Henry Bethel Hits 52.9 BR, 1:45.5 IM and Snaps Bentz’s 200 IM Georgia HS Record


  • February 5, 2021
  • McAuley Aquatic Center, Atlanta, GA
  • Short Course Yards (SCY)
  • Live Results on Meet Mobile: ‘2021 GHSA 6A State Swimming & Diving Meet’

Johns Creek took the team title today as Dalton’s Henry Bethel dropped two Georgia state records at the 6A Championships.


  1. Johns Creek – 408.5
  2. Dalton – 304.5
  3. Lakeside (Dekalb) – 282
  4. Centennial – 236
  5. Kennesaw Mountain – 227

Dalton senior and Auburn commit Henry Bethel was a force today, helping Dalton to their second-place finish in the team standings.

Bethel kicked off his program with a win in the 200 IM, dominating the field with a monstrous 1:45.54. That time is his first performance under 1:46, and he clips Olympian Gunnar Bentz’s 200 IM Georgia state record of 1:45.55 by a hundredth. John’s Creek’s Andrew Simmons was second in a time of 1:48.51, just off a best. Simmons will join Bethel at Auburn this fall.

In the 100 breast, it was all Bethel again, as he blasted a 52.96 to clear Liam Bell’s 2019 state record by almost a full second. Bethel was 54.31 at this meet last year and 54.07 in December 2020, the latter being his old best going into this meet. He skipped the 53-second range altogether tonight, and his time now vaults him to #30 all-time in the 17-18 top performers rankings.

With Bethel’s 200 IM and 100 breast times today, he’s faster than any Auburn swimmer went in either event during the 2019-20 season and so far this season.

Centennial took the opening medley relay, going 1:33.44. They got a 24.71 breast leg from junior Justin Bender and a 21.60 fly leg from junior Sebastien Sergile, finishing just ahead of Johns Creek (1:33.74) who had a 22.97 lead-off from Simmons. Bender would go on to touch second behind Bethel in the 100 breast at 54.91. That was Bender’s first time under 56– to get a sense of how far Bender has come, before the pandemic, he’d never broken a minute.

Coming right out of the 200 medley relay, Sergile slammed down a 1:35.36 in the 200 free, trimming almost a full second off of his old best. He rattled Michael Taylor’s 2017 state record of 1:35.16, splitting 46.3 on the first 100 (22.4/23.8) and 49.0 on the second (24.4/24.5). Coming in second was LSU commit and Dalton junior Roman Valdez at 1:37.13, a best by a half-second for him.

Sergile also won the 500 free, crushing a lifetime best in 4:23.30. The uncommitted junior has come a long way since the pandemic hit: his pre-March 2020 bests were 1:38.22 in the 200 and 4:27.37 in the 500.

Later in the 100 free, Valdez returned for a win this time, clocking a 44.63, cutting a quarter-second off of his old best. In the 200 free relay, Valdez (20.71) led off Dalton’s 200 free relay to a big win at 1:23.81, with Bethel anchoring in 19.80 as they just missed a state record. They bookended the 400 free relay, too, with Valdez hitting a 44.77 leading off and Bethel anchoring in 44.06 as Dalton clocked a 3:05.51 for the win.

Building off his 200 IM runner-up finish, Simmons gave Johns Creek a win in the 100 back, posting a 49.17. With his contributions, and their overall depth, Johns Creek was able to pull off the win despite huge performances from swimmers at Dalton and Centennial.


  • Brett Reason, a senior at Kennesaw Mountain High School, clocked a lifetime best 20.71 to win the 50 free title.
  • Lassiter junior Adam O’Brien won the 100 fly by almost a second, dropping a 48.86. He improved on his old best by over a full second.

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4 months ago

“UGA commit” but has his Auburn commitment photo as the article photo

Reply to  JCO
4 months ago

He gonna be a Abrun Teeger

Henry Bethel
4 months ago

It was an honor to represent the Catamount for 4 years! Great way to go out! I love my team to death and wouldn’t wanna go out with any other group! I am so excited to continue my swimming career at AUBURN! Once a cat always a cat! Now I’ll just be a tiger! #daltondifference #vivaladalton #family

Reply to  Henry Bethel
4 months ago

Great meet man! I’m excited to see what you’ll do at auburn. Also why are you guys on here downvoting a kid in Highschool? What’s wrong with y’all?

GA guy
4 months ago

bender gonna be a top recruit reaaaaallllll soon

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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