from Katherine Aikins, in 1:44.02.
Woodstock senior Lauren Case crushed the field in the 200 free, and came within a half-second of the GHSA record, winning in 1:45.85. Walton’s Emma Cole went 1:48.68 for second, while Emma Layton of Chattahoochee took third with 1:49.42. Case narrowly missed breaking a second record when she won the 100 fly in 52.78. Kennesaw Mountain freshman Addie Bullock out-touched Brookwood’s Sweeney, 54.29 to 54.52, for second. Sweeney got the win in the 200 IM by nearly a full second. She came from behind to win in 2:01.66 ahead of Evie Bragg of Johns Creek (2:02.52) and Caroline Aikins of Lambert (2:02.56).
Tatum Smith of Johns Creek hung on to a narrow lead over Lambert’s Katherine Aikins to win the 50 free with 23.25. Lambert went 23.36 for second, ahead of North Gwinnett’s Chantal Jordan (23.70). In the 100 free, Smith and Aikins finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Brookwood’s Cohen got the win with 50.23, holding off a fast-charging Cole of Walton (50.30). Katherine Parker of Mill Creek claimed the 100 back title by a good body length, winning in 54.09. Brookwood’s Cohen (55.30) came in second ahead of Caroline Aikins of Lambert (56.06).
Chattahoochee’s Layton won the 500 free with 4:51.69, 1.6 seconds ahead of Collins Hill’s Haley Arner (4:53.22). Bayle Frierson of South Forsyth came from behind over the last 50 yards to touch out Johns Creek’s Bragg, 4:54.75 to 4:54.86, for third. Lassiter senior Lexi Glunn won the final individual event, clocking a 1:02.89 in the 100 breast. Sheridan Schreiber of West Forsyth edged Erin Scott of Brookwood, 1:03.72 to 1:03.98, for second.
Walton’s freestyle relays made a huge contribution to their final score. Evan Arsenault (24.36), Gabbie Gauntt (23.57), Melissa Cox (23.64), and Cole (22.90) combined for 1:34.47 and a state record in the 200 free relay. Finishing second was Pope with 1:36.62, .12 ahead of Lambert. In the 400 free relay, Gauntt (53.07), Cox (52.84), Arsenault (53.18), and Cole (49.33) got the win with 3:28.42. They were followed by Johns Creek (3:29.80) and Brookwood (3:30.28).
Men – Team Rankings – Final
1. Brookwood 358
2. Collins Hill 297
3. Lambert 224
4. Northview 201
4. Johns Creek 201
6. Alpharetta 187
7. Norcross 185
8. North Gwinnett 180
9. Hillgrove 175
10. Centennial 158
11. Lassiter 157
12. Walton 154
Women – Team Rankings – Final
1. Lambert 377
2. Lassiter 321.5
3. Brookwood 304.5
4. Walton 302.5
5. Johns Creek 204
6. North Gwinnett 189.5
7. Kennesaw Mountain 173
8. Pope 153
9. Mill Creek 143
10. Woodstock 115